tempestsarekind: (very few dates in this history)
Sophie Okonedo and Ralph Fiennes Will Co-Star in Antony & Cleopatra at the National
http://www.playbill.com/article/sophie-okonedo-and-ralph-fiennes-will-co-star-in-antony-cleopatra-at-the-national

There's some confusion here in the article, which for some reason sends you to the Old Vic website at the bottom - but another article confirms that the production will be at the National Theatre in 2018, on the Olivier stage. I can't imagine, given the success of the NT Live Shakespeare broadcast, that they won't screen this too, but one never knows until it's announced…

(I still have yet to see a production of A&C. I heard good things about the recent RSC production, but no one seems to have screened it around here; maybe one day I'll look into getting the DVD?)
tempestsarekind: (martha at the globe)
Michelle Terry: 'I won't be directing while at Shakespeare's Globe'
http://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/news/michelle-terry-shakespeare-globe-no-directing_44417.html

Instead, she plans to act in productions.

Obligatory comment about Emma Rice / shared lighting:
Terry revealed that it had been written into her job contract that no amplified sound or 'imposed lighting rigs' will be used in theatre productions.

She commented: "I hadn't worked here under Emma [Rice]'s tenure, so what I know is the space: a raw naked space. And for me it's less about what was added on than what was missed when you have that. So what you want to do is reach out and touch the hand of those people."

The article also mentions that one of the plays next year will be about Aemilia (Bassano) Lanyer; I don't know how I feel about that. Given that she is a poet in her own right, it's always irritating that she only gets mentioned (even in novels that purport to be about her) because A.L. Rowse had a theory that she was Shakespeare's "dark lady." What would be awesome if the play just didn't even involve Shakespeare at all - there isn't any actual evidence that they ever even met, as far as I know - because there could be real scope for a play that's actually about her, along the lines of the Globe's recent Nell Gwynn (how forever-sad am I that I couldn't see Gugu Mbatha-Raw in the eponymous role?), or the RSC's current Queen Anne (also forever-sad that I can't see Romola Garai in that play).

But I also just have a deep lack of interest in stories about Shakespearean sexytimes, Shakespeare in Love excepted (I really think of it as a fanciful film about the writing of R&J, and about theater in general, that happens to have romance in it), so...
tempestsarekind: (peddlers of bombast)
Reading the actual news is making me feel like I can't breathe, so here, have an article on the appeal to raise money to save the house where Milton finished writing Paradise Lost instead:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/aug/17/england-hath-need-of-thee-appeal-to-save-miltons-paradise-lost-cottage

*waaah*

Aug. 13th, 2017 12:31 am
tempestsarekind: (all the world's a stage)
Film investors’ fear of the Bard is burying my Richard II, says James Ivory
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/aug/12/james-ivory-shakespeare-film-fails-to-find-funding

I remember hearing rumors about this a couple of years ago…This is the first time I've read that he had another Richard II film in mind, back in the '90s:

This is not the first time Ivory has tried to get Richard II off the ground. It appears that Kenneth Branagh put the kibosh on a previous production in 1992, around the time Merchant and Ivory were making The Remains of the Day.

“I had another cast. Daniel Day-Lewis as Richard II and Kenneth Branagh as Bolingbroke, or Henry IV as he becomes, and Emma Thompson as the queen,” said Ivory. “And then, unfortunately, Branagh said ‘I couldn’t play Bolingbroke, I’d have to play Richard’.

“We were about to make another movie anyway, so I let it go and we didn’t proceed with it.” (my emphasis)


That would have been something to see… (the Emma Thompson part, I mean; Branagh doesn't really strike me as the Richard II type, though I could perhaps imagine him as Bolingbroke)

(There's a conspicuous absence of any mention of The Hollow Crown in here, unless I just read the article too fast. I wonder why that is?)

There's also another iteration of "if Shakespeare were alive today, he'd be writing screenplays!" at the very end - which always irritates me slightly, as the implication is that there's nothing to draw a writer to the stage these days, even though I think the idea behind the comparison is that movies are analogous to Elizabethan plays. I'm just not totally convinced - in part because cinema is so focused on realism, in a way that I think can actually make it harder to adapt Shakespeare's plays for film (voiceover soliloquies, bane of my existence, I'm looking at you).
tempestsarekind: (austen snark is the best snark)
*eyeroll*

http://www.radiotimes.com/amp/news/2017-08-07/poldark-producers-to-adapt-pride-and-prejudice-for-itv

(via Austenblog)

Didn't ITV do that wretched Mansfield Park with Billie Piper - the one that went, "oh, who cares if our heroine is nothing like the Fanny Price in the novel, no one today could identify with her anyway"? That does not exactly fill me with confidence. (Also, I had to stop watching Poldark because there wasn't nearly enough narrative tissue between its various happenings - which seems to be this generation's period-drama affliction, not actually devoting enough time to showing why things between characters happen - so that's strike two.)

