This week has been most exciting because of future events. Hal and I have bought our plane tickets for London in June, giving ourselves some extra days before and after the Shakespeare seminar. It’s never a good idea to hope time goes fast but we sure are looking forward to it. But it’s been a good week blogwise too so let’s get to that.
From Gregory Doran's Shakespeare Almanac: Nothing this week
- Review in Svenska Dagbladet of Macbeth at the Regional Theater of Blekinge-Kronoberg in southern Sweden. The review of this Brechtian production was middle of the road, not a rave, not a bomb.
- On season 3 of Friends Joey tells Chandler that his new flame is “the greatest actress since sliced bread” and Chandler says, “Oh yeah, she did a great lady Macbeth”.
- I saw in the TV listing that Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus was on last week on a channel we don’t have but that’s OK. We have the DVD and are saving it until we get to the play. Dagens Nyheter gave it 3 stars anyway and called it a “heavy but exciting experiment.”
- Still reading Bryson’s At Home and learned that Henry Clay Folger, president of Standard Oil and connected to Folger’s Coffee bought about a third of all surviving First Folios from hard-up aristocrats who had collected them through the years. These purchases formed the basis of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C.
- Same book: Thomas A. Watson, Alexander Graham Bell’s colleague and co-inventor of the telephone and sole inventor of the iron lung and the metal detector, tired of living in the US eventually and moved to England to become a successful actor. He was especially good at Shakespearean roles and performed often in Stratford-upon-Avon. Aren’t people’s lives fascinating?
- Langston Hughes is mostly known for his poetry but he has also written novels including Not Without Laughter from 1930. In it the young protagonist is introduced to Shakespeare by his teacher through the study if The Merchant of Venice. He later wonders if knowing things like Latin and Shakespeare makes a person happy but continues his studies and is given the assignment to write about “A Trip to Shakespeare’s England”.
- In Lorna Landvik’s novel Oh My Stars the unlikely hero, gorgeous and wonderful-in-all-ways hero Kjel (is that really how Norwegians spell Kjell or did Landvik get it wrong?) not only recites Shakespeare while making love to his girlfriend of the day – “We few, we happy few!” but goes on to become an actor for awhile and ends up meeting his best friend Austin who performs in an all black cast of Macbeth.
- Shakespeare goes to Mars in Ray Bradbury’s The Silver Locusts albeit rather anonymously when a character is accused of murder and replies calmly, “Murder most foul.”
Further, since the last report:
· It’s the last week of Shakespeare Calling follower Harold Berglund’s art exhibit. Even eagle-eyed blog follower Alexander hasn’t spotted the Shakespeare connection, and admittedly it’s far-fetched…, a bit of a joke really. Any last-minute guesses? http://www.wiberg.com/haroldberglund/berglund2012/berglund2012.asp
- Read Alexander’s very interesting review of Bill Bryson’s book on Shakespeare http://www.librarything.com/work/3714885/reviews/91426329
- Skipping Hamlet for reasons previously explained we started reading aloud Twelfth Night.
· This Monday Report
· Comments on Alexander’s and others’ comments