Yet a While – or, Kit Marlowe’s Art of Fear

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I think it’s safe to assume that we’ve all begged for one more minute as children: one more minute of play before bedtime, before going to do our homework, before  being given an injection… As though that “one more minute” might somehow change things…

As we grow up, it takes small, everyday forms – such as the “snooze” button of the alarm clock, or lingering a little over a coffee break before that unpleasant meeting, or procrastination in general. Or else, in really bad moments, we revert to that kind of panicked, irrational craving for “one more minute”, just to stave off the bad things a little longer, to keep them away – no matter how little – to not have them happen just yet. Continue reading

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What Ought to be Truth

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I’ve always loved to bits this line of Blanche’s from A Streetcar Named Desire:

I don’t want realism. I want magic. Yes, yes – magic. I try to give that to people. I do misrepresent things. I don’t tell truth. I tell what ought to be truth.”

Truth, reality, misrepresentation, what ought to be truth… Are we all Blanche, in some way or other, when we tell stories? One of these days I’m going to have a pendant made with this line on it.

The Way of the Light-Board

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It’s taken me a surprisingly long time to become aware of the kind of image you see here on the right. I mean, now that I know, I’m finding that the Internet is a-swarm with them – especially Pinterest, where I spend far more time than is good for me…  You type “backstage” or “theatre” or anything remotely related, and up they crop by the dozen.

So far, I’ve discovered two kinds of them: the peacock preening in front of a colourful background, for actors’ problems, quirk, and general lore; a badger against a black and gray background is for the backstage crew. Fitting, isn’t it?* Continue reading

On the Pointlessness of Losing One’s Temper

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So… the day after tomorrow we go onstage.

The School Play, I mean. In theory, we should be doing last-minute tweaks, fine-tuning… In theory all should be well and as good as ready. In theory it should be time of a tech rehearsal, dress rehearsal, and then curtain-up…

Except, well – you know… theatre. Continue reading

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