Mostly, though, I just cannot get worked up over the idea of yet another P&P adaptation. Am bored already.

hmm

Aug. 5th, 2017 06:34 pm
tempestsarekind: (not supposed to be a heroine)
the Masterpiece adaptation of Little Women is apparently filming in Ireland; this seems wrong
tempestsarekind: (Default)
I haven't the faintest idea why, but this old article on the Cheek By Jowl As You Like It brought me very near to tears:

All you need is love: Adrian Lester and the miraculous all-male As You Like It by Declan Donnellan
https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/nov/12/all-male-as-you-like-it-cheek-by-jowl-declan-donnellan-adrian-lester

(…why doesn't Adrian Lester have a tag?)

uh-oh

Aug. 2nd, 2017 06:43 pm
tempestsarekind: (very few dates in this history)
Working for the notorious Earl of Oxford in the 1580’s, [John Lyly's] plays were first performed publicly at the indoor theatres of Blackfriars and St Paul’s, then at the great Court festivities of Elizabeth I.
http://blog.shakespearesglobe.com/post/163633720708/who-was-john-lyly-this-august-sees-two-plays-by


Well, we know what that means… Guess Oxford wrote those plays too. I mean, "Lyly" is clearly a pseudonym; it is practically the same word as "lie." It's basically lie squared. Totally fake. Unlike de VERE, which is TRUE. Come on, it's an obvious play on the name of the Earl of Oxford! Why will no one see the truth???

(Seriously, though, I wish the Globe would film their Read Not Dead events and put them up on YouTube, or the Globe Player…I would love to see one someday, but don't think I'll ever have the chance.)

(I also wish academia valued editing more highly as a tenure-track activity, so that there might be more editions out there, and the Read Not Dead plays themselves would be more easily accessible to people without an academic library - or, ahem, to people who like taking notes when they read early modern plays - but hey-ho.)
tempestsarekind: (geoffrey (not) at work)
…thinking about Shakespeare characters talking about time, I might as well mention that moment in Hamlet where Hamlet says his father has died "within 's two hours," and Ophelia responds (worriedly?), "Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord" - and then Hamlet still seems to fail to hear her properly; he says, "O heavens, die two months ago, and not forgotten yet?" and not four months - as though he still can't really quite process his father's absence, or believe in it.
tempestsarekind: (brighter than sunflowers)
Wow, I just managed to make myself really sad about the way that both Romeo and Juliet talk explicitly about how little time they've been married before Tybalt's death and Romeo's banishment (Romeo cries out that he is "an hour but married"; Juliet calls herself Romeo's "three-hours' wife") - because that's why it's so important that Romeo has to die in Juliet's tomb, even to the extent of killing Paris to get there; that's where they can be married forever: their timeless end, their dateless bargain, Romeo's everlasting rest. I mean, I already knew this - it's there even in Juliet's early line "my grave is like to be my wedding bed" - but for some reason it just hit me at an odd angle today.

Also, tomorrow is Juliet's birthday - "Come Lammas Eve at night shall she be fourteen" - so I also managed to make myself really sad about the fact that at the beginning of the play, we know exactly how many days are left ("a fortnight and odd days") until that fourteenth birthday she will never see.
tempestsarekind: (all the world's a stage)
A nice email to receive from Shakespeare's Globe this morning:

We are thrilled to announce that Michelle Terry will be Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe from April 2018.

An Olivier Award-winning actor and writer, Michelle is well-known to the Globe’s stage, having starred as Rosalind in As You Like It (2015), as Titania/Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2013) and as the Princess of France in Love’s Labour’s Lost (2007). She also directed Richard III, King John and As You Like It for The Complete Walk (2016), a series of short films created as part of the Globe’s celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

http://blog.shakespearesglobe.com/post/163360048328/michelle-terry-is-the-new-artistic-director-of


I absolutely loved her as the Princess, and was really disappointed that the Globe didn't film her AYLI, because I really wanted to see her as Rosalind. She was also great as Rosaline in LLL at the RSC, and a lovely Helena in the National Theatre's All's Well, although I had some quibbles with the production. (I loved the idea of the fairy-tale concept, but felt that the fairy-tale aspects were mostly a gloss on the top - a red cloak here, a wolf shadow there - rather than worked fully into the deep structures of the production. Don't ask me how one would do such a thing, though.) I suppose she hasn't done much directing (had Mark Rylance done any, before he was artistic director? I genuinely haven't any idea), but unlike some artistic directors, she does seem to enjoy Shakespeare, so that's a plus… and she's clearly familiar with the space, which can only help.

