Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday, January 23 2012

The week has gone according to plan: we've started reading King John and my text on RII is complete. So with no further ado:

  • Shakespeare sightings:
    • A “hearing” rather than a sighting: On the radio program (which we have on CD) “Saturday Night Fry” Stephen Fry interviews Hugh Laurie who gives a garbled version of the Shakespeare roles he's played.
    • A tiny notice in DN about the Gothenburg opera putting on Shostakovitch's Lady Macbeth from Mzensk.
    • In Alice in Wonderland, read for the first time ever this week, the Dodo is described thinking hard: “it stood for a long time with one finger pressed upon its forehead (the position in which you usually see Shakespeare, in the pictures of him.”
    • In the movie Tea with Mussolini Judi Dench's character devotedly tries to share Shakespeare with her Italian friends.

Further, this week:
  • Waiting patiently for Stephen Greenblatt's Shakespearean Negotiations and Renaissance Self-fashioning
  • Now reading aloud with Hal: The Life and Death of King John
  • Still reading: A Companion to Shakespeare's Works – The Tragedies.
  • Play seen: Twelfth Night. Mentioned last week as a sighting, and sure enough, we went to see it and enjoyed it very much. As always I find it hard to hear what is said on stage but once they got into the story itself – which they followed quite faithfully in spite of placing it in a tire factory in the 1960's - it was no problem. The singing was fantastic, the stage decor fun and inventive and the spread in ages of the cast – from about twelve or thirteen to several in their eighties – was inspiring. I'll quote the review in SvD : “The professional singers lift the production but it is nevertheless the whole collective that in the end steals the show”. With songs like “Good Golly Miss Molly”, “Help”, “When s Man Loves a Woman”, Be My Baby,” “Stand by Me” and “Ain't No Mountain High Enough”, all woven into the story as if Shakespeare had written the songs himself, you can't go wrong. A must see (and there's still time, all you Stockholmers!) for anyone who digs music from the 50's and 60's and Shakespeare.

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