Monthly Archives: October 2012

Shakespeare and Hallowe’en: not just Macbeth

The Elizabethan and Jacobeans had superstitions covering almost every area of life. Supernatural explanations for natural phenomena were widely accepted: the appearance of a comet in 1577 caused¬†public alarm, and even historian John Stow believed the story that the striking … Continue reading

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When Hollywood came to Stratford: Claire Luce’s Cleopatra

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about Lionel Bradley, an ordinary man who lived through the second world war in London, recording his thoughts about not the blitz but the concerts which he and other Londoners attended: a … Continue reading

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Shakespeare and our restless world

In 2010 the British Museum collaborated with the BBC to create The History of the World in 100 Objects, radio broadcasts linked with a website and book of the same name. It focused on items from the Museum’s collection ranging … Continue reading

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Linking Shakespeare’s Theatre and his Church: Bensonian actor Frank Rodney

When I wrote my piece about the Benson memorial windows in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, I received a comment about the memorial to Bensonian actor Frank Rodney that stands in Holy Trinity Church. Stratford’s Church probably contains more memorials to … Continue reading

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Macbeth from stage to film

Macbeth is one of the most-filmed of Shakespeare’s plays, and no wonder. According to¬† Daniel Rosenthal in his book Shakespeare on Screen, “From its supernatural opening to its gruesome climax, Macbeth is the Shakespeare play that reads most like a … Continue reading

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“Trivial fond records” of wartime performance

Regular readers will know of my interest in the history of Shakespeare on stage, in particular the ways in which productions have been recorded. Many members of the audience choose to keep autographed programmes, posters or even their tickets, but … Continue reading

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Shakespeare’s rhyming couplets

We all know that in order to get to grips with Shakespeare’s writing, you have to understand blank verse, most crucially the unrhymed iambic pentameter. Students often struggle with the theory, though in practice it’s not so tough: one of … Continue reading

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Black History Month: telling the story of Ira Aldridge, the African Roscius

Until only a few years ago the nineteenth-century actor Ira Aldridge was a little-known curiosity in the long history of the theatre. He was the first (probably the only) “gentleman of colour” of any note to appear on the English … Continue reading

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Fairs, pedlars, and Shakespeare’s Stratford

October is fair-time in Stratford-upon-Avon and the surrounding towns as the travelling rides, the prize stalls and the hot dog stands fill the town’s streets. The traditional pig roast is still part of the Mop fair as is the fortune-teller’s … Continue reading

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New online resources for Shakespeare

I’ve written before about the many great online resources that exist for those interested in Shakespeare in performance on stage and screen, but just recently several new ones have been launched specially for teachers. One of the best of the … Continue reading

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