Archive | May, 2013

Jubilee Fund!

Sixty years ago on Sunday 2 June ago millions of people around the world felt connected to the coronation of Elizabeth II. That same day the news broke that Mount Everest had been conquered. This weekend seems like a good opportunity to remind people about The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Jubilee Education Fund. It was established […]

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All Roads Lead to Shakespeare

Shakespeare has been a source of creative inspiration for many aspiring writers, who may only hope to achieve a fraction of the timeless appeal that his works have consistently held from the Elizabethan age to the present.  My most recent post for Blogging Shakespeare focused on how Shakespeare’s writing influenced that of J.R.R. Tolkien, a […]

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Richard Wagner: The 200th birthday of a Shakespearian composer

Today, 22 May 2013, we celebrate the 200th birthday of one of the most iconic, controversial, and astonishingly original artists of all times: Richard Wagner (1813-1883). The eminent British musicologist Deryck Cooke declared that Wagner’s epic cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) is the most ambitious work of art ever produced […]

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Shakespeare and All Those ‘Big’ Questions: Introducing the Shakespeare and . . . project

Speaking after the bombings that took place at the Boston marathon, President Obama stated his determination to ‘get to the bottom’ of the atrocity and promised that those found to be responsible would ‘feel the full weight of justice’. The word ‘justice’ resounded each time I heard the sound bite in the days that followed; […]

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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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Reviewing Shakespeare Webinar

On Monday this week, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust hosted a webinar, ‘Reviewing Shakespeare’, an in-depth discussion I had with Dr Paul Prescott (University of Warwick) about how and why we review Shakespearian productions. What makes a good theatre review? Do we dare to ‘speak what we feel not what we ought to say’? (King Lear, […]

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A Special Tagore Anniversary

We are pleased to post the following by Tagore specialist Obhi Chatterjee: 7 May was the 152nd anniversary of the birth of the Bengali creative genius and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore. This year is also the centenary of Tagore winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. We celebrated the occasion at Shakespeare’s Birthplace on Saturday afternoon, two […]

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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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Ten Reasons to get excited about The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe

In January of 2014, Shakespeare’s Globe will be moving indoors. The much anticipated Sam Wanamaker Playhouse will open with a season of early modern plays. But why should anyone be interested in this new theatre when the great Globe itself has been the main attraction of the Bankside complex for the last 15 years? 1. […]

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“He cannot by the duello avoid it!”

Most of Shakespeare’s aristocratic patrons would be intimately familiar with the arts of swordplay. Furthermore, Shakespeare as a trained actor would have studied fighting accurately to replicate it onstage. This is why Shakespeare takes many opportunities to mention duelling culture in his plays, especially within the comedies.  Shakespeare uses duel references to comic effect in […]

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