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‘Pericles, Prince of Tyre,’ at the Public Theater

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.468  Monday, 1 December 2014

 

From:        Hardy Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:        November 25, 2014 at 9:14:09 AM EST

Subject:    Shakespeare's ‘Pericles, Prince of Tyre,' at the Public 

 

[Editor’s Note: This review is from The New York Times. –Hardy]

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/25/theater/shakespeares-pericles-prince-of-tyre-at-the-public-theater.html?_r=0

Intrigue in the Middle East, This Time From Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s ‘Pericles, Prince of Tyre,’ at the Public Theater 

 

By Alexis Soloski

Nov. 24, 2014

 

Last summer, the radio host Ira Glass prompted a Twitter tempest when he attended the Public Theater’s lackluster “King Lear” and tweeted: “No stakes, not relatable. I think I’m realizing: Shakespeare sucks.”

 

Maybe Mr. Glass saw the wrong Shakespeare play.

 

The theater’s Mobile Shakespeare Unit has just returned “Pericles, Prince of Tyre” to Lafayette Street, having toured the production to homeless shelters, community centers and correctional facilities — reaching audiences who can’t spend a day standing in line for Shakespeare in the Park tickets. Few Bardolators would argue that “Pericles” is the equal of “Lear” in poetry or power. It has a clunky, outmoded framing device, and its plot, which involves multiple shipwrecks, an unlikely resurrection and some extremely polite brothel customers, is tough to respect. But this 100-minute show (about half the length of “Lear”) is feisty and involving. And while I’ve never believed that great art has to be “relatable,” the audience members who watched the final act of “Pericles” with tears in their eyes seemed to find it so.

 

The director, Rob Melrose, has assembled a diverse eight-member cast, costumed in attractive neutrals, to play some 40 roles and provide the backing music, too. On a turquoise carpet, with the audience on all sides, they dash from Antioch to Ephesus, Tarsus to Tyre, and lands beyond, as Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Raffi Barsoumian) loses and recovers a wife and a child.

 

Mr. Melrose’s quick-march approach sacrifices nuance (and, frankly, a lot of poetry) to speed and lucidity. Even in this dizzying, genre-hopping play, with its elaborate leaps in time and place, the locations and relationships are always clear. The production is economical and modestly inventive, with wooden stools subbing for jousting horses, a silken sheet for billowing waves, a table for a bed and a bier, the carpet for pretty much everything else.

 

You might see grander Shakespeare, more provocative Shakespeare, more complicated Shakespeare, more lyrical Shakespeare, but you’re unlikely to see a clearer, swifter production. In brief: It doesn’t suck. Someone get Mr. Glass a ticket.

 
 
First Folio Discovered in France

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.467  Monday, 1 December 2014

 

[1] From:        Hardy Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         November 26, 2014 at 5:08:29 PM EST

     Subject:    Shakespeare Folio Discovered in Franc

 

[2] From:        Hardy Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         November 25, 2014 at 3:42:52 PM EST

     Subject:    Shakespeare First Folio found in French library 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Hardy Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         November 26, 2014 at 5:08:29 PM EST

Subject:    Shakespeare Folio Discovered in France 

 

[Editor’s Note: I am sure everyone has heard of this discovery by now, but I thought you might like to read excerpts from The New York Times and The Guardian. –Hardy]

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/26/arts/shakespeare-folio-discovered-in-france-.html?_r=0

 

Shakespeare Folio Discovered in France

 

By Jennifer Schuessler

Nov. 25, 2014

 

First folios of Shakespeare’s plays are among the world’s rarest books, intensely scrutinized by scholars for what their sometimes-minute variations — each copy is different — reveal about the playwright’s intentions.

 

Now a previously unknown folio has surfaced at a small library in northern France, bringing the world’s known total of surviving first folios to 233.

 

“This is huge,” said Eric Rasmussen, an American Shakespeare expert who traveled to France over the weekend to authenticate the volume. “First folios don’t turn up very often, and when they do, it’s usually a really chewed up, uninteresting copy. But this one is magnificent.”

 

The book was discovered this fall by librarians at a public library in St.-Omer, near Calais, who were sifting through its collections for an exhibition on English-language literature. The title page and other introductory material were torn off, but Rémy Cordonnier, the director of the library’s medieval and early modern collection, suspected that the book — cataloged as an unexceptional old edition — might in fact be a first folio.

