Saturday, September 25, 2004
A rare Shakespeare First Folios goes on the auction block soon after coming into the hands of a British housewife who inherited it from a distant cousin.
Anne Humphries of Stockport near Manchester did not know the relative who owned the book and does not know how Frances Cottle, the widow of a tailor's cutter who lived in North London came to possess one of the rarest books on earth, The Scotsman reports. The family ties were so tenuous it took a genealogist two years to trace the link and determine that Humphries was Cottle's closest surviving relative.
The First Folio, published in 1623, was the earliest collection of Shakespeare plays. Only 750 copies were printed and only six are now believed to be in private hands.
The Bloomsbury Auction in London has placed a conservative valuation on the book of 80,000 pounds or about $145,000. But the last First Folio to go on the market, one that was in better condition, sold for 4 million pounds or more than $7 million.
They are talking about millions, Humphries said. Is it silly money? It is such an important piece."
However you slice it, it's a red 'Rose'
The knives are always out in "Henry VI," Shakespeare's early and seldom-staged three- play history cycle about the late-medieval carnage known as the Wars of the Roses. So we expect knives, not to mention hours - many, many hours - of bloody battles over distant, convoluted genealogy.
And, indeed, there are plenty of big knives in "Rose Rage," the condensed and defiantly entertaining, epic yet intimately human, all-male adaptation that introduced the gutsy Chicago Shakespeare Theater to New York at the Duke on 42nd Street. Oh, and there are also meat cleavers, hatchets, rusty meat hooks, huge metal clubs and what appear to be massive basting forks.
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Mark Rylance has decided that his time as Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe should come to an end at the close of his tenth year, December 2005.
In a personal letter to colleagues and friends he wrote:"Never has an actor had such an opportunity as you entrusted to me when I was asked to help bring your dream of a working Globe Theatre through its birth into its childhood. The completion of the indoor Inigo Jones Theatre is again in our dreams and I hope that it may help to attract a fantastic Artistic Director. I intend to do everything I can to help make the transition to a new Artistic Director transparent and exciting for the Globe. I will endeavour to always be at the Globe’s service."
Sir Michael Perry, Chairman of The Shakespeare Globe Trust, commented: "Mark has made an enormous contribution to the Globe and has thoughtfully given us time to find a suitable successor. We hope that Mark will consider returning to the Globe stage as an actor and supporting us as we plan our future development."
Peter Kyle, General Director, said: "It has been a privilege and a personal pleasure to work with Mark who has played a major role as Artistic Director of the Globe and in achieving the great success we have enjoyed."
No further comment will be made by Shakespeare’s Globe until the announcement of Mark Rylance’s successor in 2005.
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
As well as his well-known plays, the Complete Works of Shakespeare Festival will feature his entire collection of sonnets, poems and other works.
The seven-month festival will begin in April 2006, with performances at Royal Shakespeare Company theatres and other venues in Stratford-upon-Avon."
Sunday, September 12, 2004
On a single day, Rose Rage captures all three parts of Henry VI in two performances of just over two hours each. It's an intense recipe for a history play that's anything but traditional cooked up by one of England's hottest directors. Award-winning British director Edward Hall has garnered international acclaim for his productions performed around the world, including at the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Tokyo Globe.
Shakespeare's original Henry VI trilogy traces the monumental events surrounding the 15th-century collapse of England: from the untimely death of warrior-king Henry V, through the deterioration of his French conquests in the hands of his son Henry VI, the slow broiling of York's rebellion, and the eruption of the Wars of the Roses, one of England's bloodiest civil wars. With their vigorously carved text for Rose Rage, Hall and author Roger Warren have preserved the structure of the trilogy, but trimmed the fat, excising nearly 50 percent of Shakespeare's words. In exchange, they reveal the true meat of the three full-length plays, primed for their marinade of metaphorically violent staging. "
Friday, September 10, 2004
Sitting in the lobby of the Public Theater during a rehearsal break from Richard III, Peter Dinklage seems far too nice to play one of Shakespeare's nastier butcher kings. Though a little fatigued from his theatrical labors, he still exudes friendliness. Acknowledging company members with an outsize smile, he flashes a two-fingered peace sign to an exiting pal. Even the goatee he's sprouted for the role has a genial effect—at least, that is, when he's holding forth on the Bard in what appears to be his girlfriend's Vassar T-shirt. To dispose of the obvious: Dinklage, the world's most famous dwarf actor, stands no taller than your average fourth-grader. Once you get past that (give it about two minutes of conversation), you can't help observing how well-adjusted he is, how normal. By theater standards, he's off-the-charts normal. To tell the truth, it's a little unnerving. (Celebrities typically wear their neuroses on their sleeves.) But Dinklage's laid-back energy is positively contagious. There's nothing awkward or self-conscious about him, nothing defensive or sinister. He's the last person you'd cast as a villain, yet he's clearly mastered the art of transforming himself. How else to explain a four-foot-five guy rising so high in a profession not known for overlooking physical differences?
Monday, September 06, 2004
During the launch of his latest movie, The Merchant Of Venice, Al Pacino has revealed that he thinks more of Shakespeare's plays should be adapted into movies.
Pacino, who plays Shylock in director Michael Radford's adaptation of the Shakespeare classic, spoke at the world premiere of the film - at the Venice Film Festival.
He said, "I believe Shakespeare in film is really something that should be tried more often, an opportunity to take some of the humanity that he writes into his characters and to express it.
"In the theatre you are watching it as it happens and listening to the words. But in a movie you have the opportunity to cut away, to go in for close-ups, to bring in a different dynamic to a scene.