Archives for Motley Bard

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1991) written & directed by Tom Stoppard

© 1999 Debra Murphy and John Murphy Debra’s take: starring Gary Oldman, Tim Roth and Richard DreyfussImagine Hamlet told from the slightly befuddled points of view of poor, doomed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern — or is it Guildenstern and Rosencrantz? — two sublime Nobodies who, willy-nilly, become pawns in Claudius’ and Hamlet’s schemes to outfox one another. This film, written and directed by Tom Stoppard, and based on his hit stage play, is a delightful but
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Was the Bard in Rome during the “lost years”?

And speaking of the was-Will-a-Catholic question, news is breaking all over the ‘net this morning that the English College in Rome has uncovered guestbook signatures which may have been scribbled by Himself. Here’s from the London Times: According to Father Andrew Headon, vice-rector of the college and organiser of the exhibition, the names can be deciphered as “[King] Arthur’s [compatriot] from Stratford [in the diocese] of Worcester” and “William the Clerk from Stratford”. A third
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Roland Emmerich’s upcoming De Vere-was-the-Bard movie vs. Bill Cain’s Equivocation and the-Bard (Will)-was-a-Catholic stage play

I know, I know, the Identity Question can be a real pain in the tuchus, but this looks like fun: Film director Roland Emmerich, who has given us huge planet-killing flicks like 2012, has announced his intention of directing a different sort of (forgive me) what-if fantasy, this one forwarding the so-called “Oxfordian” theory that the author of the Shakespeare Plays was really Edward De Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. (Go here for a
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Hamlet takes out the trash

Having never seen Arnold’s Last Action Hero — sounds like I didn’t miss much — I didn’t know this existed. Almost worth the price of admission: [tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nlhm5rrfbg[/tube]
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Did the Bard work with Kyd to write Edward III?

A London Times article reports results of a computer program which would indicate that the Bard worked in tandem with Thomas Kyd to write Edward III: The 400-year-old mystery of whether William Shakespeare was the author of an unattributed play about Edward III may have been solved by a computer program designed to detect plagiarism. Sir Brian Vickers, an authority on Shakespeare at the Institute of English Studies at the University of London, believes that
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Online Database of Shakespeare on Film, Video & TV

An item of great interest to Shakespeare-on-film buffs: The British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC) is developing an international database of Shakespeare on Film, Television and Radio. Here’s their initial write-up: In 2005 the BUFVC, through its association with the Open University, was the recipient of a three-year Resource Enhancement grant from the Arts & Humanities Research Council, to create An International Database of Shakespeare on Film, Television and Radio. The aim has been to deliver
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Hamlet (BBC, 1980), starring Derek Jacobi, directed by Jonathan Miller

Buy BBC Hamlet on DVD from Ambrose Video Buy BBC Hamlet on VHS from Ambrose Video It is also available from Ambrose Video as part of a boxed set of 5 DVDs of the BBC Shakespeare Tragedies. (Enter “BARD” in the appropriate discount code box for a special $2 discount for bardolatry.com readers!) Or buy the set from Amazon (it is not available individually from Amazon at this time: BBC Hamlet (1980) starring Derek Jacobi
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Hamlet’s Understudy

Every avid theatregoer knows the pain, sooner or later, of having bought tickets to some performance specifically because of a certain actor, only to discover, upon arrival, that the actor has gotten sick or been injured, and the role is to be played by the Understudy. I’ve never (personally) had that happen with a Hamlet yet, though I confess to having seen a Hamlet or two where I wish it had happened; but imagine, if
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Shakespeare in British schools

Jacqui O’Hanlon, the RSC’s director of education, has posted on the Guardian U.K.’s Theatre Blog about the state of Shakespeare education in British schools. See also Stand Up for Shakespeare, the RSC’s manifesto for Shakespeare in schools.
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Shakespeare on Toast…?

As I understand it, the title of this new book by Ben Crystal, Shakespeare on Toast, which tries to make the Bard understandable to the hoi polloi, comes from that revered British culinary concoction, beans on toast. (I was about to make a snarky comment to the effect that only those barmy Brits could come up with a dish like that, until I remembered our own Yankee fave, toxic-waste-on-paste, I mean pasta,  a.k., Mac and Cheese,
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