Archive | February, 2013
NHytner in rehearsal credit Ivan Kyncl-1

Sir Nick Hytner on Shakespeare

It all started about eighteen months ago. The University of Notre Dame in London wanted very much to feel it was doing all it could to honour Stanley Wells  C.B.E. as the pre-eminent Shakespeare scholar. So, Notre Dame’s London director, Greg Kucich, and Shakespeare scholar Boika Sokolva invited The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and The Shakespeare […]

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Tragedie of Cleopatra – The Premiere?

On Sunday, 3rd March, University College London’s Centre for Early Modern Exchanges will be presenting a performance of  Samuel Daniel’s Cleopatra at the Great Hall of Goodenough College. This may well be the first such staging of Daniel’s play in four hundred years and certainly the first in modern times. Published in 1594, Daniel’s tragedy […]

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Royal-Mail-Stamps-RSC-Hamlet

Doing Something about ‘Hamlet’

  February 4 And now.   The play has been read. It’s so compact! It’s so complete!  Each line is so…significant! So…powerful!   Calm down.  Yes, it’s a powerful play. More so with each reading. So what else is new?   The available spin-offs have been watched, some not previously seen. Star Trek?? Oh yes. […]

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Richard Council Window

Leicester’s Richard III

Living in Leicester has never been more exciting. Between people eager to see a car park, the influx of the international press conference, the portraits filling the windows of the City Council building, and the queues wrapping around the cathedral over the past two weeks, it is hard to ignore the atmosphere of delight and […]

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‘How to Know if Someone Is in Love’: An Examination of Elizabethan Courtship in Much Ado About Nothing.

Like any other animal, human beings adopt a series of behaviours to show interest in mating in an appropriate way.  In the Elizabethan era, courtly love meant that a man strove to obtain his lady both through force of arms and through his skill in poetry. Benedick and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing despise […]

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Flying-dutchman

Shakespeare and The Flying Dutchman

Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure is a strongly political play, a work embedded in the complexities of social reality, but its hero/villain Angelo, whose admiration for Isabella’s ascetic purity morphs into sexual desire and a rape-attempt, is in part intensely spiritual. This is not, however, a spirituality that is allowed to unfold fully. István Géher brings […]

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Game-of-Thrones-Wallpaper

Game of Thrones

I recall that two New York Times articles about executive pay were entitled “A Rich Game of Thrones”. Neither article explained the metaphorical reference to the popular cable television show, Game of Thrones, a testimony to the show’s popularity. However, no matter how popular Game of Thrones is today, it has a long way to […]

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Photo by Christopher Mueller

Digging for Richard

Though Shakespeare was not mentioned, there was a manifest and contrived theatricality about the press conference announcing that the skeleton unearthed in a Leicester car park was indeed that of King Richard III. Not that anyone could have doubted what the conclusion would be. How could the University, clearly pulling all the stops out to […]

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Ian Richardson as Francis Urquhart

If Richard III Had Married Lady Macbeth: The Shakespearean Pedigree of House of Cards

With the Americanised remake of House of Cards now available on Netflix (at least in the United States), it’s a good time to revisit the original and to recall how it is shot through with Shakespeare. House of Cards is the story of Francis Urquhart, Chief Whip of the Conservative Party who, denied a Cabinet […]

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