Tag Archives: Hamlet

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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“To be or not to be”: Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet

So Benedict Cumberbatch, playing Hamlet in Lyndsey Turner’s production of the play at the Barbican Theatre in London, has bowed to pressure by moving “To be or not to be” from the beginning of the play to its usual place. … Continue reading

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Jumping through the hoop: Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet

By the time this post goes live, the latest production of Hamlet to be staged in London will have received its first two performances. I’m writing of course about Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet at the Barbican Theatre. It was to be … Continue reading

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Alas, poor Yorick: the spell of Hamlet

On 26 July 1602 Shakespeare’s play Hamlet was registered with the Stationers’ Company in London. It’s an important date, but has done little to settle the burning question of when Shakespeare’s most famous play was first written and first performed. … Continue reading

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Cakes, ale and hearing the chimes at midnight

Last weekend we remembered, again, the birthday of William Shakespeare. In Stratford tradition is important, so the boys of Shakespeare’s school still head the procession as they have done for over a century. The celebration is also a birthday party, … Continue reading

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Cross-gender casting for Hamlet and Henry IV

Gender issues in the performance of Shakespeare’s plays are being discussed in the press again with Maxine Peake playing Hamlet in a production at the Manchester Royal Exchange. Here is the review from the Observer by Susannah Clapp, and that … 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┬ádocumentary presented┬áby 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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Taking notes: Shakespeare and table-books

In the latest edition of Theatre Notebook, published by the Society for Theatre Research, June Schlueter* considers the connection between Hamlet’s “tables”, and the two exceedingly rare drawings that have come down to us showing us what the Elizabethan playhouse … Continue reading

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HyperHamlet

Hamlet has got to be the most frequently quoted or alluded to work of literature ever written. People may not even realise they are quoting from the play when they say “Neither a borrower or a lender be”, “more in … Continue reading

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Shakespeare, performance, emotion and memory

This week I have been attending the British Shakespeare Association’s conference at the University of Stirling. What follows is the text of my paper: The idea for my project Listening to the Audience began when, at an international Shakespeare conference … Continue reading

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