Monthly Archives: January 2013

Touring performances in Shakespeare’s town

It’s refreshing to be made to rethink something you have always accepted as fact, and J R Mulryne’s The Guild and Guild Buildings of Shakespeare’s Stratford challenges some of the received wisdom about these ancient buildings. This is true throughout … Continue reading

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Getting inventive in Shakespeare’s England

BBC 2 is currently screening a season, Genius of Invention, accompanied by a listing of 50 Great British Inventions. But although these include the obvious (steam and jet engine) and the quirky (soda water, baby buggy), not one of these … Continue reading

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Shakespeare’s school: new discoveries

This is the second post I’m writing about the new book, J R Mulryne’s The Guild and Guild Buildings of Shakespeare’s Stratford: Society, Religion, School and Stage, published by Ashgate. The first can be found here. The fame of this … Continue reading

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Announcing the future of the RSC: David Tennant, Hilary Mantel and costume

Wednesday morning was an important one for Shakespeare-lovers, with the new team at the RSC, Artistic Director Gregory Doran, Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman and Executive Director Catherine Mallyon setting out their plans. There’s a link to the main announcement here … Continue reading

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Stratford’s Guild: the background to Shakespeare’s town

Any guide to the town of Stratford-upon-Avon will mention the buildings of the Guild of the Holy Cross and their association with William Shakespeare and his family. For it was here Shakespeare almost certainly received his education and here he probably … Continue reading

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Speaking of comfort: theatre, Shakespeare and the audience experience

When you go to the theatre, do you have your favourite seat? Many of us have a preference, to sit upstairs, or to be down near the stage, at any rate. Back in Shakespeare’s theatres you would have been able … Continue reading

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Hilary Mantel and Shakespeare: two tales of Henry VIII

I’ve only just got round to reading Hilary Mantel’s 2009 novel Wolf Hall, the first of a trilogy (the third part still being written) about the life of Thomas Cromwell. Both Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring Up the Bodies … Continue reading

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Exit, pursued by a bear? Bear-baiting in Shakespeare’s London

On Sunday 13 January 1583 one of the bear-baiting arenas that had stood on the Thames’s south bank collapsed. Bear-baiting was a popular spectacle for all kinds of people: both Henry VIII and Elizabeth 1 enjoyed the “sport” in which … Continue reading

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Was 2012 Shakespeare’s year?

2012 was the  year of the World Shakespeare Festival, the biggest celebration of Shakespeare ever, when this early-modern writer was to be proclaimed a global superstar, as if he wasn’t already one of the most-recognised faces, and the most-performed playwright, … Continue reading

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Comic artists with a sense of Shakespeare’s poetry: Des Barrit and George R Weir

This week I finally caught up with the RSC’s joyful production of The Merry Wives of Windsor. It was the company’s grown-up Christmas extravaganza and if you have the chance, there are still a couple of performances which are guaranteed … Continue reading

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