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The Shakespeare Institute

Shakespeare is not dead

When the amazing news, covered on this blog, came through that the remains of Richard III had been found in a Leicester car park, I shouted it upstairs to my daughter before driving off to work.  She thought King Richard had been found alive.  I instantly imagined him in a fluorescent jacket, working for NCP, […]

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Redcrosse

A New St George!

You might remember my previous blog of some weeks ago when I looked forward to the performance of a new poetic liturgy for England and St George. Well, on the evening of Saturday the 17th of November, The Royal Shakespeare Company performed Redcrosse in magnificent Coventry Cathedral for the Cathedral’s 50th birthday. I wrote Redcrosse […]

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Redcrosse

England and St George!

On the evening of the 17th of November this year, the RSC will perform Redcrosse in Coventry Cathedral. Partly an original arts event, partly a groundbreaking religious service, Redcrosse evolves out of a project I led to evolve a new questing liturgy for England and St George. It was inspired by one of the great […]

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A shrew being tamed?

Shakespearience 5: We are Things among Things….

I’ve had the good fortune of being somewhat involved in the current RSC The Taming of the Shrew, directed by Lucy Bailey. In my programme note for the production, I’ve written especially about the bestial life and imagery of the play, which has come to seem to me to be epitomized by the pointy little […]

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Photo by chriscom

Shakespearience 4: Hamlet’s Depression

For this first Shakespearience blog of the new year, let’s turn to the most famous speech in all drama. You’ll know which one I mean: To be, or not to be – that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms […]

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Photo by ABJ73

Shakespearience 3: Helena’s Fantasies (Part Two)

Today I want to explore further that strange speech of Helena’s from All’s Well That Ends Well that I shared with you in my last post. You’ll recall that Paroles says of virginity,‘’tis a withered pear. Will you anything with it?’, to which Helena answers: Not my virginity yet— There shall your master have a […]

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Rosebud by Mexicamax http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=rosebuds&f=hp

Shakespearience 3: Helena’s Fantasies (Part 1)

I promised last time to discuss a female character’s fantasies, and the character I had in mind was Helena from All’s Well that Ends Well. In the curious first scene of that play, Paroles (a posturing soldier) asks her with a leer, ‘Are you meditating on virginity?’ Helena’s reply suggests a witty wench on the […]

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'Expectation whirls me round'

Shakespearience: Troilus’s Fantasies

It behoves me no doubt, after my last blog, to give an example of the way any moment in Shakespeare might open like a flower, calling for dedicated appreciation and attention, offering its own very singular pleasures. So let’s, please, look at one of Troilus’s speeches from Troilus and Cressida: I am giddy; expectation whirls […]

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Shakespearience: 'Where the bee sucks, there suck I'

Introducing…. Shakespearience

I’m currently finishing a big book, which is on the demonic in Shakespeare and other writers. But it’s always more fun to look forward to the next one, and I’m planning a new book called Shakespearience. It’ll be about the way Shakespeare’s writing bears on and indeed constitutes life. I want to get into the […]

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