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:


(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:
tempestsarekind: (where comedy meets romance)
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:


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: (all the world's a stage)
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
tempestsarekind: (peddlers of bombast)
(the above comment is made about a ruff.)

The Globe's Twitter feed led me to a video I hadn't seen before: Paul Chahidi, who played Maria in the 2012 revival of Twelfth Night (as well as the original 2002 production), and Jenny Tiramani (Renaissance clothing expert) being interviewed about the costume for Maria. Some nice closeups of the various layers of the costume:



Oct. 25th, 2016 09:03 pm
tempestsarekind: (martha at the globe)
I did not see this coming.

The Shakespeare Globe Trust Board together with Artistic Director, Emma Rice, have determined that the current nature of work, which has characterised the period since Emma assumed the position of Artistic Director in April 2016, will conclude in April 2018, when Emma will be leaving the Globe following its 2017/18 Winter Season.


I am happy about this, though:

Following much deliberation and discussion, the Globe Board has concluded that from April 2018, the theatre programming should be structured around ‘shared light’ productions without designed sound and light rigging, which characterised a large body of The Globe’s work prior to Emma’s appointment.

There are so many theaters where you can play around - and with fascinating results - with light and sound...but when you have a space like the Globe, it's worth using it for what it's good for, instead of trying to make it something else.
tempestsarekind: (thomas kent)
I just checked the Globe On Screen website again, and my city has been added! So it might be worth checking again:

Alas, my screenings are all on Sunday mornings at 11:00 (I guess this makes sense, as hardly anyone ever goes, but it's still a downer). (The NT Live screenings, at a different cinema, are usually full and sometimes sold out. I don't know whether there's a bigger audience there, or better advertising…)
tempestsarekind: (viola giggle)
More specifically, I am puzzled by its removable nature.


I'd like to know when they actually get to take it down!
tempestsarekind: (martha at the globe)
So on the one hand I think this satirical piece is kind of mean in terms of how obviously pointed it is - it has an unmistakable cartoonish drawing of Emma Rice right at the top, so the Guardian hasn't even gone for deniability - but on the other hand, every time Emma Rice gives an interview, she pretty much sounds exactly like this:

Modern Tribes: The Shakespeare Hater
tempestsarekind: (richard ii)
One of the Complete Walk films from Shakespeare's Globe - Richard II with James Norton as Richard and Dominic Rowan as Bolingbroke - seems to be available in (what I'm assuming is) its entirety here:


It's interesting: removing the onlookers makes Richard's actions seem much less theatrical. But I find James Norton's hesitant, tearful Richard interesting, and wonder what he'd do with the whole part.


Apr. 16th, 2016 09:45 pm
tempestsarekind: (eleven is awkward)
Emma Rice is doing The Taming of the Shrew in her first season at the Globe:

Featuring an all Irish company, the production marks the centenary of the Easter Rising by revisiting 1916 Ireland and remembering the role of women in the fight for independence. Encapsulating the rebellious spirit, Katherine will be played by Kathy Rose O’Brien, and Edward MacLiam will play Petruchio.


…I guess that is…a thing that you could do? I'm not sure I think it makes a whole lot of sense, but it is a thing that you could do. (It seems reasonable enough to mark the centenary with an all-Irish company; I just don't get trying to make The Taming of the Shrew some kind of commentary on the Easter Rising.)
tempestsarekind: (viola reading)
An interview with Giles Block, the Text Adviser at Shakespeare's Globe (interview by Andrew Dickson):

Not that I know exactly what he does - what it's actually like to work with actors - but this is basically my dream job. Or even my dream volunteer activity, if there were any Shakespeare companies around here that seemed to want this sort of thing…

(I bought Giles Block's book when I was at the Globe; I'm hoping to read it this summer.)
tempestsarekind: (facepalm)
This post no longer exists on the Shakespeare's Globe blog, so I don't know whether that means something in it was misreported, but here is the casting for Emma Rice's Midsummer this summer:

Assuming that this is accurate, when you get to the bottom of the original post, you see that one of the actors is playing Helenus. So…she took a strong female part and changed it to a male part, great job (as opposed to making either Demetrius or Lysander female; female Lysander might even make some sense, since Egeus is opposed to the marriage at the beginning of the play. It makes no less sense, anyway, than male Helena). But in doing that, she also took the character who is most obsessed with gender roles and made all of that nonsensical. I mean, I assume they'll just have to cut a third of Helena's part, since she's always talking about how men and women are supposed to behave, and very firmly casting herself on the side of female: no "Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex"; no "The story shall be changed; / Apollo flies and Daphne holds the chase"; no "If you were men, as men you are in show, / You would not use a gentle lady so." You'd have to cut her whole speech to Hermia about their school days, since that whole thing is heavily gendered ("And will you rend our ancient love asunder / To join with men in scorning your poor friend?", "Our sex as well as I may chide you for it"). Even aside from that, the point of the speech is that the two of them are so similar as to be two cherries on a single stem; that makes far less sense if Helena becomes Helenus.

