Archive | October, 2012

How did they (rehearse) for Merry Wives of Windsor

    We know relatively little about rehearsal practice in Shakespeare’s theatre. The drawing of The Swan Theatre made by De Witt which I have show above tantalisingly shows no audience so one is tempted to imagine we see a dress rehearsal which De Witt was watching. However unfortunately historically speaking it is just as […]

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Robin Hood and Volatile Drama

I was pleased to welcome a former teacher of mine, Dr Martin Wiggins, to the Shakespeare Centre recently. He spoke about his new book, Drama and the Transfer of Power in Renaissance England. It’s an ingenious account of how drama was used at moments of regime change. The fruits of Martin’s characteristically deep research are […]

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Shakespeare’s Modern Sonnets

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a day’s symposium at the University of Roehampton on Shakespeare and the Contemporary Sonnet. There I met poet Philip Terry who has published his own adaptations and creative responses to Shakespeare’s Sonnets. He’s Director of Creative Writing for the University of Essex. Here he is reading three […]

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How did they (seat a king) in Richard II

Looking at this picture of Jonathan Slinger as Richard II  you are struck by the richness of the image with the stairs doubling as a throne for the king. As Richard’s status declined Jonathan took his seat further down the staircase. Then as now height symbolizes power and status so that the figure of the king could […]

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Shakespeare in South Florida – Part II

One of the most exciting Shakespeare events in the South Florida area occurred earlier this year with the presentation of Carson Kievman’s Hamlet opera at his Sobe Arts Studio on Miami Beach.  I had the privilege of speaking with Mr. Kievman to ask him a few questions about the production of Hamlet as well as […]

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Filming a Dream of 1959

As part of the first Shakespeare Film Festival here in Stratford-upon-Avon we had a special showing of Peter Hall’s 1959 A Midsummer Night’s Dream. A young Vanessa Redgrave can be seen as Helena, Robert Hardy is Oberon, Ian Holm is Puck… Charles Laughton, who plays Bottom, introduces the film with a four-minute tour of Stratford-upon-Avon. […]

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Year of Shakespeare: Pericles and Open Stages

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.   Pericles, Directed by James Farrell and Jamie Rocha-Allan for the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 5 October 2012. By José A. Pérez Díez Arguably, the main difference between […]

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Filming Shakespeare Webinar

We’ve been enjoying the first Shakespeare Film Festival here in Stratford-upon-Avon. It concludes on Sunday evening with a special showing of Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V at The Stratford Picture House. In part characterising the Film Festival have been the pre- and post-show talks by Shakespearians, film practioners, and experts. Join us for a free webinar, […]

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Where did they (perform) The Comedy of Errors

We have only two records of a performance of The Comedy of Errors during Shakespeare’s working life the first was at the Gray’s Inn a treat perhaps for the barristers there which formed part of their Christmas revels.  What is interesting is how this highlights the transferable nature of Shakespeare’s plays and how he wrote […]

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Olivier’s Othello

On Sunday evening, as part of the Shakespeare Film Festival, there was a special screening of Laurence Olivier’s Othello. Perhaps, like me, you’ve been a little put off this film because one of the first things that people say about it is ‘Olivier’s performance is too big for the screen.’ Having seen it, all I […]

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