tempestsarekind: (all the world's a stage)
2017-07-24 09:38 am

well, that's interesting!

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)
2017-07-20 10:39 pm

palm to palm &c.

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)
2017-07-16 02:07 pm

face, meet palm

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)
2017-07-16 01:25 pm

in other media news

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: (amy and her boys)
2017-07-16 12:20 pm

on the new Doctor

Still not ginger. :)

Otherwise, not very deep thoughts )
tempestsarekind: (Default)
2017-07-14 11:07 am

"at least they know I know where France is"*

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)
2017-07-13 09:19 am

question: am I a masochist?

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)
2017-07-12 10:03 pm

whaaaaaaaaat.

"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)
2017-06-28 11:16 am

vagueblogging about historical fiction

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)
2017-06-26 06:46 pm

…does anyone *really* need more Branwell?

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.
tempestsarekind: (Default)
2017-06-19 09:44 am
Entry tags:

Social media & recipes

An enjoyable piece on recipes by Bee Wilson:

Social media and the great recipe explosion: does more mean better?
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jun/18/great-recipe-explosion-social-media-does-more-mean-better-instagram-pinterest
tempestsarekind: (austen snark is the best snark)
2017-06-13 12:08 am

um what why

This Trailer for the Present-Day Midsummer Night's Dream Movie Includes a Man With a Literal Buttface:
http://io9.gizmodo.com/this-trailer-for-the-present-day-midsummer-nights-dream-1796019683

That's it, culture, you win. I give up. Your Shakespeare is clearly not my Shakespeare, and you're bigger than I am, so - you just win. Okay.
tempestsarekind: (dido plus books)
2017-06-01 07:05 pm
Entry tags:

Charlotte Mew (1869-1928), "The Farmer's Bride"

Has anyone else ever heard of this poet and/or read this poem? I only just came across it via one of those internet-search rabbit holes that leads you indescribably far from the place you started, but now I'm haunted by it.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/55324

And here's a piece on Mew from the Guardian:
https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2008/sep/01/poemoftheweekthefarmersb

Apparently Mew was admired by writers like Thomas Hardy and Virginia Woolf, and some of her work was published by Ezra Pound - and yet she's never crossed my path before. Hmph.

text of the poem, from the Poetry Foundation website )
tempestsarekind: (where comedy meets romance)
2017-05-28 09:13 pm

out of curiosity

Does anyone know if they've continued filming plays at the Globe for Globe On Screen since Emma Rice has been the Artistic Director? I haven't been paying much attention, since I haven't been that interested, frankly (the weird Dia de los Muertos production of Romeo and Juliet this season made me want to flip some tables, for example), but ironically - given my username and the related fact that Twelfth Night is my heart's most important text - the photos from the current production are piquing my interest:

http://blog.shakespearesglobe.com/post/161017955533/twelfth-night-photos

I know production photos only tell a partial story, but wouldn't it be funny if Emma Rice managed to win me over with Twelfth Night, of all things?

ETA: Well, I read some reviews, so…I'm doubtful that the "winning over" process will happen here. I mean, who knows - I still haven't seen any of her productions, so I feel slightly bad about judging them unseen - but everything I read about them is basically everything I hate in Shakespeare productions (mainly? Not caring about the text. You can have all the bells and whistles you want, if you care about the text; and if you don't, then the bells and whistles won't save you*), so I am not super inclined to poke myself in the eye and then wonder why it hurts…

*Here's the thing. I get the sense, with Emma Rice, that she thinks Shakespeare needs the bells and whistles - not that they might be interesting, or cast new light on the text, but that no one could possibly be interested in Shakespeare without them. Every production sounds like, "Quick! Get some pop music playing, before the punters get restless! Give 'em spectacle; god knows they don't want words." And, well, I've kind of staked my intellectual life on the exact opposite principle - that we can give people access to Shakespeare by respecting their intelligence, their capacity to imagine themselves into unfamiliar worlds, their ability to respond to poetry - so.
tempestsarekind: (the wind and the rain)
2017-05-14 10:33 pm

eight actors in Britain: "the king lies by a beggar" edition

Just finished watching King Charles III on PBS. Tim Pigott-Smith was quite moving, and there were lots of Shakespearean echoes (Kate is clearly being cast as Lady Macbeth, and even says "Cry havoc" at one point). Charlotte Riley as Kate is maybe not quite soft enough - which is to say that she plays the Lady Macbeth side of things aptly, but it's hard to imagine her as public Kate. (One of the puzzling things about the play/adaptation: how much are we meant to rely on what we "know" of these figures currently?)

Not totally sure how I felt about the blank verse; I'd need to give it another listen, probably. I like the idea of it, though.

Of course, there are many old friends - and some new! - among the cast: Charlotte Riley from the Wuthering Heights adaptation from a few years back, and Jonathan Strange; Adam James who played Don Pedro opposite David Tennant in Much Ado (and other things; he pops up a lot). Peculiarly, there were three cast members who'd just acted opposite each other in Twelfth Night at the National Theatre: Tamara Lawrance (Viola), Oliver Chris (Orsino), and Tim McMullan (Sir Toby). This is particularly peculiar since, of the three, apparently only Oliver Chris was in the theatrical run.
tempestsarekind: (all the world's a stage)
2017-05-14 09:20 am

The Globe turns 20

An article (via Twitter) about the influence of the Globe, twenty years on - not just how it has changed, but how it has affected modern theater conventions, too:

Sphere of influence: Shakespeare’s Globe turns 20
https://www.ft.com/content/90f0f82e-31a1-11e7-9555-23ef563ecf9a
tempestsarekind: (dido plus books)
2017-04-24 05:17 pm
Entry tags:

Austen's teenage writings: an audio guide

A post from the OUP blog on Austen's teenaged works, by Kathryn Sutherland and Freya Johnston (who edited the volume of Austen's teenaged writing for OUP).

https://blog.oup.com/2017/04/jane-austens-teenage-writings-audio-guide/
tempestsarekind: (martha at the globe)
2017-04-02 03:49 pm

audio recordings from last year's World Shakespeare Congress

I had no idea that the WSC had put up recordings of some of the talks and panels!
http://www.wsc2016.info/world-shakespeare-congress-2016-audio-recordings/

In particular, I can't wait to listen to Adrian Lester's conversation with Ayanna Thompson about playing Othello; I remember several people mentioning it on my Twitter feed as a really great discussion. (And of course, Adrian Lester's Othello was phenomenal…)
tempestsarekind: (marlowe--he fights crime)
2017-04-01 11:40 am

BREAKING NEWS: man says scandalous thing in 1593!

I'm being slightly snarky about the unnecessarily breathless, Wikileaks-style headline of this piece:

Spy report that criticised Marlowe for 'gay Christ' claim is revealed online
https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2017/mar/31/christopher-marlowe-spy-baines-note-gay-christ-british-library-online

But the actual fact that you can now view the Baines note online, along with many other resources on the British Library's Discovering Literature website, is rather lovely, actually.

(Also, one of the other things mentioned in the article is Derek Jarman's notebooks for his film of Edward II.)
tempestsarekind: (it is margaret you mourn for)
2017-03-24 02:58 pm

…what

"The second Mrs Hardy might have known what was coming from the manner of Hardy's proposal. He had taken her to the churchyard to show her the grave of wife No. 1, and, pointing to another vacant plot, he said, 'That's for you.' By this, she took it that he was proposing. Before they're anything else, if they're any good at all, most writers are absurd."

--Alan Bennett, Six Poets: Hardy to Larkin

Heh. This gives a new meaning to "Ah, are you digging on my grave?"