2007

Brainstorming Classical Connections

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0284  Tuesday, 10 April 2007

From: 		Mark Bruce <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, 09 Apr 2007 11:23:06 -0500
Subject: 	Brainstorming Classical Connections

Greetings All!

I'm working on brainstorming a list of possibly fruitful pairings of 
plays from Shakespeare's corpus and classical theatre. I'm looking for 
obvious adaptations, of course (i.e. _Comedy of Errors_ and Plautus), 
but also (and perhaps even more) for the quirkier, less direct pairings, 
pairings that would produce not only connections but also 
interesting/productive contrasts and conversations. The context for this 
is an undergraduate course (a variant of the usual "Western 
Civilization" sort of course that concentrates on art as a gateway into 
the history) that calls for the inclusion of at least one classical play 
and one of Shakespeare's--so I'd like, ideally, to put together two 
plays that both clearly connect and clearly demonstrate differences 
between Classical and Early Modern ideas. I've got a list of my own 
going, but I'd love to hear others' ideas.

Thanks,
Mark Bruce

_______________________________________________________________
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 and Dr. Who

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0283  Tuesday, 10 April 2007

From: 		Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Subject: 	Shakespeare and Dr. Who

Doctor Who 3.2: The Shakespeare Code
8 April 2007
By Scott Matthewman
http://www.thestage.co.uk/tvtoday/2007/04/doctor_who_32_the_shakespeare_code.php

It's somehow appropriate that it's David Tennant's Tenth Doctor who 
becomes the first to meet William Shakespeare (at least on screen). More 
than any other, this incarnation of Doctor Who revels in wordplay, and 
in Gareth Thomas' rollocking script he certainly meets his match.

In a story that is all about the power of words, the dialogue must 
surely come under some scrutiny. And while on first hearing it may sound 
light and frothy - simplistic, even - there is much going on from the 
very first scene, with one of several Shakespearean quotes ("O brave new 
world") that are dotted liberally throughout, and not always signposted 
for the casual viewer. Not least there is the continued bedding-in of 
Freema Agyeman as the Doctor's new companion, Martha. We begin to see 
that, no matter how well she does or what clever leaps of logic she can 
make, the Doctor clearly misses the empathic nature of previous 
companion, Rose - appropriately given the nature of the episode, she's 
described as being able to say exactly the right words.

And lack of empathy is visible in Agyeman's performance, too, when it's 
needed.  For most of the episode, she shows she's more than capable of 
handling Martha's inquisitive, intelligent nature. But as she escorts 
the Doctor and Shakespeare into Bedlam, there seems an uncharacteristic 
glitch in character. As Shakespeare talks about the loss of his son, 
Hamnet, to plague, Agyeman's delivery of Martha's apology is an off-note 
in an otherwise good performance - compounded by a hysterical outburst 
later in Peter Streete's cell that may bode ill for future episodes.

But it seems churlish to dwell on brief dissonances when there is so 
much else to revel in. Dean Lennox Kelly plays Shakespeare as a smooth, 
lascivious genius.  It's a performance that's buoyed by Roberts' script, 
which makes the wise decision to give the off-duty Shakespeare a 
down-to-earth, common touch rather than making him someone who speaks in 
iambic pentameter at the drop of a hat.  As usual there is an alien 
threat - in this case, three Carrionites, whose use of DNA control and 
psychic energy are a thinly-veiled excuse to create three archetypal 
witch-crones. Under heavy prosthetics, Amanda Lawrence and Linda Clark 
(who you can also catch on The Stage Podcast talking about that make-up 
work) ham it up deliciously. But it's Christina Cole's Lilith who has to 
bear the majority of work here, and she does it with aplomb. Indeed, 
it's a shame that the triumvirate are let down by the other Carrionites, 
realised as bizarre CGI creatures to whom they bear little resemblance.

The theme of the power of words has been dealt with before in Doctor 
Who. In 2005's The Long Game, for example, humanity was being subdued by 
journalists working under the control of a malevolent proprietor. "The 
right word, in the right broadcast, repeated often enough," says that 
episode, "can destabilise an economy, invent an enemy, change a vote..." 
That's a theme worth repeating, and the power of theatre if anything 
makes the point both more firmly and more effectively here, two years on.


