Tag Archives: Laurence Olivier

Remembering Vivien Leigh on World Bipolar Day

In 1955, sixty-three years ago, Stratford-upon-Avon experienced its most glamorous season of Shakespeare. Laurence Olivier and his wife Vivien Leigh, the golden couple of stage and screen, performed in three plays at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre: Twelfth Night (Malvolio and … Continue reading

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Speaking Shakespeare in 2018

The speaker at a recent meeting of the Shakespeare Club in Stratford-upon-Avon was actor Robert Lister. Never heard of him? Well Robert wouldn’t be hurt or surprised. He described himself as an “engine room actor” and in his talk, entitled … Continue reading

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Post-war British theatre: Finlay, Gaskill and British Black and Asian Shakespeare

Almost swamped by the understandable outpouring of tributes for the late Sir Terry Wogan, the death of the fine actor Frank Finlay at 89 has passed with little attention this week. Most people remember Finlay for his screen and TV … 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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Vivien Leigh, Shakespeare’s lass unparalleled

In the theatre gardens in Stratford-upon-Avon is a silver birch tree planted in memory of Vivien Leigh, one of several dedicated to people who have worked at the theatres. At its base is a stone tablet, with her dates of birth … Continue reading

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Shakespearean acting: achieving greatness

Four hundred years on, Shakespeare has lost none of his appeal for actors and directors, with Tom Hiddleston recently winning the Evening Standard Best Actor award for his charismatic portrayal of Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse in London. Only 33, … Continue reading

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Remembering Sir Laurence Olivier

Friday 11 July 2014 is the 25th anniversary of Laurence Olivier’s death in 1989. By chance I was in the RST that evening and before the performance artistic director Terry Hands delivered an onstage tribute to Olivier. At the end … Continue reading

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Falstaff and the loss of Merrie England

This week Sir Antony Sher takes on the role of one of Shakespeare’s most famous characters, Sir John Falstaff, in the first of the Henry IV plays, for the RSC. It’s a role that has attracted many of the greatest … Continue reading

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Slaughter in the streets: Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus

This post was always going to be about Titus Andronicus. But it was going to be about the designs for the 1955 Shakespeare Memorial Theatre production of the play, put on at a time when it was thought to be … Continue reading

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The curse of Macbeth strikes again

Poor Jonathan Slinger, the RSC’s current Macbeth, seems to be the latest casualty of the so-called “curse of Macbeth”. He didn’t acquire his broken arm during any of his dangerous onstage moves but, rather prosaically, by being knocked off his … Continue reading

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