I mean, I don't want to have to create a "why Emma Rice why" tag, but this just continues the fact that everything I've heard about her thus far suggests someone who is tone-deaf about Shakespeare - which is a big problem at a place called Shakespeare's Globe. She just doesn't strike me - and again, I acknowledge that I have only a partial view of her at best so far - as someone who sees the Shakespearean text as having any value in itself, only in how you can "shake it up" and probably upset some purists or whatever. (Here I'm drawing on that comment she made about people who have devoted their lives to the preservation of Shakespeare, and how they hated her production of Cymbeline - the implication being that they hated it because they were hidebound conservatives who don't appreciate life and modernity and fun, as opposed to because they just really didn't like what she did with the play.) She doesn't seem to want to work with the texts instead of against them, I guess, which just makes it really weird that she wanted the job in the first place.
tempestsarekind: (eleven is awkward)

Every time I read anything about Emma Rice in the Guardian, it worries me still further:

Rice’s appointment at the Globe, succeeding Dominic Dromgoole, raised eyebrows in some quarters, especially since she cheerfully admits to not having read many of his plays. Her job, she said recently, was to allow artists to tell great stories in an exciting way. “I bring story, I bring humanity, I bring event and I bring wonder.”


Well, that's all very nice, dear, but doing good Shakespeare does actually require being willing to spend the kind of time with the language that makes it worth doing Shakespeare, and not just a modern retelling of Shakespeare. I'm all for "wonder," but I keep thinking, is she ever going to say anything that suggests she cares about the text?
tempestsarekind: (all the world's a stage)
As part of the whole #shakespeare400 thing, the Guardian is posting videos of various actors (among them Adrian Lester, Roger Allam, and Eileen Atkins) performing Shakespeare speeches, starting on February 1:


There's a trailer up now, if you're interested in that sort of thing.

And while I'm here, an opinion piece about Shakespeare's language, and Emma Rice's suggestion that it's better to change "chimney-sweepers" to "dandelions":

In defence of Shakespeare's difficult bits

And some letters in response to that piece:

I admit that I've been kind of worrying about this ever since I read that article in which the author mentioned that Emma Rice changed the name "Fidele" to "Ian." I don't know anything about her, really, so I guess we'll wait and see, but...

Globe stuff

Jan. 3rd, 2016 06:27 am
tempestsarekind: (where comedy meets romance)
I have been on vacation with my mother for nine days (more on that later, perhaps: we decided to do something really special and go to London and Paris; my mom had never been to either, and I had never been to Paris since I mostly haven't been anywhere but London, not that I am complaining; when a man is tired of London &c).

One thing we weren't able to do while in London, sadly, was see a play in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse; if we'd gotten to London a day earlier we could have seen Cymbeline (sob), but our trip fell right in the middle of the holidays, so while the Globe was open (I made good use of the gift shop), nothing was playing while we were there.

But here is a BBC Radio recording about Shakespeare's late plays, recorded in the SWP and featuring Simon Russell Beale among others:

I haven't listened to it yet, but I look forward to it.
tempestsarekind: (globe)
So I'm reading a sweet interview with Jamie Parker, giggling at his self-deprecation and all, when this paragraph happens:

Parker says he’d like to “branch out a little bit”, in directions as yet unspecified, and indeed he nearly pulled off the branching-out coup of the decade by making it through to the final round of interviews to succeed Dominic Dromgoole as artistic director of the Globe Theatre, a job that eventually went to Emma Rice.




tempestsarekind: (martha at the globe)
Oh, Dom Drom, what is this article?


I say it with affectionate bemusement, but bemusement nonetheless.
tempestsarekind: (berowne [david tennant 2008])
An article from the Guardian with some potentially interesting quotes from Emma Rice (newly appointed artistic director at the Globe):

'One audience member tried to punch an actor': the battle to shake up Shakespeare

For Kneehigh’s Emma Rice, soon to take over at the Globe, it’s all about storytelling. When she staged Cymbeline – “an impenetrable text” – they changed the script freely. Imogen’s alter-ego became Ian, not Fidele. “It’s not the text that’s leading,” says artistic director Emma Rice, “but it is the story.”