TV Review: Doctor Who - "The Shakespeare Code"
Written by Matthew Milam
Published April 09, 2007
http://blogcritics.org:80/archives/2007/04/09/062158.php

After last week's "Smith and Jones" I was left with the impression that 
things not only appeared to be better in the third series of Doctor Who, 
but that they were better. There seemed to be more fun, more confidence 
and more stability in the stories so far told. This tradition continues 
with Gareth Roberts' contribution with "The Shakespeare Code", which not 
only revisits a time long past but raises new questions not often 
answered in science fiction.

The story is easy enough to follow. The Doctor (David Tennant) and his 
new companion Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) land the TARDIS in 1599 
London somewhere near the Globe Theater. At this time, this was the home 
of many performances by the legendary scribe William Shakespeare (Dean 
Lennox Kelly). Unfortunately, his behavior and manners are very unlike 
the deep and thoughtful plays he produced as they witness after the 
performance of Love's Labour's Lost.

Just then, a mysterious inn-maid named Lilith (Christina Cole) fiddles 
with a doll which suddenly makes William spurt out that he would produce 
a sequel - Love's Labour's Won. In addition, he would have it set to be 
performed the very next night. This does not please Lynley (Chris 
Larkin), who approves or disapproves all plays presented at the theater. 
He promises to put a ban on him for not consulting him on his sequel 
script. Strangely enough, the same woman decides to put the same touch 
on Lynley and kills him with the same doll.

Something is amiss in ye old England.

As it turns out the woman is part of a group of witches who are 
searching for a new home for their kind. The only way to do that is 
through the power of two forces - the Globe Theater itself and the words 
of William Shakespeare himself. If and when he puts on his Love Labour's 
Won play, it would be a conduit to open a gateway allowing the rest of 
the witches to invade earth.

After putting together the pieces of the puzzle of the witches' plan, 
The Doctor and Martha managed to seal the gateway the witches come 
through using simply the power of words which saves London and the world 
once again. Thanks to their heroics the Love's Labour's Won play caught 
the attention of Queen Elizabeth the First, who in seeing the Doctor 
orders his death for an incident unknown.

You could accuse Gareth Roberts of doing a plot copy from Mark Gatiss' 
"The Unquiet Dead", but this isn't quite so grim. The world of 
Shakespeare is a wonderful, exciting and yet honest place. Rather than 
embrace the supposedly dark-side of being famous as Gatiss did with his 
take on Charles Dickens, Roberts makes Shakey to be a politically 
incorrect heathen who loves who he is. He's also a very aggressive 
ladies man who constantly takes every moment to hit on Martha Jones. 
Even to the point of complementing her dark skinned features.

Earlier in the episode she makes light of the fact that she could 
possibly be mistaken (or treated) as a slave. This is a question that 
often plagues writers who write science fiction. How do you write 
characters who aren't white in times that didn't always put them in the 
highest regard? Roberts gives an easy answer to the rather complex question:

"It's easy, just walk around like you own the place. Works for me."

If Gareth Roberts had been around in the 1970s during the era of Tom 
Baker, the line (perhaps even the episode) would be very fitting to his 
take on the Doctor. I'd even say this is a modern-day version of Douglas 
Adams' "City Of Death", an episode that took place mostly in Paris and 
involved the Mona Lisa painting and an American with a punch that would 
save the world. Rent the episode from Netflix or purchase it from the 
Amazon link below to see what I mean.

Kudos should be extended to the three actresses who played the witches, 
with Christina Cole deserving the most praise. She managed to scare me 
in the pre-title sequence when she turned to the camera declaring that 
her race would take over our planet. I wasn't peeing in my pants scared 
of the performance, but was silently cursing and causing my heart to 
race by watching it. Of course it would have helped if I hadn't had the 
monitor so close to my face.

Praise also is well deserved for Freema Agyeman, who has impressed the 
hell out of me with her performance as Martha Jones. We haven't explored 
her complete character being only on episode two, but she comes off as 
being a bright and shining beacon of excitement. Sure, Rose (Billie 
Piper) did that, but I can see it in Martha more. It's a pity, but I'll 
leave those Rose Tyler fan boys behind and move forward to the new era 
of Martha Jones.

Of course there are those hardcore Doctor Who fans who have quietly 
voiced concerns that the casting Agyeman was an act of political 
correctness. Some have even stated that the show has always had white 
leads for both The Doctor and companion - bollocks! If science fiction 
hopes to move beyond being a "white people" only genre, it has to learn 
how to diversify. All cultures don't want to always be in their 
respective boxes all the time. Some of us do look to the stars and may 
even journey to them through space programs designed to do just that.

