The Movie

bibiThey were making my children’s play into a movie.

Perhaps it was a slightly peculiar choice, but after all, what do I know?

Big production, too.

It was to be out next July.

Is July a good month for movies? No idea, really. Continue reading


Davide Mana’s Behind the Copper Mask


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Do you remember when I told you about my copper mask – oh well, the Chorus’ copper mask in Shakespeare in Words? And how my friend Davide – he of Karavansara – said there was a story in there, and he’d write it for Halloween?

Well, he’s done it.

Not that I’m terribly surprised, mind: the man has proved again and again that he can put together a good story by whatever deadline he gives himself – and so a Halloween story it was… Continue reading

Kickstarting Kidnapped

From the 1917 Moving Picture World Review – thank you, Fritzi!

Do you remember when we discussed Kidnapped films for the Swashaton? Do you remember how Fritzi Kramer of Movies Silently shared with me her research about the 1917 silent version – with Robert Cain wearing the silver buttons?

What I didn’t tell you back then, because it was a secret, is that there was a project behind Fritzi’s research… and now the moment has come to reveal it: Fritzi is crowdfunding a DVD release of the 1917 Kidnapped! Continue reading

The Odyssey of the Captain Fracasse


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Théophile Gautier first promised The Captain Fracasse to his readers in 1836, when he had yet to put pen to paper.

What he wanted to do, was a picaresque, baroque tale, in the way of Scarron and Scudery… only, he must not have wanted it too much, because in 1845, when he signed a publishing contract (and received a substantial advance), he forgot to mention that he still had to write a single word of the novel. Worse still, he kept procrastinating for years, while the publisher Buloz grew understandably nervous… Continue reading

Osborne Vs. Ravel


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A musical little post – and a slightly hasty one, because Shakespeare in Words with fire*- but really, read this wonderful article**: Steven Osborne tells of how he conquered Ravel‘s Gaspard de la Nuit.

Don’t you love it when a window opens on someone’s creative process? This is not just about music. It’s the journey of a (stellar) performer tackling the highest heighths of difficulty in his field – told with humour and passion. About a master wondering at great art and, in his own words, wrestling with it.

I hope you’ll find the read as delightful and inspiring as I did.


* Yes, well. I’ll tell you about it…

** Thanks for sharing, M.!Salva


Of History, Oil, and Serendipity


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Says Diana Gabaldon, in her introduction to P.F. Chisholm’s brilliant A Plague of Angels*:

One historical author of my acquaintance describes something she calls “historical serendipity.” This is the condition of knowing one’s period so well and so intimately that when one reaches a point in the story where it’s necessary to… (gasp) make something up, one’s fictional choices are not only historically plausible – but very often turn out to be the ex post facto honest-to-goodness truth, as well.

Did it ever happen to you? Continue reading

Oh my ears and whiskers…


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I’m late – sorry, sorry, sorry! It’s not that I forgot to post, but…

Frantic days, hectic week. We’re debuting Carlo Emilio Gadda’s Quer Pasticciaccio Brutto de Via Merulana (That Awful Mess on Via Merulana) on Saturday, and we have dress rehearsal in little more than an hour, and everything – but everything – has happened, ranging from the hilarious to the highly depressing, so much so that we weren’t even quite sure we could début at all until the other day, and is this ever a run-on sentence! Continue reading

Tumbleweeding at Shakespeare & Co.


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I’ve been thinking, it’s high time I went back to the Saturday Tidbits – as promised by the blackboard here on the left… so, here we go: a Saturday Tidbit.

Did you that know you can go to Paris and stay for free at Shakespeare and Company, the famous Rive Gauche bookshop, in exchange for a few hours of work and reading? Continue reading