The response was, at times, vitriolic. Critics pooh-poohed it. They weren’t alone. “Late in the run, one audience member tried to punch an actor.” There is, she believes, a level of protectionism. (Witness, too, the recent fuss over moving “To be or not to be” in Hamlet at the Barbican.) “It’s guarded by the few people that have dedicated their lives to understanding it’s [sic] richness, but 99% of people who come and watch a play have not made that pact. If we’re to keep telling stories, we have to change them.”

As one of those people who has dedicated her life to understanding Shakespeare, I suppose (that sounds so silly), I don't think I'm protective of Shakespeare, as such - but it's sort of like historical drama about real people: most of the "innovations" made in the guise of "freshening up" the story are not as interesting or dramatically satisfying as the original, and often feel like they've just been pasted on top and don't spring naturally from the material. (grumble mutter Tilbury speech in Elizabeth: The Golden Age mutter grumble.)

(Just as an aside: haven't directors been moving "To be or not to be" around for ages? Did they put it someplace really weird at the Barbican? Like in a shoe or something?)

...Also, is the name "Fidele" particularly impenetrable? (I recognize that this is only a small example, and probably not one that Emma Rice actually gave.) I mean, I don't know what the name "Ian" means, either, but if you tell me that's a character's name, I will accept it and move on. I also don't know anyone named Posthumus Leonatus, either, so… At a certain point, Shakespeare is just not our contemporary - and that's okay, I think. It's okay that parts of Shakespeare are strange to us, as long as the company putting on the play creates a world for us in which they make sense. (This is actually why I think a lot of modernized Shakespeare doesn't quite work, even though there might be a lot of good things about the production; the director hasn't really given us a reason that cellphones and duels over honor exist in the same place - even though there's no reason that they couldn't; but you have to make it feel natural somehow.)

Then there's this bit:
It’s telling that these alternative companies are often shunted towards Shakespeare’s lighter, fanciful fare: the Tempest’s magic, Comedy of Errors’s anarchy, Cymbeline’s fairytale. It’s mostly a case of matchmaking – suit the play to the players – but it’s problematic too, a case of pigeonholing artists.

Why are Hamlet and Othello the preserve of big-name actors and mainstream directors? What might an alternative approach to the Histories look like? It’s almost patronising. Do what you will with Twelfth Night, but keep your hands off Titus Andronicus.

“Nick Hytner asked us to do A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the National,” remembers Simon McBurney. “I thought ‘Fuck that.’ Everybody wants to see Complicite’s fairies. I decided to take a really political play instead.” He ended up directing Measure for Measure and, shortly after 9/11, putting Paul Rhys’s Claudio into a high-security prison in an orange jumpsuit.

Shunted. Shakespeare's lighter, fanciful fare. Because comedies are just for lesser artists and chumps, of course. (Also, oooooh, an orange jumpsuit! Bring me my smelling salts!) And I would say this, but Twelfth Night is actually really hard to get right. I have seen a lot of dismal productions of this play, precisely because everyone thinks it's just an easy lark, and forgets that it's a play about a miracle. /the same Twelfth Night rant that I give all the time

(I have still never seen a live professional production of Midsummer, because my life makes no sense, but I think it has the same problems, based on the filmed versions I've seen: people think it's easy because it's got fairies and kids perform in it or get taken to see it, and they completely forget that it needs to have an actual heart to work properly. Playing all the lovers as actually interchangeable ciphers, or not letting us sympathize with what is for Hermia and Helena real pain, or playing Titania in love with Bottom so broadly that her love doesn't resemble any real emotion, just kills the play for me; I can't laugh at it when I don't care about it. I think people think that it should be the opposite - if the emotions are real, then they won't be funny - but for me, at least, comedy doesn't work when there aren't people involved. /shoddily disguised dissertation rant )
tempestsarekind: (ladies in waiting [elizabeth])
Probably everyone who would be interested in this has seen it already, but I am behind on this week's Tudor news:

Music from Anne Boleyn's songbook performed for first time in 500 years

I confess to being a shallow sort, and spending most of the short video thinking about how beautiful the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (where the choir performed) looks.


tempestsarekind: (Default)

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