Tag Archives: performance

“A feast of languages”

I’ve just waved goodbye to a remarkable group of people.  It is often said that Shakespeare can bring people together – and that has certainly been the case in Stratford over the last week. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of The English Speaking Union (www.esu.org)  teachers, theatre practitioners  and university students from Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, […]

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Hicks and me

“Put a girdle round about the earth….”

There will be two Global Gatherings in Stratford this weekend.  One will take place at Long Marston Airfield, and will feature Dizzee Rascal, Faithless and Paul Oakendfold, and the other will happen just steps away from Shakespeare’s birthplace. As I write, school teachers from Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Hong Kong, India, Latvia, Malta, […]

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“Buzz, buzz”

“You can play it standing, sitting, lying down, or, if you insist, kneeling.  You can have a hangover. You can be cold-sober. You can be hungry, overfed, or have just fought with your wife.”  (Gene Fowler) I’m sure that Rory Kinnear (who is playing Hamlet at The National Theatre from September) will take comfort from […]

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What did King Lear have for breakfast?

What did King Lear have for breakfast? What does Cordelia like to do on her holidays? And who would win at a game of chess – Gonerill or Regan? Answers on a postcard. Some actors find it really useful to create imaginary lives for Shakespeare’s characters beyond the words on the page. Shakespeare often throws […]

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“Play On”

While I was working in Boston last month I had an interesting chat with a group of actors about the importance of communicating an atmosphere to an audience at the start of any Shakespearian production.  How should spectators be made to feel as they leave their everyday realities and step into a world of fiction […]

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“Acting is merely the art of keeping a large group of people from coughing” (Sir Ralph Richardson)

We’ve had a lovely group of talented actors from Texas with us this week.  They have been participating in one of our ‘Shakespeare Text and Theatre’ courses, whilst also rehearsing and doing research in our archives.  As well as seeing and discussing the RSC’s repertoire, this group also had the chance to see a new […]

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“Soft, plump, white and sweet in appearance – like a marshmallow”: King Lear in Performance

King Lear has often been referred to as the Everest of Shakespeare’s works.  Some actors see the opportunity to play the title role as the pinnacle of their career, while others sidestep this mountain of a play, happy to saunter in the foothills of the Shakespeare canon.  The age at which an actor comes to  […]

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Timon of Boston!

I’ve just returned from Boston where I’ve been speaking at events running alongside The Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s production of Timon of Athens http://www.actorsshakespeareproject.org/ This play is rarely performed and has a reputation for being unwatchable, unstageable, and unshakespearian – but Bill Barclay and his cast have produced a terrific piece of theatre, which not only […]

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Shakespeare and Poetry

I can’t help thinking of Shakespeare as a poet first and a playwright second. I know we all of us want Shakespeare to do both equally well, but I think first and foremost his mind and imagination were alive with poetic and rhetorical possibilities. The first time he breaks into print is with the long […]

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