As You Like It has been the project this month. As always we’ve enjoyed reading it but the film experiences have been mixed. This play deserves a really good stage or film production and my latest reactions to what we’ve seen have left me wanting something better. Maybe someday! But now to the monthly report.
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- In Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky, one of the best space odyssey novels I’ve read, the very interesting and quite likeable spider characters have such names as Portia, Viola, Fabian…Subtle Shakespeare! More obvious are
- A chapter title ‘Not Prince Hamlet’
- Avrana, the sort of captain of the whole thing though in sort of suspended animation, reflects that she ‘had been in the giving vein, then. She had recognized them to be human enough to show mercy to.’
- In the novel The Hourglass Factory by Lucy Ribchester the villain Lady Thorne blames her wayward daughter for everything and says, ‘”How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is - ’” and Frankie completes the quote, ‘”To have a thankless child.’” Snob Lady Thorne is appalled to hear Shakespeare in Frankie’s working class mouth.
- Dagens Nyheter
- Had a review of Ian McEwan’s latest novel Nutshell. It seems it’s based on Hamlet as a foetus; his mother Trudy is having it off with her brother-in-law Claude. I do like McEwan but frankly, this one does not sound so great.
- Had a review of Romeo and Juliet at Stockholm’s City Theatre. I don’t think the critic liked it but I’m not sure. The review was long but didn’t say much.
- In Ricky Gervais’ The Office, which we watched with a constant cringe – is it really like this in offices? Then I’m so glad I’ve never worked in one! –
- On quiz night the tie break question was, ‘Which Shakespeare play has the character Caliban?’ The Boss David Brent (Gervais) and his team answer Macbeth. Tim (Martin Freeman) and his team get the right answer but the dreadful boss twists the rules so that he wins, as always.
- David, in a later episode, mentions ‘The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer and Shakespeare.’
- In Peter Robinson’s latest Alan Banks novel When the Music is Over the characters have either played Juliet in school plays or are reading the sonnets or toss off quotes.
- In Edna Ferber’s classic from 1926, Show Boat:
- Schultzy, the director, tries to explain to the cast how to play the scene in ‘the ad lib. directions that have held since the day of Shakespeare.’
- Schultzy’s beloved Elly leaves the show boat and him to pursue her dream of playing Juliet.
- Magnolia loved the theatre: ‘Farce, comedy, melodrama – the whole gamut as outlined by Polonius…’
- Kim finally achieves her dream of her own theatre where she can produce the plays she’s been longing to do, ‘Shakespeare even!’
- Elly reappears and Kim says, ‘Mother tells me you played Juliet…’
Further since last time:
- The 1936 film of As You Like It with Laurence Olivier
- Branagh’s 2006 production of same.
- Started reading aloud with Hal: The Tempest
Posted this month
- ‘O Orlando! in As You Like It http://rubyjandshakespearecalling.blogspot.se/2016/12/o-orlando-in-as-you-like-it.html
- This report