Twelfth Night


St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden

I like seeing plays I know done by troupes I respect. It’s like coming home. This is one play where you aren’t going to get a plot recap – if I studied it at school, and can remember I did, I’m assuming basic knowledge in the rest of you. If you don’t know it, it’s the one with a shipwreck, twins, and a fool. That’ll narrow it down for you…

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The Best Books about Shakespeare


I’m re-posting this to give myself a nice easy-to-access reading list…

Interesting Literature

Our pick of the ten best biographies and other books about the Bard which everyone should read

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has been offered a publishing deal – purportedly worth £500,000 – to write a book about Shakespeare to be published next year for the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death in 2016. But plenty of other books about Shakespeare will be appearing over the next year to coincide with this event, many written by Shakespeare scholars. With a new book by renowned Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro being published this year (The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606), we thought it was time we offered our pick of the best books about William Shakespeare: the best introductions to his life and his work. The following is not designed to be an exhaustive list, but many of these books were written by leading Shakespeare scholars and each contains…

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Beatrice and Benedick


I finally got around to reading the book I blogged about back in April*. It is simultaneously more and less than I thought it would be. It is more in terms of being its own novel, a complete and full-formed piece which uses Shakespeare’s characters, and less in that this makes the characters in the novel the author’s creations and not necessarily my interpretation of Shakespeare’s originals**.

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The Reduced Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Revised)


The Pleasance

The notion that laughter is linked to surprise is a popular one, and can be supported by my experience last Tuesday. I first saw the Revised Shakespeare Company (and I’m sure that they chose RSC for their initials deliberately) somewhere in the region of fifteen years ago, and this is a distinctive enough show that I could still work out what was going to come next. So all further comment will be light on specifics so as not to spoiler the show for the new-timer. Continue reading