2005

Shakespeare or non-Shakespeare?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1832  Tuesday, 8 November 2005

From: 		Al Magary <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Saturday, 05 Nov 2005 14:40:50 -0800
Subject: 	Shakespeare or non-Shakespeare?

This might join Richard Burt's thread on current trends in Shakespeare. 
  As an occasional visitor in the Forest of Arden I approach as an 
open-minded traditionalist, as I've indicated more than once in 
skeptical reviews of Laird Williamson's Julius Caesar at Ashland (2002) 
and Andrew Davies' Othello (TV, 2001).  Now I am definitely not looking 
forward to--in fact, I hesitate to look at--the BBC's new Shakespeare 
series (the first program, Much Ado, was scheduled on BBC1 Mon. 11/7; 
Macbeth, Taming, and MND follow in November).

Or should I say, *non-Shakespeare* series, for they're retaining some of 
his plot materials but rewriting the text.  Shakespeare's language in 
total is surely the overwhelming claim on immortality, not (all) the plots.

Mark Lawson previewed the series in the Guardian Nov. 2 and, with 
restraint, describes the pitfalls of "Changing the Bard."  I commend it 
to the list: 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,5323701-110428,00.html  The 
counterpoints, I suppose, are at the BBC: 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/shakespeare/

Here's Lawson's conclusion:

"But--having selected settings, names and deviations from the plot--the 
scriptwriter comes to the most crucial calculation: language. The 
frequent justification for renovating his dramas is that most of the 
plays use borrowed plots. Shakespeare, though, transformed the stories 
he stole into language of complete originality.

"Acknowledging this problem, two Hollywood directors--Baz Lurhmann's 
'Romeo and Juliet' in 1996 and the 'Hamlet' (2001) from Michael 
Almereyda--kept the original text in sensitively edited form. '10 Things 
I Hate About You' [1999] and 'O' [2001], while employing contemporary 
high-school speech, found a patois so rich in neologisms and metaphors 
that it became a kind of poetry. There is also, in '10 Things', a key 
scene in which Kat read a Shakespeare sonnet in class.

"The BBC 'Much Ado' employs the same device, through a sonnet read at a 
wedding, but, while none of the scripts are badly written, they settle 
for the vernacular banter of mainstream peaktime drama. It's not the 
fault the writers that they can't compete with Shakespeare, but it may 
seem strange to future generations that Hollywood proved more respectful 
towards Shakespeare than the BBC. Drama producers probably wouldn't 
commission a series of plays based on the plots of opera because there 
wouldn't be much point without the singing. Shakespeare's plots without 
the language also lack the singing and the point."

It's pretty awful when I fear what I might find under the greenwood tree 
when the cattle have been standing.  Too bad, for I would otherwise look 
forward to Damian Lewis apparently in his Shakespeare debut, as Benedick.

Cheers,
Al Magary

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Shakespeare (The Journal)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1831  Tuesday, 8 November 2005

From: 		John D. Cox <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Sunday, 6 Nov 2005 21:24:24 -0500
Subject: 	Shakespeare's Ghosts

I appreciate David Schalkwyk's mention of his forthcoming article, 
"Shakespeare's Ghosts," because it sounds interesting. Forgive my 
ignorance, but is the journal "Shakespeare," which is publishing the 
article, an online publication? I'm not familiar with it, so I don't 
know how to pursue the reference.

Thanks,
John Cox
Hope College

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

BBC Richard II

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1829  Tuesday, 8 November 2005

From: 		Nancy Charlton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, 07 Nov 2005 17:02:48 +0000
Subject: 	BBC Richard II

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/cinema/features/richardII.shtml

To air Tuesday March 8, 11:40 p.m. - 3:05 p.m. Doesn't say what time zone.

The web site article in its entirety:

BBC Four presents Shakespeare's tragedy Richard II from Shakespeare's 
Globe Theatre in London. Starring Mark Rylance and directed by Tim 
Carroll, this all-male interpretation aims to replicate the authentic 
Shakespearean experience as accurately as possible.

