Tag Archives: Frank Benson

Shakespeare, theatre, and the Great War

Over the past few weeks we have been remembering the battle of the Somme that began on 1 July 1916 and continued for five long and bloody months. On the first day alone 19,240 men lost their lives. Even before … Continue reading

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Shakespeare’s “Play for the nation”

I’ve recently been to the RSC’s new A Midsummer Night’s Dream, subtitled A Play for the Nation. After its initial performances, it’s going on tour to 11 towns and cities around the country. In each place the 18-strong professional cast … Continue reading

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Arms and armour on the stage

It’s rare for those who work behind the scenes in any entertainment industry to receive any attention from the media, so it was a great pleasure to hear Kirsty Lang’s feature on Alan Smith, the RSC’s Head of Armoury, on … Continue reading

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The divine Sarah Bernhardt’s Hamlet

On Radio 4 Francine Stock is currently investigating the concept of charisma. This week in Pinning down the Butterfly: the It Factor, she looked at an actress whose fame spread across Europe and North America, the divine Sarah Bernhardt. Bernhardt … Continue reading

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Stratford, the Shakespeare Revival and World War 1

I have on my shelves a book entitled The Shakespeare Revival: the Stratford-upon-Avon Movement, probably acquired by my father in a second-hand shop years ago.  It’s always puzzled me. The book was published in 1911, and seems to expect the … Continue reading

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Shakespeare and the Warwick Pageant

I’ve recently listened to an illustrated podcast of a talk given by Professor Michael Dobson in September 2012 at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford, entitled  A boy from Stratford 1769-1916, freely available on the Backdoor Broadcasting site. The lecture was … Continue reading

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Shakespeare and Stratford in World War 1

The outbreak of the First World War in late summer 1914 generated a huge recruiting campaign all round the country. In Stratford, where the summer Festival was taking place, a special performance of Henry V was mounted at the end … Continue reading

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The end of a tradition: Charlecote’s deer and Nigel Playfair’s As You Like It

As You Like It was in the very first season of plays performed at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in April-May 1879. With its references to the Forest of Arden the gently romantic comedy was bound to please. The other Shakespeares … Continue reading

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Anticipating Richard II

There are now less than two weeks to go until the RSC’s most-hyped production of the last few years, Richard II, has its first performance. With David Tennant playing the leading role, all the Stratford performances were sold out months … Continue reading

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Playing Shakespeare’s and Ibsen’s heroines: the career of Janet Achurch

After Shakespeare’s, Henrik Ibsen’s plays are the most-performed dramas ever written. They were immediately popular and were produced around the world even during his lifetime. Set in his native Norway, the plays explored what lay behind the strict moral regime … Continue reading

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