Category Archives: Shakespeare on Stage

2018: The Year of Macbeth

Macbeth is known as Shakespeare’s unluckiest play. For generations it has been referred to by the superstitious as “The Scottish Play” because even speaking its name inside the theatre could bring down disaster. There are many stories of accidents and … Continue reading

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Remembering John Barton, teacher and mentor

In the days since his death on 18 January 2018, tributes have flooded in for theatre director John Barton. He was invited to help form the RSC by Peter Hall in the early sixties and both were hugely influential. While … Continue reading

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International Migrants Day: Ira Aldridge and theatre

18 December is International Migrants Day, when the courage and contribution of migrants and refugees around the world is especially celebrated. In the play Sir Thomas More, Shakespeare wrote persuasively about the plight of people fleeing their own countries: he … Continue reading

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David Garrick at 300

Events to mark the 300th anniversary of David Garrick’s birth have been taking place all year. Born in 1717, Garrick burst onto the London stage in 1841 in the role of Richard III. The Museum of London has held an … Continue reading

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Shakespeare in Soviet Russia

On 25 October 1917 (following the Julian calendar, 7 November on the Gregorian Calendar), the Bolsheviks took over Petrograd. The following day they took the Winter Palace and with it control of Russia. Thus began the Russian Revolution, one of … Continue reading

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Theatregoing with Luke McKernan

Following on from my post about the MOOC that began 23 October 2017, I’ve only just discovered a relatively new site that reproduces lots of material relating to going to the theatre, put together by the British Library’s prolific Lead … Continue reading

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Shakespeare: Print and Performance

For many years, even centuries, there was a huge divide between Shakespeare’s plays as they were performed and how they appeared in print. Scholars wrestled with the numerous different editions of the plays issued in the early modern period, trying … 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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Peter Hall and Shakespeare

On 15 September 2017 theatres in the West End of London and on Broadway will dim their lights in memory of Sir Peter Hall whose death, aged 86, was announced on 12 September. This has become a recognised tribute to … Continue reading

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Shakespeare’s Cleopatra

I recently attended a performance of Antony and Cleopatra at the RSC. Watching Josette Simon playing the Queen of Egypt, I couldn’t help thinking of others I’ve seen in the part, and wondering why it’s such a difficult one. Surely … Continue reading

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