…Also, being me, this bit at the very bottom made me smile: "The panel formed to recruit the Artistic Director Designate comprised: Neil Constable, Louise Jury, Claire van Kampen, Philip Kirkpatrick, Jamie Parker, Emma Stenning and Jenny Topper." :)
tempestsarekind: (martha at the globe)
Ever since watching the R&J episode of Shakespeare Uncovered, I've wondered what Jade Anouka was like as Juliet. Turns out that in creating their new Teach Shakespeare website, Shakespeare's Globe posted a handful of - snowy - clips from their 2013 Playing Shakespeare production. Here you can see the lovers' sonnet:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sf-L9hlcRQ

(I'm afraid I don't remember the name of the actor playing opposite her - and the website isn't great on metadata.)

The website, with more videos, is here:
http://teach.shakespearesglobe.com/romeo-and-juliet-videos?previous=/library/category/video-9
tempestsarekind: (brighter than sunflowers)
So way back in series 5, when Amy tells us that her favorite story as a kid was the story of Pandora's box, and I commented that this was clearly the TARDIS (as I said back then, "a box full of monsters and hope")?

How has it only just occurred to me that in "The Eleventh Hour," Amy is repeatedly told not to open the door to the room where Prisoner Zero is hiding - and she does it anyway? And yes, she lets out the monster - but she also opens the door to the thing that will save the planet, because if she hadn't opened that door, and seen Prisoner Zero's true form, she wouldn't have been able to remember it, and use the psychic link (with the Doctor's help) to turn Prisoner Zero into a perfect copy of itself.

Monsters and hope, on day one. How did I miss it?
tempestsarekind: (dido plus books)
The trailer for Ava DuVernay's A Wrinkle in Time film came out yesterday (or at least, I saw it for the first time yesterday):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4U3TeY2wtM

My first, entirely shallow thought was that it needs FAR more Gugu Mbatha-Raw in it. But as I chewed on this shallow thought over the course of the day yesterday, it became a little less shallow - because it touches on the main thing that's not quite sitting right with me about the trailer:

It starts with Chris Pine.

Okay, that's a bit facetious. But it does feel wrong to start with Mr. Murry, and not with Mrs. Murry or Meg. One of the things I really loved about A Wrinkle in Time as a child was how thorny and prickly the beginning of the book is: not just Meg getting in fights at school (although that was Important), but Meg's feeling of not fitting properly into her own skin, in contrast to her beautiful and brilliant mother; her desperate worry about Charles Wallace - and then, the nastiness of the people in their insular little town, who sneer at Mrs. Murry and snicker that her husband must have just run away, who make fun of Meg's beloved baby brother for being different. One of the things I loved about the book is that we don't start with the adventurer, making his scientific discoveries: we start with his family, who don't know what's happened to him, who have to hope and believe that they aren't in the sort of tawdry, shabby story that the snickering neighbors think they're in.

And obviously, this is just the trailer, so who knows what the actual movie will be like, or how it will begin. But it feels a bit as if all of those rough, important edges have been sanded down, and the story has been made smoother and glossier than I'd like. (This extends to the look of the film as well, though I haven't written about it here: I want Mrs. Whatsit to be tramping around in rubber boots and muffled by layers and layers of ill-fitting clothing - utterly unremarkable before becoming utterly magical. I want things to be sort of shabby and ramshackle around the edges. That may be expecting something one is not likely to get from a big Disney film.)
tempestsarekind: (Default)
Another day, another wish that someone would cast Daveed Diggs as Christopher Marlowe…

*Yes, this is a Massacre at Paris joke. of sorts.

(This is one of the things I don't understand about the continued attempts at making Shakespeare a sexy rebel instead of the guy who kept his head down: Marlowe is RIGHT THERE, being completely extra - as the children say - writing scandalous stuff, actually being the innovator people want Shakespeare to have been.) (I'm thinking of that monstrously stupid moment in Anonymous - which one? you say - where all the other Elizabethan dramatists are gobsmacked that "Shakespeare" wrote AN ENTIRE PLAY in BLANK VERSE, like they hadn't all been doing that. But that's just the most egregious example that sprang to mind - although that moment in the Will trailer where someone gripes at Will, "You can't just make up words!" and he's all, "Well, someone must!" comes pretty close: making up words is what Elizabethan dramatists did; it's not some province exclusive to Shakespeare's genius!)

