I love Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great – and by that I mean the first of the two parts. It may be rougher around the edges than his later work, but it’s breathlessly fiery. With his blank iambic pentameter, with the historical subject-matter, and his unpunished bloodthirsty hero, the boy (all of twenty-three at the time) was breaking ground in many ways – and knew it well. Continue reading
And so the second run of our CC is nearing its end: four more nights now, and we’ll be done for the season.
And you know what? I’m going to miss it terribly. It’s been an intense and very successful affair, sold out from the beginning, with the box office besieged with calls well after all the seats were gone (why, one particular lady called last Saturday, during the show – begging for eight seats, no less…), ticket-less people turning up every night, queuing in hope of a last-minute seat, and a number of very good reviews… Continue reading
The second run of “my” A Christmas Carol” opens tonight – and let me boast a little: we’re sold out all the way to January. There is no way on earth to call it anything else than a huge hit, and I’m inordinately proud.
That said… Continue reading
I’ve always loved the idea of tableaux vivants. Enacting a painting, or a scene from a story – in one long frozen moment complete with props and costumes… Half theatre, half illustration. It appeals very much.
I remember reading Behind a Mask, one of Louisa May Alcott’s gothic stories, during a mostly sleepless overnight train ride… Continue reading
I think I told you in passing that I parted ways with the Squirrels… It happened earlier this year – around March, actually – and there were Reasons. It was a hard thing to do, after a decade with them, and a much longer time, if on and off, with Gemma the Director – but I had choices to make, and… Reasons.
It was a mostly civilised affair: I explained, and teared up a little, and they were mostly quite nice about it, and some of them actually teared up in turn. So I came away, and exchanged calls and emails with Gemma now and then, but never acted on the standing invitation to go and sit through rehearsal with them – because… well, I’d come away. I’d come away, and I had Reasons, and I didn’t want to tag along unofficially – much less to be dragged in again “just this once”… Continue reading
In 1859, as A Tale of Two Cities was being first serialized in weekly instalments in Dickens’ own magazine, All The Year Round, a play by Watts Phillips, called The Dead Heart, made its stage debut at the Adelphi, to much success.
Phillips, a novelist and playwright, had had little luck lately, because he insisted on writing serious, near-austere pieces that pleased the critics (and, apparently, the Queen) more than they did the melodrama-loving general public.
The Dead Heart, though, a stirring tale of the French Revolution, filled with thwarted love, howling injustice, epic struggles, evil abbés, heroic sacrifice, and so on, was a different matter – all the more so because very soon people started to notice the close resemblance between the play and that new novel by Mr. Dickens… Continue reading
And so, thanks to A Christmas Carol, I now have another backstage job to add to my theatre resumé.
Because yes, we debuted last Saturday, and it went enormously well, and we’re very nearly sold out until January, and have actual waiting lists… And usually, at this point, I’ve done what I had to do, and can sit back and enjoy the ride, right? Not so this time! Continue reading
So, my own Lunedì is right behind the corner…
The Lunedìs are this series of weekly staged readings centred around a theme – and last year we had Greek Tragedy. And we also had the members of a Psychoanalysis Club following the readings with some sort of analysis and debate. I know it sounds weird – but it worked really well: eager audiences loved the readings and then debated with gusto, and the house was beyond packed for six consecutive Mondays… Continue reading
The Maiden’s Holiday is a lost comedy, entered in the Stationers’ Register in the early 1650s as “written by Christopher Marlowe and John Day“. Since Day doesn’t appear to have been active as a playwright before 1599 – six years after Marlowe’s death – a later reworking seems far more likely than an actual collaboration, but we cannot tell for sure. The only known manuscript copy belonged to 18th Century antiquarian John Warburton’s collection, that went… er, lost. Continue reading
And so I learned that, while I’d always assumed that people walked to the Theatre via Bishopsgate, Bishopsgate Street and Shoreditch, this was not the case. Not that the Burbages wouldn’t have liked such a straightforward route to their playhouse – but there was opposition from the local landowners – particularly from the Earl of Rutland, who effectively blocked the easy access… Continue reading