Tom Hanks is a pretty awesome human being, you know it, I know it, he’s one of life’s ‘good eggs’. But not only is he a brilliant film actor, he’s also a dab hand at Shakespeare. Especially Tom Hanks’ improvised Shakespeare stunt!
But reciting Shakespeare isn’t his own skill, Hanks is also pretty nifty when it comes to ad-libbing in character. These skills were put to the test recently when he was forced to calm the nerves of his audience in an emergency.
During one of Tom Hanks’ performances of William Shakespeare’s Henry IV, an unfortunate theatre-goer had a medical issue
Hanks, the 61-year-old actor portrays Sir John Falstaff in the show. He then used his vast improvisational skills to keep the crowd entertained when an audience member fell ill.
The incident took place on June 13th at the Veterans Affairs’ West Los Angeles campus. The show had come to a halt for 15 minutes after the audience member had passed out.
Hanks made his way back onto the stage, still in costume and very much in character to try and calm the audience. While keeping the focus on the stage, it allowed the crew – who are made up of military veterans with medical training – to help the person while the paramedics were on their way.
“God has decided this play needed a 2nd intermission!”
The video was shared online by the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles (the company who put on the production). Throughout the endeavour, Hanks. a two-time Oscar winner managed to prove his worth by staying in character throughout the whole incident. He even got some audience participation going to add some humour to the tense atmosphere.
Hanks humoured the audience, calling them “scurvy rogues” to all who attempted to leave their seats
“No intermission brew for you!”
Tom jokingly said that everybody who lost focus was “An insult to all actors and to Shakespeare himself”, still in character as the fat knight, Falstaff.
Tom Hanks’ improvised Shakespeare had saved the day
Hanks managed to lighten the mood of the theatre and keep the audience immersed in the Shakespearian atmosphere while the audience member was looked after.
Thankfully, the sick audience member regained consciousness and was later cleared and released from the hospital.
Don’t forget to watch Tom Hanks’ improvised Shakespeare during a performance in the video below. Also, at Happiest we love hearing all of your opinions. So please let us know what you thought of the article in the comment section.