 

He called in Mr. Rasmussen, a professor at the University of Nevada in Reno and the author of “The Shakespeare First Folios: A Descriptive Catalogue,” who identified it within minutes.

“It was very emotional to realize we had a copy of one of the most famous books in the world,” Mr. Cordonnier said. “I was already imagining the reaction it would cause.”

 

Few scholars have yet seen the book. But its discovery among holdings inherited from a long-defunct Jesuit college is already being hailed as a potential source of fresh insight into everything from tiny textual variants to the question of Shakespeare’s connection to Catholic culture.

 

[ . . . ]

 

The St.-Omer folio, which is to be put on display there next year, will no doubt draw legions of visitors. It also, Mr. Rasmussen said, may feed one of the more contentious disputes in Shakespeare studies: whether the playwright was a secret Catholic.

 

That claim, Mr. Rasmussen said, has long been the subject of much “intelligent speculation,” most prominently of late by the Harvard scholar Stephen Greenblatt. The discovery of the folio in St.-Omer provides a bit more ballast, he said, if hardly a smoking gun.

 

Mr. Rasmussen pointed out the name “Neville,” inscribed on the folio’s first surviving page — a possible indication, he said, that the book was brought to St.-Omer in the 1650s by Edward Scarisbrick, a member of a prominent English Catholic family who went by that alias and attended the Jesuit college, founded when Catholics were banned from England’s universities.

 

“People have been making some vague arguments, but now for the first time we have a connection between the Jesuit college network and Shakespeare,” he said. “The links become a little more substantial when you have this paper trail.”

 

Jean-Christophe Mayer, a Shakespeare expert at the University of Montpellier III, France, cautioned against making too strong a connection, but noted that a library in the northern French town of Douai also owned some early transcripts of Shakespeare’s plays. “It’s interesting that the plays were on the syllabuses at these colleges,” he said. The new folio, he added, “could be part of the puzzle of Shakespeare’s place in Catholic culture.”

 

The St.-Omer folio will also help with the dizzyingly intricate piecing together of the most authentic versions of the plays. The text of each surviving first folio differs subtly from the others; compositors in the print shop constantly made corrections, introducing many textual uncertainties that still bedevil scholars and stage directors alike.

The St.-Omer folio, Mr. Rasmussen said, also contains handwritten notes that may illuminate how the plays were performed in Shakespeare’s time.

 

[ . . . ]

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Hardy Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         November 25, 2014 at 3:42:52 PM EST

Subject:    Shakespeare First Folio found in French library 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/nov/25/shakespeare-first-folio-found-in-french-library

 

Shakespeare First Folio found in French library

 

The book – one of only 230 believed to still exist - had lain undisturbed in library at Saint-Omer for 200 years

 

A rare and valuable William Shakespeare First Folio has been discovered in a provincial town in France.

 

The book – one of only 230 believed to still exist - had lain undisturbed in the library at Saint-Omer in the north of France for 200 years.

 

Medieval literature expert Rémy Cordonnier was searching for books to use in a planned exhibition of “Anglo-Saxon” authors when he stumbled across the 1623 tome in September.

 

Cordonnier, a librarian, said that at first he had no idea that the battered book in his hands was a treasure.

 

“It had been wrongly identified in our catalogue as a book of Shakespeare plays most likely dating from the 18th century,” he said on Tuesday. “I didn’t instantly recognise it as a book of value. It had been heavily used and was damaged. It had seen better days.”

Cordonnier contacted one of the world’s most eminent authorities on Shakespeare, Prof Eric Rasmussen of the University of Nevada in Reno, who – as luck would have it – was in London working at the British Library.

 

“He was very interested by the elements I had sent him by mail and said he would come over and take a look. He identified it as a First Folio very quickly,” said Cordonnier.

 

Although the book, originally believed to contain 300 pages, has around 30 pages missing and no title page, it will still be the centrepiece of the French library’s exhibition next summer.

 

“One of the most interesting things about the book is that the Henry IV play has clearly been performed because there are notes and directions on the pages that we believe date from around the time the book was produced,” Cordonnier said.

