Category Archives: Sources

Shakespeare and the Greeks

Every few years the tragedies of ancient Greece seem to come back into fashion, and just now, in 2015, several theatres are staging revivals or adaptations of these powerful ancient plays. On 24 March the Almeida’s new season goes on … Continue reading

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Richard III’s final journey

It’s almost two years since it was announced live on national TV that the skeleton discovered under a car park in Leicester was indeed that of King Richard III, killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. I watched the … Continue reading

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Witchcraft on page and stage

The Royal Shakespeare Company is currently staging the multi-authored play The Witch of Edmonton, first performed in 1621. It’s easy to see how attractive the play is since its subject relates so closely to Macbeth. In Shakespeare’s play the weird … Continue reading

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Printing and publishing in Shakespeare’s world

A couple of weeks go I heard an interview with an author who had tracked down the people who had pre-owned some of his books. It sparked a discussion about writing in books, from a simple signature of ownership, to … Continue reading

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Hugh Quarshie: Othello at last

In 2015 Hugh Quarshie will at last be taking on the role of Othello. It’s been a long wait: having played a whole series of Shakespeare’s characters in the 1980s and 1990s, from the predictable Aaron in Titus Andronicus, through … Continue reading

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The Secret Life of Shakespeare’s First Folio

Shakespeare’s First Folio is back in the news again, with a documentary presented by actor Simon Russell Beale having been broadcast on 9 September. It’s part of the series The Secret Life of Books, a fascinating look at the process of creative … Continue reading

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Thomas Wyatt, Hilary Mantel, and the art of poetry

Hilary Mantel’s novel Bring Up the Bodies documents the life of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s chief minister. History has judged Cromwell harshly for ruthlessly masterminding the downfall of Anne Boleyn, but without backing away from this, she makes him a … Continue reading

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Romeo and Juliet’s balcony scene

Over the past few weeks a lively discussion has been going on at the Shakespeare noticeboard SHAKSPER under the title “Balcony”. The so-called balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet is probably Shakespeare’s most famous single scene, and no wonder as … Continue reading

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Fact or fiction: Shakespeare at Charlecote

There are many legends about Shakespeare’s life, but none is more compelling than that linking him with Charlecote Park, near Stratford-upon-Avon. Local historian Dr Robert Bearman has just sent me details of a new publication that relates to it: Anyone … Continue reading

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Theatre, democracy and Shakespeare

Dr Michael Scott’s BBC4 series Ancient Greece: the Greatest Show on Earth, looking at theatre in the classical world, has reached the Roman period. This is only available to download until 27 February, though you will then have a few weeks … Continue reading

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