This evening of live theatre is presented by Andrew Marr who is joined 
by distinguished guests, Corin Redgrave, Zoe Wanamaker and Michael Wood 
to discuss all aspects of the production. Razia Iqbal talks to members 
of the audience.

The first in Shakespeare's second history cycle, Richard II is written 
entirely in verse, making it one of the most lyrical of his plays.

Nancy Charlton

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Hamlet in Wales: "I fod neu dim i fod"

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1830  Tuesday, 8 November 2005

From: 		Al Magary <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, 07 Nov 2005 00:28:38 -0800
Subject: 	Hamlet in Wales: "I fod neu dim i fod"

City snubs Welsh Hamlet
by Marc Baker

Nov 6 2005, Wales on Sunday

http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/0900entertainment/0050artsnews/tm_objectid=16338251&method=full&siteid=50082&headline=city-snubs-welsh-hamlet-name_page.html

TO BE or not to be was not the question on actors' lips as they 
performed Hamlet for the first time in Welsh.

Rather, it was why are there more of us on the stage than in the audience?

To quote Shakespeare, there was definitely something rotten in the state 
of Swansea when just 28 people turned up to see the Bard's masterpiece 
at the city's 1,021-seat Grand Theatre.

The 32-strong cast of red-faced thespians spent weeks rehearsing only to 
find themselves performing in an all but empty auditorium.

And most of those who watched the production were there only because 
they had been given complimentary tickets.

The cast spent weeks learning the line "I fod neu dim i fod", better 
known as, "To be or not to be", but their efforts fell on deaf ears when 
hardly any literature luvvies turned up to see their performance.

Wales Theatre Company producer Michael Bogdanov was specially 
commissioned to turn the story of the Prince of Denmark into Welsh by 
the Arts Council for Wales. His infatuation with England's glorious 
playwright began more than 50 years ago, when he saw Welsh legend 
Richard Burton tackle Othello.

But despite the flop, the Neath-born producer last night said he was 
looking on the bright side.

The co-founder of the English Shakespeare Company said: "The turn out 
was disappointing in many ways but in a way it was helpful because it 
was the first performance in Welsh and it gave us a chance to fine tune 
it in front of a small audience."

The actors perform Hamlet twice back-to-back, first in English and then 
in Welsh.

Adam Hopkins, 32, one of the members of the audience, said: "It was a 
bit empty to say the least, but I actually enjoyed the production. It's 
just a pity there weren't more people to clap at the end."

The producers are hoping for bigger audiences when the touring 
production is performed elsewhere in Wales, including Cardiff, Milford 
Haven, Brecon, and Llandudno.

And to make sure bums are on seats for the Cardiff shows, free tickets 
are being handed out for the November 2-12 performances at the New Theatre.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Further Transactions of the Book

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1828  Tuesday, 8 November 2005

From: 		Owen Williams <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, 7 Nov 2005 15:31:45 -0500
Subject: 	Folger Spring Conference: Further Transactions of the Book

Further Transactions of the Book
A Spring Conference at the Folger Shakespeare Library organized by 
Anthony Grafton (Princeton University) and Ann Blair (Harvard 
University), with Kathleen Lynch (The Folger Institute).

In recent decades, localized studies of the histories of the book have 
proliferated and matured. Attention to the effects of the transmission 
of knowledge in different media has consequently influenced work in many 
scholarly fields. This weekend conference carries forward the 
examinations of the 2001 Folger conference "Transactions of the Book." 
With sponsorship from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and the 
Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, it offers a close focus 
on the Continental book trades as well as on the impact of the printed 
book on transnational or international knowledge communities. As was its 
predecessor, this conference is an international gathering of social and 
intellectual historians, literary critics, bibliographers, and others. 
By extending the scope of investigation beyond the widely recognized 
impact of the printing press, the conference encompasses the work of 
influential experts and new perspectives alike to assess current trends 
in light of the evidence of carefully historicized local studies.

Panelists include: Blaise Aguera y Arcas (Princeton), Warren Boutcher 
(Queen Mary University of London), Jorge Ca


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