Archive | September, 2010

Stanley Wells’ Ten Greatest Actors

The Stage asked me, along with quite a few others, to nominate my Ten Greatest Actors. Actually I thought they meant the ten greatest Shakespeare actors, but as someone (can you remind me who?) once said something to the effect that ‘he is greatest who is great in the highest reaches of his art’, it […]

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Writing like a woman

Last week I wrote a post on whether men and women read differently. But what about the question of whether they write differently? This has been debated hotly in the press – check out these two articles “why men can’t write for toffee” and “can a man create women?” This debate quickly raises questions about […]

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“…Dukedom large enough.”

Of those who would deign to read this blog, many, I think, would agree with Prospero that at times in our lives a library is a “[d]ukedom large enough”. I know I do. That is why I was so delighted to be given the opportunity to take a research trip over these past few weeks […]

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Shakespeare’s women – Titania by Stanley Wells

This post is part of our Shakespeare’s Women series in parternship with the collections team over at Finding Shakespeare. On flickr we have created a collection portraying these wonderful ladies. How do you think of Titania? Oddly enough one of the first things to come into my mind is an operatic aria, one you don’t hear much […]

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“Banish plump Jack, and banish all the world”

Over in Boston right now The Actors’ Shakespeare Project theatre company is putting the final touches to its new production of ‘Henry IV’ parts 1 and 2 – watch the trailer above for a taste of what’s to come. To help contextualize the goings-on in these plays for its audience the company has sensibly decided […]

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One story, two readers

These two students are reading the same text, but are they interpreting it in the same way? Shakespeare is often praised as someone who appeals to both sexes, someone whose writing is universal able to cut across the barriers of historical time, sex and gender. Although Shakespeare clearly appeals to both man and women the […]

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Shakespeare for Boys

We were delighted to see one of our tried-and-true children’s titles make a cameo appearance on the BBC last Thursday. In the second episode of the three-part BBC series ‘Gareth Malone’s Extraordinary School for Boys,’ a class of boys were given the chance to choose any book to take home to read. One boy, Ross, […]

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Come on, Judi! Time for the Nurse!

I’ve been detailed to write about the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet so I’ve turned off my phone and won’t do a single tweet till I’ve done so. Who is she? Well, she started life some time around 1595 as a product of Shakespeare’s imagination sparked off by a long poem called The Tragical History […]

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“Exit, pursued by a bear”

What do you see in your mind’s eye when you read the following stage directions from Shakespeare’s plays? • Thunder and lightning. Enter three witches. (‘Macbeth’) • Enter [Bottom] with the ass-head (’A Midsummer Night’s Dream’) • Enter Titus like a cook, placing the dishes (‘Titus Andronicus’) • Enter the Ghost (‘Hamlet’) • They heave […]

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Shakespearian Popery?

The Pope’s visit to England makes this seem a suitable time to look again at the old question about whether Shakespeare’s father John Shakespeare was a Roman Catholic. If the Pope of his day had sailed up the Thames to meet the Queen (prior to her excommunication in 1570, when she became fair game for […]

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