Monthly Archives: May 2014

Motley’s the only wear: Shakespeare and design

The name Motley will be familiar to anyone interested in twentieth-century theatre design, or in the history of Shakespeare on stage. This all-female group designed for straight plays, Broadway musicals, ballets, operas and even films over a period of forty … Continue reading

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Stratford’s Elizabethan wall-paintings

In 1927, during renovation work in a building in Stratford-upon-Avon, an important discovery was made. The White Swan Hotel was being modernised by the hotel group Trust Houses Limited, and workmen found evidence of surviving wall-paintings concealed behind panelling. Work … Continue reading

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Cycling in Shakespeare country

It’s  the bank holiday weekend, what used to be festival of Whitsun,  traditionally marked by fairs and pageants, what Shakespeare calls “Whitsun pastorals”. The first holiday of summer, all the celebrations are going to be out of doors. Morris dancing … Continue reading

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Celebrating Shakespeare and Purcell with the Orchestra of the Swan

Stratford-upon-Avon’s own chamber orchestra, the Orchestra of the Swan, is currently celebrating Shakespeare’s 450th anniversary by performing four concerts of music inspired by his work. The first concert, last Friday, included the lovely orchestral suite written by Henry Purcell for … Continue reading

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Congratulations to David Bradley!

It’s truly wonderful news that actor David Bradley has won a BAFTA after a forty-year career that has spanned theatre, TV and film. Not surprisingly, the award he won is Best Supporting Actor in the hit TV drama Broadchurch. David … Continue reading

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Thomas Nast’s The Immortal Light of Genius

Browsing Julia Thomas’s book Shakespeare’s Shrine recently, I came across a reference to a painting created at the height of Shakespeare worship. By Thomas Nast, it was entitled “The Immortal Light of Genius”, commissioned by the great actor Henry Irving … Continue reading

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Henry IV Part 1: relaying the live event

Earlier this week I attended the performance of Henry IV Part 1 performed at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, that was being simultaneously broadcast to cinemas around the UK, and is to be shown in schools, around the world and eventually … Continue reading

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Dylan Thomas’s centenary and Shakespeare

After Shakespeare, Dylan Thomas is said to be the most frequently quoted British poet, an extraordinary achievement for a man who died at the early age of 39. 2014 is the centenary of his birth, and although his actual birthday … Continue reading

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Penshurst, the Sidneys and rare Ben Jonson

  Next month, on 8 and 9 June 2014, a conference is to be held exploring the idea of connection between writing and location. Literary scholars and architectural historians will come together at Penshurst Place in Kent, the home of … Continue reading

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The Rape of Lucrece

Exactly 420 years ago, on 9 May 1594, Shakespeare’s long poem The Rape of Lucrece was registered before being published later that year. In the dedication to the poem he had written the year before, Venus and Adonis, Shakespeare sounds … Continue reading

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