Thursday, March 30, 2006

Shakespeare First Folio to be Sold at Southeby's

A rare book of Shakespeare's plays, considered to be one of the most important in British literature, is to be auctioned at Sotheby's in London.

The complete first folio of the playwright's work had a print run of approximately 750 in 1623.
However, only a third of these survive and most of them are incomplete.

The book is being sold by Dr Williams's Theological Library in London, which hopes the proceeds - expected to be more than £3m - will secure its future.

Monday, March 27, 2006

In the Book 'Letters to Juliet,' Writers Seek Succor From a Veteran of Heartbreak

Published: March 27, 2006

"Dear Juliet," the letters all begin.

"Dear Juliet ... You are my last hope. The woman I love more than anything in the world has left me. ..."

"Dear Juliet, I live on the third floor. My parents don't allow my boyfriend to come to my house. So I have to sneak him in. ..."

"Dear Juliet, my name is Riccardo. I am 10 years old." Riccardo is in love with an older woman, 14. He saw her in Verona the summer before. Does Juliet have news of her?

Every week, hundreds of letters pour into the office of the Club di Giulietta, in Verona, Italy, the city that is the setting for Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." Some are addressed simply "To Juliet, Verona," but the postman always knows to deliver them to the club's Via Galilei headquarters.

Every letter is answered by the club's group of volunteers, no matter what the language, sometimes with the assistance of outside translators. (In the past, the owner of a local Chinese restaurant helped.)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Shakespeare Gets Spiritual with Romeo & Juque-Sha


Macon, GA. The story has been around for centuries: two young whippersnappers fall in love, despite the strife between their families.

Australian filmmaker Baz Luhrmann updated it in the nineties with Leonardo DiCaprio in his MTV-influenced 'William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet.'

Tonight, United by Christ Ministries will present their gospel play version, 'Romeo & Juque-Sha'' at the Douglass Theatre in downtown Macon. It's the story of white Romeo and black Juque-Sha' and how their families deal with the interracial relationship."
Shakespeare gets Indian colour and feel

By Sachin Gogoi

New Delhi: William Shakespeare gets an Indian colour and feel as a multi-lingual Anglo-Indian theatre production blends a work of the 16th century genius with Indian theatrical and cultural elements ranging from Bharatnatyam to Kalaripayattu and even Manipuri dance.

The 'Indianised' production of the bard's acclaimed play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', believed to have been written between 1594 and 1596, will re-create the Shakespearean magic with seven languages - including English, Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, Marathi, Malayalam and Sinhalese - used sporadically throughout the play. "

Friday, March 17, 2006

Plot of Shakespeare play lost in a storm
By Laura-Jane Filotrani
A battering performance: The Tempest

THIS production of The Tempest is a mish mash of musical theatre, mime and straight acting. I would hazard a guess if you did not know the plot of Shakespeare's last play, you would be none the wiser after having seen this version.

Does this matter? Probably not, but it does say something about the lack of cohesion with the performance.

Three actors each on a number of roles. They all show an amazing physical presence and great comic timing.

The players use a mix of Spanish and English throughout sometimes whole scenes using Spanish only.

Each character is grotesquely portrayed with outlandish costumes. Mix this with bongos, shrill singing, chanting, music which ranges from church chorus to French folk to salsa and lots of shouting and you have a good sense of what to expect.

What the production does well is explore the themes of dreams and reality and you do get a sense of the strangeness and danger of fantasy. It also captures the play's prevalent colonialism, through costume and contemporary references.

The actors are funny their timing excellent and they are full of energy (there was a lot of stamping of feet and flinging of bodies across the stage.) What lets it down is firstly the space they are working with. This production is too physical for the Playhouse. The performers are so close you could hold their hands so you feel almost battered by the performance.

Secondly what makes this a strangely disappointing experience is the lack of cohesion.
There are lots of entertaining, well-executed aspects but the random insertion of Tempest speeches among the ranting Spanish and colloquial English makes for a confusing stilted production.

You are left with a series of funny and memorable vignettes but not enough plot clarity for you to care about the characters.

The Tempest, until April 2, Greenwich Playhouse, tickets £11/£8 concs, box office 020 88
Public Theater Accepting Applications for 2006 Shakespeare Lab

Off-Broadway's Public Theater is currently accepting applications for the 2006 Shakespeare Lab, a 13-week acting intensive to run from May 30 to Aug. 27.

The application deadline is March 31.