Do we make visual media to escape the reality that there is more than 
one race on this planet? I hope not, because I grow to be tired of 
getting handed shows like this.

The sexual tension of the series might have overtaken the story as The 
Doctor did kiss Martha for practical purposes in "Smith and Jones". Like 
in the classic series, when the Doctor is forced to share a bed with 
Martha at the local inn, you would think that sexual chemistry would be 
ignited. I guess to remain safe with the kids, Roberts decided to still 
make him long for Rose Tyler - a relationship that even in "The 
Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit" didn't work.

I'd like to declare at this point and time that we have found heroes in 
the writing team of Doctor Who. Paul Cornell, Steven Moffat and Gareth 
Roberts are The Official Bad Boys of The New Doctor Who. For this and 
other episodes, we salute you and the quality output you present.

Next week, four words will change The Doctor's (or someone he knows) 
life forever and they come from an old friend.

_______________________________________________________________
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.



_______________________________________________________________
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.

The International Spread of Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0281  Tuesday, 10 April 2007

From: 		Hilde Slinger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Tuesday, 10 Apr 2007 12:31:38 +0200
Subject: 	Final CFP: The International Spread of Shakespeare

7TH TRIENNIAL CONGRESS : The International Spread of Shakespeare

USEFUL INFORMATION FOR PRESENTERS and DELEGATES

The conference web-site: http://www.ru.ac.za/shakespeare has been 
updated.  Please note that the correct Bank reference reads 050917 (and 
not 150917).

Our official Invitation should have reached you, together with an 
estimate of Congress expenses (this detail has been repeated at the foot 
of this notice).

Co-ordination of flight arrivals and departures at Port Elizabeth airport:

We will have transport and a representative to 'meet and greet' you at 
the airport on the 24th June.  To enable you to settle into your 
accommodation, all flights should have arrived in PE by approximately 
14.30hrs (latest) The road journey will take approximately 1.5 hrs.  We 
plan to register presenters and delegates at Eden Grove, Rhodes Campus, 
between 14.00 and approximately17.00., by which time the bus will take 
passengers to their respective residences.

Please note that the bus leaving the PE airport at approximately 
14.30hrs on the 24 June and the bus leaving Grahamstown for the PE 
airport on the 28 June at 11.30am is the transport referred to on the 
registration form.  The concession rate being R100.00 (return) for those 
delegates whose time schedule coincides.

Any other transport requirements are by private arrangement. Alternative 
transport facilities will be part of the information sheet in 
Presenters'/Delegates' packs.

Please let us have your flight details as soon as possible.  Please let 
us know if you find that your proposed flight schedule does not coincide 
with our projected transport plan.

Rhodes University Residence: Budget Accommodation availability:  Single 
accommodation (with communal bathrooms) has been made available for our 
Presenters and Delegates from the 24-27 June. (In from 17.00hr on the 
afternoon of the 24th and Out after breakfast on the 28 June).  Should 
you be planning to stay over for the National Arts Festival or part 
thereof (28 June - 7 July), it is important that you should let us have 
such detail, preferably when you make your Congress booking. Rhodes 
residence charge is R183.00 per person, per night.

Should you prefer alternative graded B&B accommodation, we recommend 
that you visit the Guild website: www.grahamstown-accommodation.co.za. 
We understand that each B&B has an availability calendar to enable 
guests to check whether the B&B of their choice is full or not. B&B 
establishments usually have double (or twin) rooms. Please enquire as 
soon as possible as accommodation is at a premium at this time of year.

GRAHAMSTOWN:  A comprehensive description of our unique city is given on 
the same website: www.grahamstown-accommodation.co.za.

Weather:  June/July is our mid-winter.  It is usually pleasantly warm by 
midday, but please prepare for cold days and nights!  You are advised to 
bring winter clothing and a hat for the Pumba outing.

EVENTS PLANNED WITHIN THE CONGRESS PROGRAMME:

Please plan your diary well in advance and mark the events accordingly, 
when completing the Registration form.

Please send payment promptly, preferably at the same time as you submit 
the completed form, with Forex added at R105.00 (if applicable).  On 
receipt, our Secretary will then have the information necessary to book 
for the separate events.

The closing date for payment is 15 May 2007.

If you do not have an internet facility, please apply to the Convenor 
for a registration form, to be faxed or posted to you.

