Category Archives: Plays and Poems

Donmar’s all-female Shakespeare Trilogy comes to TV

I’ve written a number of blog posts, over several years, about Phyllida Lloyd’s all-female Shakespeare trilogy that began at the Donmar Warehouse theatre in London. One’s here, and here’s another. It wasn’t an obvious trilogy, starting with Julius Caesar, then … Continue reading

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Rehabilitating Shakespeare’s “she-wolf of France”, Margaret of Anjou

  For many years attempts have been made to establish that Richard III was not the out and out villain that Shakespeare presents to us, a difficult task since Richard III is one of his most compelling characters in a … Continue reading

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Anthony Hopkins’ King Lear

The Shakespeare event of the Bank Holiday weekend is the new version of King Lear to be screened by BBC2 on Monday 28 May 2018. And hopefully people won’t be too tired after a day having fun to tune in, … Continue reading

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Hamlets onstage then and now

This week David Ricardo-Pearce has joined the mighty list of actors who have taken on Shakespeare’s most famous part, Hamlet. Until 10 March 2018 he’s playing the role at the Octagon Theatre in Bolton where they are celebrating the fiftieth … Continue reading

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A German Hamlet: Fratricide Punished

There are many unanswered questions regarding Shakespeare’s plays, many of which relate to Hamlet, Shakespeare’s best-known play. The German Der Bestrafte Brudemord, known in English as Fratricide Punished, is one of the earliest known versions of Hamlet in a foreign … Continue reading

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Directing Shakespeare

With the sudden death of Michael Bogdanov this week theatre directors and their importance in the staging of Shakespeare’s plays have been on my mind in the build up to Shakespeare’s birthday. Shakespeare was the first director of his own … Continue reading

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Shakespeare and the White House

President Obama is about to hand over to the incoming President Trump, and in the last few days an interview with Obama about the books that are important to him has been published in the New York Times. One of … Continue reading

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The making of the First Folio

I wrote a week or so ago about Emma Smith’s new book The Making of Shakespeare’s First Folio, published by Bodleian Library Publishing, and the stories relating to the Bodleian Library’s own copy. One of the books I inherited from … Continue reading

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Pumpkins and cabbages: vegetables in Shakespeare’s Windsor

At the end of the growing season the shops are full of produce, with onions, pumpkins and other vegetables in store for the winter. As the harvest hymn has it, “all is safely gathered in /ere the winter storms begin”. … Continue reading

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Remembering the Battle of Agincourt

The 600th anniversary of one of the most famous British military victories is being celebrated this month. The actual date is the 25th October 1415, the event the Battle of Agincourt when Henry V, with an outnumbered and outclassed army, … Continue reading

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