Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 386. Wednesday, 23 June 1993.
Date: Wednesday, 23 Jun 1993 14:09:37 -0400
Subject: Cleo Laine, John Colicos, BBC Time Lifez
1: This morning shortly after eleven on CBC Radio (AM version)
they played a recording of Cleo Laine singing Sonnet 18 set to
music by John Beckwith. Has anyone on line heard (of) this
recording, and if so do you know if Cleo has done anything else
along these lines? It was very pretty, and with a bit of a
bluesy beat. The program was a replay of an old Lister Sinclair
"Ideas" instalment, called "Nectar and Ambrosia--Part 3."
2: On CBC Radio about a few weeks ago they ran a wonderful new
audio version of King Lear, produced and directed by John Juliani
and starring John Colicos as Lear. Colicos was superb, his voice
subtly becoming less imperious and startlingly more human
from scene to scene, and Cordelia (didn't catch the name of the
actress) sobbed in a most heart-stabbing manner. The tape is
available for purchase by calling Vancouver: 800-665-5516 or
by fax at 604-948-0158. Don't have the price right now. (I
hereby affirm I have no connection, commercial or otherwise,
with this enterprise. I'm doing this for free.) A friend says he
met Colicos by chance in a pub a few months ago and he not only
mentioned that he was doing a radio version of Lear but was so
enthusiastic about it he started delivering the "Howl Howl Howl"
speech in such a convincing manner that the entire noisy pub was
3: Switching from the CBC to the BBC--I was chatting with Paul
Roberts of the BBC Toronto office this morning and he says the
BBC-Time Life Shakespeare video series (ca. 1980) will in about
18 months become commercially available first in the U.S., then
in Canada, rather than just through institutions etc. They'll be
about Can$50 per cassette, or a shade under Can$1,000 for the
whole collection. Most of you will be familiar with the series I'm
sure, but for those who aren't I should say that each play is given
in full, straightahead, no editing, and brilliant casting and sets.
I've only seen a few of them but so far but highlights have been:
a. Charles Gray's unforgettable portrayal of Pandarus in Troilus
and Cressida. Does anyone know anything else about the work of
this fine actor?
b. Ben Kingsley as one of the aggrieved husbands in Merry Wives.
c. The wonderful otherworldly setting in Comedy of Errors.
A long shot: Does anyone know of a superfluous set of these tapes
that could be sold on a second-hand basis? If so, I'm definitely
interested, since I lack institutional affiliation, though any
responses to this query can be e-mailed to me at: