Tag Archives: Cleopatra

Stratford’s First Black Cleopatra

To mark National Poetry Day, I’m pleased to post ‘Stratford’s First Black Cleopatra’, a poem by Native American poet, Jessica Mehta. Jessica was the Poet in Residence with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust as part of the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival in June. Her residency was a collaboration with the Hosking Houses Trust. Her poem was inspired […]

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Tragedie of Cleopatra – The Premiere?

On Sunday, 3rd March, University College London’s Centre for Early Modern Exchanges will be presenting a performance of  Samuel Daniel’s Cleopatra at the Great Hall of Goodenough College. This may well be the first such staging of Daniel’s play in four hundred years and certainly the first in modern times. Published in 1594, Daniel’s tragedy […]

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Sonnets for Advent 15: Sonnet 57

Somehow it’s easy to imagine this sonnet being spoken by Kate in The Taming of the Shrew or by Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing; its tone is playfully sarcastic. Moreover, Sonnet 57 is overridingly dramatic (rather than lyrical) which makes it richly suggestive of a character and situation from one of the plays. But […]

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Dame Edith Evans: A Rare Shakespearian Beauty

One of the exhibits in our recent ‘Shakespeare’s Women in Performance’ exhibition was a portrait of Dame Edith Evans, about whom I recently wrote an article for The Stage in their series about the Greatest Stage Actors. As that newspaper is mainly read by members of the theatrical, profession, I thought it might be appropriate […]

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The barge she sat in…

One of the things which I find most interesting about Shakespeare is the way in which he adapted historical and literary sources to inform his own works. Because the idea of intellectual ownership was so different in Shakespeare’s day he makes no effort to conceal the borrowings he makes. Most of Shakespeare’s plays have some […]

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Shakespeare’s Women

From the young and in love, to the old and wise, from the worryingly cranky to the grounded and gritty, Shakespeare’s women come in a wonderful variety. Asked to pick your favorite who would you choose?  Would you choose the witty if wary Beatrice? Or the young and tragic Juliet? Or perhaps one of the […]

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A little of the Green Eyed Monster

Tis the season to be merry – or so they say. But in fact of course Christmas is a time fraught with familial and other social pressures. When it is all too easy to compare oneself with others. So this week I thought I would share with you one of my favourite moments from Shakespeare’s […]

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“Let me play the lion too”

Yesterday I had an interesting chat with my colleague Paul about which actors we would like to see play Richard II. The jury is still out on that one – but it led me to think about the power of personality, and the part played by a performer’s persona in shaping the presentation of a […]

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“Exit, pursued by a bear”

What do you see in your mind’s eye when you read the following stage directions from Shakespeare’s plays? • Thunder and lightning. Enter three witches. (‘Macbeth’) • Enter [Bottom] with the ass-head (’A Midsummer Night’s Dream’) • Enter Titus like a cook, placing the dishes (‘Titus Andronicus’) • Enter the Ghost (‘Hamlet’) • They heave […]

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