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Archive for the ‘History’ Category

This Sunday’s tweet from  @HollowCrownFans read “Good morning and welcome to #ShakespeareSunday! Today’s theme has been chosen by @PublicTheaterNY: FREEDOM & ART!” *

I was reminded of Nelson Mandela and the other anti-apartheid prisoners held on Robben Island. One, Indian prisoner Sonny Venkatrathnam, had a copy of the works of William Shakespeare covered in images from greetings cards depicting Hindu gods (the guards were unlikely to take a religious book).

This book was passed among prisoners, and leaders were asked to mark their favourite passages. This 2001 article ‘O, what men dare do’ is very interesting re. this, South Africa, Shakespeare and freedom.

Probably the most famous of the prisoners who marked the ‘Robben Island Bible’ is Nelson Mandela, who had a long relationship with Shakespeare’s words / ideas. Here you can see his signature and the passage he chose, from Julius Caesar…

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‘Freedom’ appears 33 times** in Shakespeare’s works and is included in the 306 occurrences found of ‘free’.

*(Public Theater were recently involved in controversy with their Trump-related take on Julius Caesar: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=public+theater+shakespeare+trump)

** opensourceshakespeare.org –  great resource!

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Bronze statue of a Greek actor in female dress

Bronze statue of a Greek actor in female dress

Greek Tragedy seems to be in the air!

Having just played Clytemnestra in a modern adaptation, ‘A Winter’s Oresteia’, I was delighted to see this article about the multitude of Greek plays currently being produced, which also points out that these ancient pieces provide actresses with strong roles…

Shakespeare and the Greeks | The Shakespeare blog

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Interesting article by Maria Popova about a book by Dan Falk…

 

Article by Maria Popova on book by Dan Falk: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2014/06/02/the-science-of-shakespeare-astronomy-dan-falk/

William Shakespeare, Astronomer: How Galileo Influenced the Bard | Brain Pickings

 

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Sam Wanamaker’s vision for two theatres comes to fruition – the indoor theatre has now joined the famous Globe, and opens this month with Gemma Arterton as The Duchess of Malfi (by John Webster).

Candlelit performances, companies of boys, a radio programme and various historical titbits can be found here:

BBC News – Sam Wanamaker Playhouse: A Jacobean theatre on Bankside

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Very much looking forward to seeing this screened next month…

Richard II with David Tennant opens and sells out to great reviews. | Players-Shakespeare.com.

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The Mary Rose

The Mary Rose Museum: open at last | The Shakespeare blog

 

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A look at Peter Brook, including fascinating links to an article by him, production footage of his revolutionary A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a podcast interview with the man himself…

Peter Brook: from enfant terrible to grand old man of the theatre | The Shakespeare blog

Peter Brook - The Shakespeare Blog

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