Tag Archives: Judi Dench

Sonnet for Advent 6: Sonnet 26

Sonnet 26 is distinctive because it is addressed to the ‘Lord of my love’ to whom the poet feels subordinate. The sonnet is presented as a ‘written embassage’ and has the quality and tone of being like a letter in verse (reminiscent perhaps of Helen’s letter to the Countess in All’s Well That End’s Well […]

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Verse Speaking

How should actors speak the verse in Shakespeare’s plays? Are there any reliable rules for doing so? Do the forms in which the plays were first printed offer guidelines in their use of punctuation, capital letters, line division, and layout on the page?  Should actors stress the ti-tum ti-tum ti-tum ti-tum ti-tum rhythm of the […]

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Dame Judi Dench reads Sonnet 116

The first tweet I saw when I logged on this morning was that Dame Judi Dench, C.H. had just read a Shakespeare sonnet on the B.B.C. Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme. I’d missed it but wanted immediately to know which one she’d read. Her voice is exactly well suited to these poems: intimate, multi-textured, lyrical. Dame […]

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Shakespeare goes to L.A.

  I’m just back from the very enjoyable conference I wrote about in my last blog, ‘Where has all the Verse Gone? Shakespeare’s Poetry on the Page and on the Stage’, hosted by U.C.L.A. (13-14 May). There can be few events which are more deeply satisfying to an enquiring mind than a really good gathering […]

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The R.S.C. at Fifty

The editors of The Stage newspaper have asked me to write a piece commemorating fifty years of the RSC. This has made me delve into memories of more than half a century’s Stratford theatre-going. I came here first for a short holiday in 1954, when I saw four plays. My main memories are of Barbara […]

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Come on, Judi! Time for the Nurse!

I’ve been detailed to write about the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet so I’ve turned off my phone and won’t do a single tweet till I’ve done so. Who is she? Well, she started life some time around 1595 as a product of Shakespeare’s imagination sparked off by a long poem called The Tragical History […]

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