Shakespeare and freedom at the SQ


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And then there is the Shakespeare Quarterly, the Folger Library’s journal – that has a double life, as a physical publication and as its web version. No need to stress that the SQ is always full of interesting essays, articles, insights, interviews, and is a great way to have to pulse of ongoing Shakespearean research.

Have a look, for instance, at this conversation with Ewan Fernie and Paul Kottman about freedom: Shakespeare and freedom, freedom in Shakespeare’s works, freedom and Shakespearean studies – together with a good hint at the always interesting question of how, apparently, no time can help the temptation of building its own Shakespeare.

Well worth a look – and an exploration of the good amounts of SQ material available online.





The thing with tenors


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I’ve had for years No Tenors Allowed, this lovely CD of opera duets for bass and baritone, with Thomas Hampson and Samuel Ramey singing a variety of pieces, from comic to dramatic to downright tragic – and clearly having great fun with the whole thing.

I love it to bits – but then again, not only Hampson and Ramey are two of my favourite opera singers ever, but I have always had a soft spot for bass and baritone voices – and characters. Continue reading

A Play – Hatching


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Here we go: the School Play – now officially titled Faults of the Fathers, will go onstage in a couple of weeks, and we are hard at work on it. Yesterday afternoon, as I arrived at the Tiny Theatre for rehearsals, I met a friend and colleague at the door.

“How’s it going?” he asked – and I said it’s going the right kind of dreadfully for two-weeks-from-curtain-up, which is frightening to the students but quite typical, and quite true.

And last night’s rehearsals were a perfect illustration of what I mean. Let’s see… Continue reading

Marlowe Bibliography Online


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Exactly what it says on the tin.

Described as

an initiative of the Marlowe Society of America and the University of Melbourne. Its purpose is to facilitate scholarship on the works of Christopher Marlowe by providing a searchable annotated bibliography of relevant scholarship…

Continue reading

Alexandros, after all


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I’ve been musing on first favourite poems – and, after some consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that my first favourite poem must have been Giovanni Pascoli’s Alexandros. Which is a tad strange because, as a rule, I don’t enormously like Pascoli – a late 19th/early 20th century Italian poet with a rather pathetic vein, only saved, in my admittedly biased view, by a keen interest in history.

Narrative poems, you know. Stories – the usual obsession. Continue reading

Screen, Stage, Page


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It doesn’t qualify as something new – not by any stretch of the imagination – but I’ve enrolled in a MOOC with the University of East Anglia, called Introduction to Screenwriting.

“Were you getting bored?” my friend Mita asked, the tiniest tad sarcastically… And of course not, but it’s a two-week course, small enough to fit into a hectic-ish schedule, right before the school-play-madness begins… And, what’s more, Week One so far is proving full of food for thought. Continue reading

It’s got Rhythm…


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I haven’t posted Saturday tidbits in a while – and I really want to go back to doing it… I know it’s not the first time I make this particular resolution, but let’s try again, and see how it goes this time.

I’ll begin again by pointing you to a lovely post on Emma Darwin’s blog, This Itch of Writing. It is about the importance of rhythm in writing, and how there is no one set way to do it. Continue reading

Hunting for a lost story


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I have this memory of reading, decades ago, a story about a boy player named Tom – apprenticed to some member of the Chamberlain’s Men…

Or, well: I’m assuming it was the Chamberlain’s Men, but I do now, because I know that’s the company Shakespeare wrote for. I don’t remember whether Tom played any specific role – but he made Will mad by going and buying some unauthorised, pirated quarto of… Romeo and Juliet, perhaps? And I remember poor, mortified Tom’s master (Pope? Heminges?) saying that Will was not really mad at the boy, but at the unscrupulous printers. Continue reading