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Gyula Shakespeare Festival, Hungary

Shakespeare in Gyula

While my colleagues of the Shakespeare on the Road venture are hurtling round a series of Shakespeare festivals in the New World – I hope to join them on the Canadian leg of their journey – I had the pleasure of attending a festival in the historic and delightful town of Gyula, in Southern Hungary. […]

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Photo: Christoph Muller

Hamlet through Hoops?

Hamlet, Max Beerbohm famously wrote, is ‘a hoop through which every very eminent actor must, sooner or later, jump.’ By the same token King Lear is a mountain up which every very eminent actor must, sooner or later, climb. Many have made the ascent in recent years – Greg Hicks and Ian McKellen for the […]

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Photo by Christopher Mueller

Verse Speaking

How should actors speak the verse in Shakespeare’s plays? Are there any reliable rules for doing so? Do the forms in which the plays were first printed offer guidelines in their use of punctuation, capital letters, line division, and layout on the page?  Should actors stress the ti-tum ti-tum ti-tum ti-tum ti-tum rhythm of the […]

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See also www.shakespearebitesback.com

Beyond Doubt For All Time

Paul Edmondson and I were interested to read Diana Price’s courteous response to my blog about her book Shakespeare’s Unorthodox Biography. Here are some comments. She writes that I do not ‘directly confront’ what she calls her ‘single strongest argument … the comparative analysis of documentary evidence supporting the biographies of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.’ […]

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Shakespeare's Monument in Holy Trinity Church

An Unorthodox and Non-definitive Biography

Publication of Shakespeare Beyond Doubt, the volume of essays attempting to lay to rest doubts about the authorship of Shakespeare’s works which I co-edited with Paul Edmondson, has involved me in a number of open discussions, some of them along with people who take the opposite point of view. At the Stratford Literary Festival, and […]

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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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Photo by Christopher Mueller

The Stage and The Scholars

One day in 1950 when I was an undergraduate in London I told my tutor, an immensely distinguished literary critic, that I was going to see Michael Redgrave play Hamlet that evening. ‘O’, she replied. ‘I should like to see Hamlet. One day.’ Whether she ever did I don’t know. But her attitude was typical […]

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Professor Ton Hoensalaars, University of Utrecht

Shakespeare Goes to Utrecht

A visit to the Netherlands this week gave me the opportunity to see something of the significance of Shakespeare in a European context. The occasion was the Inaugural Lecture at the University of Utrecht of Dr Ton Hoenselaars, who is an authority especially on the European reception of Shakespeare. He studied for his Ph.D. here […]

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Photo by bachtrack.com

Year of Shakespeare: Verdi’s Otello

This post is part of Year of Shakespeare, a project documenting the World Shakespeare Festival, the greatest celebration of Shakespeare the world has ever seen.   For me, the grand climax of the Year of Shakespeare came with a revival at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, of Elijah Moshinsky’s production of Verdi’s Otellowhich was first […]

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