Previous faculty for the Shakespeare Lab have included Christopher Bayes, Michael Cumpsty, John Dias, Deborah Hecht, Orlando Pabotoy, J. Steven White, and Janet Zarish. Past guest artists have included Brian Bedford, Oskar Eustis, Dana Ivey, Mark Lamos, Liev Schreiber, Jordan Thaler and George C. Wolfe.

Eustis is now artistic director of the Public. Schreiber will appear in Macbeth in Central Park this coming summer.
For more information on the Lab and application instructions, please visit or call (212) 539-8525.

Monday, March 13, 2006

William Hurt keeps pledge to return to Manitoba Theatre Centre stage

Winnipeg -- Oscar-winner and recent nominee William Hurt promised three years ago he would return to perform at Manitoba Theatre Centre, and he has kept his word.

The Hollywood actor has agreed to play Prospero in Shakespeare's The Tempest at MTC next fall.

Hurt, 55, made his Canadian stage debut three years ago as the Bard's Richard III. After the run, Hurt sent MTC artistic director Steven Schipper a bouquet of flowers with a card that read: 'Dear, Steven, March, 2007, See ya, Love, William.'"

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Christian Slater Considers Doing Shakespeare Play in England -

Christian Slater is expected to take to the London stage as Roman soldier Mark Antony in William Shakespeare's tragedy "Antony And Cleopatra." Slater has been discussing the role with Frances Barber, who will play Cleopatra in the production at Shakespeare's Globe. And although Barber admits Slater is too young to play the Egyptian queen's beloved, she is keen to perform with him again.

She says, "I'm going to do Cleopatra at the Globe Theatre. We haven't got an Antony yet but I'd love Christian, who is just simply fantastic. I've just been speaking to him about it. He seemed really interested so I'm going to ring the director tomorrow. I've told Christian he's too young for the role really but he said, 'Hey, I can age up!'"

Barber admits she also has an age issue - and it took Ian Mckellen to persuade her to grab the role while she still could. She says, "We were working together on the panto Aladdin and he said, 'You've got to do Cleopatra now or else you'll be too old to play her. It's your last chance!'"

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Oregon Shakespeare Festival Auditions Dogs for Play

ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is looking for a new breed of actor: one who's smelly, scruffy and unruly.

The festival on Saturday auditioned canines to play Crab the dog in Shakespeare's "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," which opens June 8 on the Elizabethan Stage.
International Shakespeare festival in Craiova and Bucharest

by Dana Milea

The International Shakespeare Festival, which has taken place for four consecutive years in the city of Craiova, will also present a series of shows in Bucharest this year.

The festival opens on April 25, two days after the anniversary of the playwright's birth, with a performance of 'The Twelfth Night,' produced by the International Chekhov Festival, in collaboration with the 'Cheek by Jowl' company in London and directed by Declan Donnellan. The show premiered with great success in 2003 with a cast including only two male actors.

British director Donnellan will be present in Romania for the festival and will also hold a meeting with participants of the events.
During the 10 days of the festival, Craiova will host important theater companies. As such, spectators will be able to see 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' directed by Oskaras Korshunovas from the 'Oskaras Korshunovas' Theater in Vilnius, Latvia, 'Hamlet' directed by Omri Nitzan from the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv, Israel and 'Trolius and Cresida,' directed by Romanian Silviu Purcarete, from the Katona Jozsef Theater in Budapest, Hungary.

The program in Craiova will also include a series of shows produced in Romania, among which are Silviu Purcarete's 'As You Like It or the Night at the End of the Fair' and 'Romeo and Juliet,' directed by Yiannis Paraskevopoulos, at the Craiova National. Other shows will include two performances of 'Cymbeline,' one directed by Alexander Hausvater at the German Theater in Timisoara and another directed by Laszlo Bocsardi at the Odeon Theater in Bucharest.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Cancer theory on Shakespeare's death 'nonsense'

CLAIMS that William Shakespeare may have died from cancer have been rubbished by the chairman of Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust.

A German literary expert has argued the Bard suffered from a tumour over his left eye in the years leading to his death in April 1616.
Professor Hildegard Hammerschmidt-Hummel, from the University of Mainz, made the claim in a book after noticing four images of the Stratford-born writer showing a growth which increases in size in later pictures.

She asked forensic scientists from Germany's Federal Bureau of Criminal Investigation to look at works of art depicting Shakespeare.

But Stanley Wells, chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford, hit out at the scientist's claims. [MORE]