Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday March 3 2014

Ah, it’s nice to be back.  Well, I’m not completely back. Now I’m reading the Harry Potter books (see below) but I’m definitely back to Shakespeare. Hal and I finished Antony and Cleopatra several days ago and I’ve even started writing a text. Dare I promise to post it next week? That’s the plan anyway. As if the world of Shakespeare knew I was ready for it again there have been quite a lot of sightings. So here’s the report:

From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary.
  • Since I’m rather charmed with Wales these days I’ll take two Welsh entries this week.  The first is minimal but mentioned in Richard III which premiered here in Stockholm on Thursday (see below): Ha’rfordwest, short for Haverfordwest, administration centre of Pembrokeshire in Wales.
  • Harlechly Castle (now called Harlech Castle – it’s impressive; check it out on Google images) in northern Wales on the Cardigan Bay is where Richard II landed in 1399 when returning from Ireland to battle with Henry (IV) Bolingbroke who had risen against him.
Shakespeare sightings:
  • In the first episode of the new TV series Vicious, starring Shakespeare veterans Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi, there is a poster on the wall for Twelfth Night. Ian McKellen’s character Freddie, reminiscing about an old friend who has just died, remembers them touring together, “Shakespeare, I believe.”
  • In a much older series that we recently started watching, Fringe, Olivia describes the press as getting “their pound of flesh,” but to be honest the story is too complex and goes too quickly for me to really understand what she meant.
  • At the end of the book The Story of English – How the English Language Conquered the World by Philip Gooden, the author mentions The Tempest as an example of Shakespeare using less than polite English and he lists Shakespeare as one of the key literary figures in the history of the English language.  Surprise, surprise.
  • The review in Dagens Nyheter of The Royal Dramatic Theatre’s Richard III was very positive calling it a “Magnificent Meditation over Power” in the headline. Jonas Karlsson plays RIII, not as power mad but as one obsessed with compulsive emptiness. The production is a dull and grinding meditation over the emptiness of power according to the critic Maina Arwas.
  • Similarly, our friends A and L who saw the dress rehearsal, thought it was brilliant and assure us that we will too. So we’re definitely looking forward to seeing it on Saturday!
  • IN DN today there is a review of William the Musical at the Victoria Theatre in Malmö. The critic Rickard Loman describes this William as both an entertainer and a diva and finds the production neither good enough nor bad enough to be interesting and can’t imagine why this play in Swenglish is being done. Ouch.
  • Again, in the Harry Potter book this time, The Goblet of Fire, the rock group The Weird Sisters perform at Hogwarts’ Yule Ball.
  • In the mad but brilliant film Being John Malkovich, Malkovich himself is seen on stage as Richard the III saying, “Was ever woman in this humour...?” He didn’t get much farther than that
Further since last time:
  • Finished reading aloud: Antony and Cleopatra
  • Started writing: text on same
Posted this week:
  • This Monday report.

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