The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1109  Monday, 29 May 2000.

From:           Brian Haylett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 28 May 2000 11:21:47 +0100
Subject: 11.1092 Re: Commercial Announcement
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1092 Re: Commercial Announcement

>Stoppard says he flipped through the book 'when he first got the job'
>and found it 'of no use'." I do think the film clearly draws on the
>world and spirit of the book. Stoppard might helpfully admit that, but
>he has, in my judgment, every right to be proud of his (and Marc
>Norman's?) contributions to the plot and proud of his own witty and
>sometimes trenchant and moving writing.
>   Charles H. Frey"

In his introduction to the reissue of 'No Bed for Bacon', Ned Sherrin
(Caryl Brahms' later collaborator) records: "Tom Stoppard borrowed a
copy ... from me before he started work on Mark Norman's original
screenplay in order to avoid duplicating the jokes in the classic novel.
No-one has ever questioned Sir Tom's wit and only one moment in the film
pays direct homage to the novel - Shakespeare practising various ways of
writing his name ..." Earlier, Sherrin comments that it is not
surprising that humorists should come up with similar stories, given the
starting point.

Nevertheless, one feels that the tone of the introduction is rather
equivocal. Of course, the publishers (Black Swan) may have had a bit of
influence there. There is not much doubt about why they reissued the
novel last year, nor why the cover bears the subtitle: The story of
Shakespeare and Lady Viola in love.

Brian Haylett

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