Posted 06.10.2017 : In Dunbar, a new novel by Edward St. Aubyn that retells the Shakespeare play King Lear, Henry Dunbar makes the mistake of handing over control of his global corporation to his eldest daughters, who bribe a doctor to declare him mentally unfit and send him to a care home in England. Can his youngest daughter (the only one who loves him) find him in time? Dunbar, published Oct 3, is part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, in which modern writers re-imagine Shakespeare plays as novels. The series has so far included re-tellings of The Winter’s Tale, The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest, and Othello by Jeanette Winterson, Howard Jacobson, Anne Tyler, Margaret Atwood, and Tracy Chevalier, respectively. : .
With Gielgud and Anthony Quayle at Stratford in 1950
Posted 02.05.2017 : Sir Nicholas Hytner's 'biography' of the National Theatre under his tutelage - Balancing Acts: Behind the Scenes at the NT - is BBC Radio 4's current Book of the Week - 5 episodes : see www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08nkrc6 .
Posted 01.01.2017: Giles Coren in the Times sums up 2016 - the Year of the Snowflake Generation - with a little help from King Lear (above) :
Posted 28.12.2016:The seminal BBC TV series 'TheWars of the Roses' broadcast in 1965 and based on John Barton's adaptation of the three parts of Henry VI and Richard III (dir. Peter Hall) is now available on DVD (3 discs). The cast includes David Warner, Peggy Ashcroft, Ian Holm, Eric Porter and Donald Sinden.
Posted 05.07.2016: Richard III captures the political moment - "There are such obvious parallels with what's been going on at the top of the Conservative party - and to an extent with Labour too"; "Richard had not grown up assuming he would be king - it makes me think of Jeremy Corbyn," says artistic director Rupert Goold: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-36707086 .
Posted 03.05.2016: Michael Morpurgo reads his new story,' The Fox and the Ghost King', that incorporates Leicester City's winning of the Premiership, the historical Richard III and Shakespeare's play: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03sphn1 .
Posted 03.04.2016: All the world’s a stage. But who wrote the script? Many of the English phrases we use every day were popularised by Shakespeare or the King James Bible. The question is, do you know where the following phrases appear? http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zxsvk7h ._
Posted 08.02.2016: Villain or victim, Shakespeare’s Shylock is a character to celebrate. In his contemporary revision of The Merchant of Venice,Howard Jacobson set out to explore Shylock’s enduring appeal, not make amends for his Jewishness: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/feb/05/villain-victim-shylock-shakespeare-howard-jacobson. Posted 04.02.2016: The audio file below is a Radio 4 programme from the Word of Mouth series headed by Michael Rosen. In this programme David Crystal explores how Shakespeare's language would have been spoken:
Posted 25.01.2016: Sir Ian McKellen to host bus tours of Richard III locations : "The star of stage and screen is to host public tours of the London locations seen in the film in which he played Richard III more than 20 years ago" : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-35402594 .
Posted 17.10.2015: Regent's Park Open Air Theatre's archive is now available online. For details see https://openairtheatre.com/1932 . The 1993 production of Romeo and Juliet (above) was directed by Dame Judi Dench.
Posted 24.01.2015: Radio4 Today Programme 8.25 a.m.: 0825. Available on BBC iPlayer. In the 17th century Restoration era, Shakespeare’s plays were considered ripe for improvement. King Lear was re-written to give it a happy ending and The Tempest was injected with romantic material and turned into a ‘musical’. It was hugely successful and for nearly two centuries it was this Restoration version not Shakespeare's original that was most familiar to audiences. This weekend (25-26 January), the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment will perform the score of the Restoration Tempest with some dramatic interludes at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at the Globe Theatre. Liz Kenny is the music director for “A Restoration Tempest”: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0501jlv ; http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/theatre/whats-on/concerts-by-candlelight/original-scores-matthew-lockes-the-tempest .