THE NATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL: 28 June - 7 July: The full programme will be 
available generally in April.  However, don't wait for the programme 
otherwise you are likely to struggle to find accommodation. The Festival 
programme is varied, covers all branches of the Arts, with performances 
during the morning, afternoon and evening.  Hopper buses leave from 
strategic points and those who will not have their own transport are 
advised to enquire detail from the B&Bs or Festival office.  The 
Festival Website address is: <nafest.co.za>.

Contact Person/s for enquiries about Congress:
Convenor: (Hilde Slinger) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.:  Secretary: (Eddie Baart) 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..    Fax: 046 603 8566: Tels: 046 603 8335/8565/
       046 622 6093.  For contingency  calls: Cell: 0825530245 (all hours)

When the important organisational details have been covered, you may be 
assured that an exciting Congress experience awaits you.

Hilde Slinger
  (Convenor)

GENERAL ESTIMATE OF CONGRESS EXPENSES

Congress fee (excluding forex)		995.00
(includes 4 teas & 2 lunches,
Cocktail Party)
Transport from the Port Elizabeth
Airport to Grahamstown & return 		100.00
Accommodation at University
(24-27 June) @ R168.00 (B&B)
not en-suite					672.00
Social entertainment extras:-
Game reserve & congress dinner		550.00
Shakespeare theatre show (approx)		  50.00

Guidelines:

 From the above detail, it will be noted that your personal expenses, 
apart from incidentals, will need to cover meals not included above. The 
University is very close, within walking distance of the centre city, if 
preferred.  Although the Game Park visit with Congress Dinner are looked 
upon as 'optional extras' this event is, of course, a vital part of the 
Congress experience.  A similar outing at our 2003 congress was a 
highlight.  Also, the Conference Show, "Hamlet" is planned for the 
entertainment of delegates and the public.

_______________________________________________________________
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.

New Shakespeare 'Works

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0282  Tuesday, 10 April 2007

From: 		Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Subject: 	New Shakespeare 'Works' Includes Changes

Dear SHAKSPEReans,

This announcement is available online at a number of sites, thanks to UPI.

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/49332.html

New Shakespeare 'Works' Includes Changes
Posted on: 2007-04-08 | Author : Entertainment News Editor
News Category: US 	

LONDON, April 8 (UPI) A new edition of Shakespeare's works, published in 
London with official backing, has changed some of the characters and 
elements of his plays.

One of the main changes in the "RSC Shakespeare Complete Works" is the 
character of Lady Macbeth -- in the new version she is not quite as 
vindictive, The Sunday Times in London reported. The "Works" claims to 
be a version that is closer to the playwright's original intentions. It 
uses Shakespeare's First Folio of 1623, which is the version authorized 
by John Hemings and Henry Condell, Shakespeare's fellow actors.

The new edition was created by a team of authors and experts and was led 
by Jonathan Bate, professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance literature at 
the University of Warwick, and Eric Rasmussen, professor of English at 
the University of Nevada.

Directors are still free to cut or add lines with the new version, but 
the new texts, says the Royal Shakespeare Company, "will form the base 
text provided for every director working with the company."

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Alms for Oblivion

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0280  Friday, 6 April 2007

From: 		Paul Hebron <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 6 Apr 2007 09:11:06 -0400
Subject: 18.0269 Alms for Oblivion
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0269 Alms for Oblivion

Surely every actor reading this thread was caused to think, agreeing 
with it or not, of the Old Actor's council to his Younger 
Colleague....."It's ok to steal, kid.  Just make sure you steal from the 
best."

Agreeing with David Lindley in this regard, where is the value, in this 
subjective art form, in novelty for novelty's sake?  Is it not enough, 
as actor, director, lighting designer, or any other member of a 
production's collaborative team, to make the creative choices you 
believe in and then stand behind them, whether they're unique and 
original or largely derivative?  I would suggest that when the 
replication of a particular piece of business, or an actor's choice, or 
the directorial staging of a scene fails to satisfy, the fault lies not 
in the "steal", but in the failure to fully realize that moment or to 
integrate it into the context of the present production.

At least in the most general terms, the litmus test for any creative 
team is quite simple; for them, the moment works, or it doesn't. If they 
believe it does, that's their choice, and everything else becomes 
someone else's (however well informed or well educated) opinion.

Paul Hebron

_______________________________________________________________
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.

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