Once upon a time, I contacted this American writer, asking about his play featuring Kit Marlowe – published but impossible to find. Because there was no answer, I tried with the publisher: was there any way to get in touch with the author, and/or acquire a copy of the play? Now, you see, I’d done it before – and usually authors are pleased to find someone interested enough in their work to seek them out. Why, I’ve e-met several wonderful people, that way… Continue reading
There is no doubt that, when it comes to researching historical novels, there is a Before the Internet and an After the Internet.
I daresay the same applies to a lot of fields – but let me stick to mine: I’m old enough to remember a time when, if you were Italian and wanted, say, to read Henslowe’s Diary, your best option was a trip of several hundred kilometers – to read the book in Bologna or Venice, supposing someone had told you that Nineteenth Century copies of JP Collier’s edited version were to be found there at all*… Continue reading
Some historical characters seem so very, very perfect for fictional treatments, don’t they? Whether they have lived enormously interesting lives, full of drama and colour, or we know tantalizingly little about them – just enough to make us want to fill the gaps – they practically beg to be written. 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