 

[ . . . ]

 

In the 16th century, Saint-Omer was home to an important Jesuit order that welcomed Roman Catholic clergy fleeing Protestant persecution in England. The First Folio discovered in the town is thought to have been brought to France during that era and held in the Jesuit library until the French Revolution when the order’s collection was confiscated and used as the basis for a public library.

 

[ . . . ]

 

 
Book Announcements: To Take Upon Us the Mystery of Things

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.466  Monday, 1 December 2014

 

From:        Ira Zinlaw < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         November 28, 2014 at 2:12:39 PM EST

Subject:    Book Announcements: To Take Upon Us the Mystery of Things

 

This is to announce a book just published in October 2014.

 

Title: To Take Upon Us The Mystery of Things: The Shakespeare Lectures of Martin Lings

 

Author/Editor:  Ira B. Zinman

 

Link to Publisher: Matheson Trust Publications, UK

 

http://themathesontrust.org/library/to-take-upon-us

Link to Seller USA: http://www.amazon.com/Take-Mystery-Things-Words-Wisdom/dp/1908092106/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417201834&sr=1-2&keywords=ira+zinman 

 
Globe Online

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.465  Monday, 1 December 2014

 

[1] From:        Hardy Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         November 14, 2014 at 10:08:29 AM EST

     Subject:    Globe Online 

 

[2] From:        Kirk McElhearn < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         November 4, 2014 at 10:21:00 AM EST

     Subject:    Shakespeare's Globe Theatre Launches Web Site to Stream and Sell Films of Their Performances

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Hardy Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         November 14, 2014 at 10:08:29 AM EST

Subject:    Globe Online

 

This month Shakespeare’s Globe launched Globe Player 

 

globeplayer.tv features over 50 full-length Shakespeare productions filmed at the Globe in HD, including many foreign language productions from the 2012 Globe to Globe festival. The Globe is the first theatre in the world to offer its own video on demand platform.
 

 

Globe productions on offer include Twelfth Night featuring Mark Rylance and Stephen Fry, Henry V with Jamie Parker and The Taming of the Shrew with Samantha Spiro. A resource from Muse of Fire the Film features free interviews about Shakespeare with actors including Ewan McGregor, Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench.

Prices start from £2.99 to rent and £4.99 to buy. 

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Kirk McElhearn < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         November 4, 2014 at 10:21:00 AM EST

Subject:    Shakespeare's Globe Theatre Launches Web Site to Stream and Sell Films of Their Performances

 

http://www.mcelhearn.com/shakespeares-globe-theatre-launches-web-site-to-stream-and-sell-films-of-their-performances/

 

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Launches Web Site to Stream and Sell Films of Their Performances

 

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, which is a reproduction of the original Globe Theatre in London, has been performing plays by Shakespeare and other playwrights of his time since 1997. In recent year, they began filming the plays, and have released a number of DVDs and Blu-Rays of their productions. (I reviewed their Twelfth Night.)

 

Today, Shakespeare’s Globe has launched the Globe Player website which brings these films closer to users around the world, offering streaming and sales of many of their productions. At a cost of £4 for rentals (which let you watch the play for 7 days) and £8 for purchases (also available for download for 7 days; make sure to back up your files), this is a fairly-priced offering, but in terms of content, there’s not a lot available, as of yet. Only 15 Shakespeare plays are available on the site, along with one play by Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus.

In addition, the theater offers content from their Globe to Globe series, in which Shakespeare’s plays are performed in languages other than English, by companies from around the world. These films are available for rental for £3, and for sale for only £5. This will certainly attract a global audience, but there are no more than one or two plays in any language.

 

I have several of these films on DVD already, and, when I went to the site to buy one to try it out, I was disappointed. There are a number of comedies and history plays, but only one tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. There is no Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, Julius Caesar or any of the other well-known titles. It’s not so much that they’re reserving these titles for sale on DVD and Blu-Ray, but they simply haven’t filmed any of them yet, with the exception of Macbeth, in the 2013 season. The other recently filmed plays that are not on the site, also from last year’s season, are The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I assume they’ll offer those titles online after they’ve exhausted hard-copy sales.

 

[ . . . ]

 
 
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