(yes, yes, I know, Shakespeare has "pre-awareness" or whatever they're calling audience recognition these days. But I find it hard to believe that anyone who's actually thinking about watching something like Will wouldn't watch a similar show about Marlowe instead, if you could just get someone to make it.)
tempestsarekind: (all the world's a stage)
I ask because the Folger Shakespeare Library dropped a link to this podcast interview with Craig Pierce and Shekhar Kapur, where they talk about creating the new TV show Will, into my inbox this morning:

http://www.folger.edu/shakespeare-unlimited/tnt-will

Will I listen to it? (Another way of asking the same question as before.)

...I mean, I probably won't, because between the two of them, these men are responsible for three films that I really don't like - the Lurhmann Romeo plus Juliet and Kapur's two Elizabeth films, which lucked out by having Cate Blanchett in them, but are not actually, like, good, or nuanced, or even comprehensible. But if you have a higher tolerance for this whole "Shakespeare is totally punk rock, yo, not all stuffy like the Man says!" thing, here you go.
tempestsarekind: (geoffrey (not) at work)
"We also learn that Will’s father was gruesomely disemboweled for refusing to renounce his Catholic faith and embrace Protestantism. He periodically appears to Will à la Hamlet’s father’s ghost, one of many references to the Bard’s work that have an Easter egg-y, Shakespeare in Love aspect.


from this review of the TNT show Will:
http://www.vulture.com/2017/07/will-tnt-review.html

I…
I just…

I mean, look. I watched Due South and Slings and Arrows (to say nothing of, y'know, Hamlet), so like, in theory, I really love it when characters talk to the ghosts of their fathers, or others that they care for deeply. I just…don't trust this show to do a decent job of it? There's already so much nonsense piled up in the trailers I've seen; where would they even find the space for an actually illuminating heart-to-heart between Will and his unexpectedly deceased dear old dad?
tempestsarekind: (very few dates in this history)
UGH. I hate it when Shakespeare (the person) shows up in historical fiction novels where he was NOT SUPPOSED TO BE and really has no business being. Like, if he is not going to bring anything to this party, let the man stay home, you know?
tempestsarekind: (austen snark is the best snark)
I keep being tempted to come up with new headlines for this article, like, "Let's all celebrate a man's mediocrity!" or "Being male means never having to live up to your potential in order to still have people devote time and energy to you."

It's time to bring Branwell, the dark Brontë, into the light
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jun/26/its-time-to-bring-branwell-the-dark-bronte-into-the-light

I think this was the paragraph that really made my eyelid twitch:

Branwell’s imaginative terrain was vast and impressive. He had the ability to rework a variety of histories and literary genres, immersing himself in an imaginative world that showcases a sophisticated interpretation of the world around him. Yet, despite this engagement, his writings are often derivative and undisciplined, often degenerating into a rambling stream of consciousness. If nothing else, however, these early years saw Branwell as an instrumental figure that inspired his sisters to harness their own imaginations and opinions. Branwell’s contribution was influencing his sisters to become the perceptive, avant-garde writers we know. (my emphasis)


Ugh. So…he wasn't actually good at writing, is what you're telling me, but we should talk about him more anyway?

The thing is, I don't even really have any opinions about Branwell, ordinarily. It's just that every time I hear about him, it's usually someone trying to make him central to the successes of his sisters, or focusing on him and his antics rather than on the creativity and artistic discipline of, you know, the Brontes who actually had flourishing literary careers. (The recent TV costume drama about the Brontes, To Walk Invisible, was regrettably guilty of this, passing over the composition of whole novels in an eyeblink while spending whole scenes on Branwell's conning their father out of money to spend on liquor.) I'm not saying that we should never talk or think about Branwell; rather, I feel like he gets talked about all the time - and maybe out of proportion to his actual accomplishments. It's that same insidious desire we seem to be afflicted with, culturally: we rack our brains to figure out ways to make a man responsible for a woman's literary successes - whether it's spending ages trying to work out who the "Master" of Emily Dickinson's poems might be, or making whole movies devoted to the idea that Jane Austen only became a novelist because Tom Lefroy recommended Tom Jones to her and broke her heart, to this. Why is it so hard to give these women their due? It's just dressing up the Victorian idea that Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell could never really have been women in slightly more modern clothing: a man had to have had his hand in the thing, somewhere.

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