Oh, but I would have dearly loved to be in London last Thursday, and to attend A Tale of Two Roses, Frank Whately’s talk about the Rose Playhouse, Ned Alleyn and Christopher Marlowe… Continue reading
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
We’ve finished reading Sheridan’s The Critic with Il Palcoscenico di Carta, the other day. It’s been a good reading, with several new faces, a lot of enthusiasm and quite a few good laughs.
Also, among the new faces, we’ve had a… rather peculiar character.
Let me begin with the beginning – the very first reading, indeed. We were happily Sheridaning away, when I heard a strange squeaking sound coming from my right… I couldn’t tell what produced it, and was rather busy with the reading anyway. The bookshop people carting books around on something with squeaky wheels, I decided – and wouldn’t have given it a second thought – except it happened again. And again. And again. And not only there was nary a cart in sight – squeaky or otherwise – but the more it happened, the more it sounded like… mewling. Continue reading
I’ve always found the idea rather sad: commissioning a portrait, getting a wonder made by the right painter, having it admired and treasured through the centuries, ending in some world-renown gallery… as a masterpiece of the author – with the sitter unknown, and not terribly important, either.
Well, do you know what the saddest portrait of unknown is to me? Not a painting, but a word-portrait: the Fair Youth of the Sonnets… Continue reading
So on New Year’s Eve Canterville went very well – or so I believe, because I spent a good chunk of it in the green room, discussing Emma Rice’s tenure at the Globe with Nina and her husband… From there we could hear the audience laughing heartily through the intercom, though, and there were no funny stories afterwards, so I’m pretty sure that all went well… Continue reading
I emerged from my Reading Days last night, for a trip to town to see The Man Who Invented Christmas – and, unlike the rest of my party, quite loved it.
I admit I’d been wondering a little as I watched: the film is as lovely as a vintage illustration or a Christmas card, and Dan Stevens is vividly endearing as the overimaginative, struggling, high-strung writer – but there are two aspects of the writing that, while very, very appealing to me, are perhaps not made to click with an Italian audience… Continue reading
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
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
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
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.!