Archive for July, 2011


Cardiff Alumna’s Play to be Staged in Camden

July 29, 2011

For one impossible evening, ghosts of the people we loved return, not as we saw them last, but as they were when they were most alive. But are you the same person now that you were when they loved you? Can you justify your present to the past?

A shy academic, alone in his office after the funeral of his best friend, is surprised to see her ghost walk through the door not as the 94 year old he knew, but as she was at his age – wild, vivacious, and surprised to discover that she ever ends up being best friends with a man who can’t even down a bit of sherry without choking on it. Helen, middle aged and going through a messy divorce, is confronted with her husband as he was when she first fell for him, and Rich, 26 and still getting pocket money, finds himself justifying his drab existence to his old school friend.

The Echo is a play about identity, about promises kept, and about time.

Grace Knight was a keen Shakespearean while taking her English Literature and Philosophy joint honours degree at Cardiff University.

Find out more about her work with Orpheos, a new production company, here.


Healthy Reading until the end of August

July 27, 2011

From the new SCOLAR BLOG:

Following the success of the 1611 King James Bible anniversary exhibition, SCOLAR launches its first exhibition entirely curated by postgraduate students, as part of the University Graduate College’s Research Students’ Skills Development Programme. In February, Peter Keelan (SCOLAR), Alison Harvey (SCOLAR) and Jane Henderson (SHARE) held an RSSDP workshop on curatorial skills. Following this, three of the attendees volunteered to attend a second workshop, for which they planned, researched, and constructed their own exhibitions using SCOLAR’s facilities and equipment.

The curators used SCOLAR’s rare books and printed sources to visually reflect and explore their research topics. All three students produced meticulously researched exhibitions to a professional standard on their chosen topic. See extracts from Healthy Reading by Johann Gregory (ENCAP), Divine Dimension by Corbett Miteff (JOMEC), and Approaches to Roman Archaeology in Wales by Jennifer Jones (SHARE). The exhibitions will be on display in SCOLAR during July and August 2011.


Find out more here.




The Comedy of Errors in Cardiff

July 21, 2011

The Comedy of Errors

by William Shakespeare

July 20 – 30

St Fagans: National History Museum

Everyman Theatre Company

Director: Simon H West

Please click here for a full cast list for this production

Separated at birth by shipwreck, two sets of estranged twins unwittingly cross paths in the same seaside resort. Hotly pursued by jealous wives, predatory landladies, dodgy salesmen, and even the odd nun or two, the inevitable mistaken identities lead to wild accusations of theft, infidelity, insanity and demonic possession!

Shakespeare’s earliest and most farcical work makes a welcome return to the Everyman Summer Theatre Festival after 20 years.

Travel with us to sunny Ephesus-on-Sea for a merry-go-round of mayhem and madness in which no one is quite certain who’s who and what’s what!

Find out more here


9th World Shakespeare Congress Starts this Weekend

July 16, 2011

“The Ninth World Shakespeare Congress in Prague will mark the next phase in a journey through four continents. Beginning in Vancouver, this international conference has travelled every five years since 1971 to share Shakespearean scholarship, performance, and pedagogy at another great site: Washington D.C., Stratford-upon-Avon, Berlin, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Valencia and Brisbane. The culturally rich city of Prague, a new setting for the Congress in central Europe, offers a wonderful opportunity to engage in dialogue about Shakespearean reception both here and throughout the world.”

For details of the 9th World Shakespeare Congress, visit their website here.

Prof. Richard Wilson from Cardiff University will be co-organising a seminar on Global Shakespeare:

22. Global Shakespeare

Richard Wilson (University of Cardiff, UK)
José Manuel González (University of Alicante, Spain)

The 2011 World Shakespeare Congress in Prague provides an apt opportunity to reconsider the implications of the name Shakespeare gave his own theatre. The 400th anniversary of the first recorded performance of The Tempest also offers an appropriate occasion to examine the ways in which Shakespeare’s plays and poems engage with an emerging global economy. His wordplay on “the great globe itself” suggests that Shakespeare was fully conscious of the potential of “this under globe” as a model for this first global moment of international and multilateral exchange, and intended his own writing to “compass the globe”. Yet his texts are haunted by anxieties about “th’affrighted globe” and “this distracted globe” that hint at awareness of the limitations of a “globe of sinful continents”. So, to what extent was Shakespeare invoking a world culture when he called his playhouse the Globe? What were the assumptions “hid behind the globe” when Shakespeare named his stage? After 400 years of translation and reproduction in “states unborn, and accents” then unknown, what are the limits to Shakespearean universality? How does the process of transformation of local or regional phenomena into global ones and the reduction and removal of barriers between national borders affect the appropriations and adaptations of Shakespeare to the different cultures and spaces? And how do we read and see Shakespeare texts as they travel across time to different places, especially in relation to the seminar transnational focus?

“Global Shakespeare” will aim to revisit these questions in the light of Jacques Derrida’s comment that these works offer a virtual ideal for a global community: “Here the example of Shakespeare is magnificent. Who demonstrates better that texts loaded with history offer themselves so well in contexts very different from their time and place of origin, not only in the European twentieth century, but in Japanese or Chinese transpositions?” But Derrida then asked, “Is it possible to gather under a single roof the apparently disordered plurivocity” of the world’s Shakespeare reproductions: “Is it possible to find a rule of cohabitation, it being understood this house will always be haunted by the meaning of the original?” Between these theoretical parameters, “Global Shakespeare” will therefore also aim to reflect on the tension between historicist and reception-based criticism in contemporary Shakespeare studies, and the extent of what Robert Weimann has called Shakespeare’s “commodious thresholds”.

Possible themes to be explored therefore include universality, translation, toleration, hospitality, trans-national performance, multinational cinematic adaptations, protectionism, cultural taboos, religious fundamentalism, the global dispersal of the playwright’s work via the internet, the imaginative and intellectual construct of “the great globe itself”, and the collapse of the global and the local into the “glocal”.

“Global Shakespeare” invites participants to address these topics or other issues relating to Shakespeare and globalization. The seminar would be initially based upon circulated research papers, but which would also introduce significant texts to enable a full discussion of the ways in which ‘Global Shakespeare’ is experienced and produced.


Fabler Shakespeare Readers in Cardiff

July 15, 2011

A Woman’s Prize or The Tamer Tamed

(a sequel to The Taming of the Shrew) by Fletcher

Sunday July 17th 2011, 6.30pm, Media Point, at Chapter
Having read Taming of The Shrew last month, we are reading the sequel this month. To get a copy here are some links:
This is a “Complete works of Fletcher” online text. The Woman’s Prize is first in the collection. Print it off or bring a laptop.
This is the Amazon link to buy a copy – used ones are £3.50.



Shakespeare’s Welsh Teacher

July 11, 2011

Western Mail News:

An unsung teacher from Wales helped nurture the talent for language that made Shakespeare one of the world’s greatest literary figures, an academic has claimed.

Professor Jonathan Bate, the author of one-man play Being Shakespeare, says teacher Thomas Jenkins taught the poet the Latin that shaped his flair for language.

Headteacher Jenkins taught Shakespeare from the age of nine at the King Edward VI grammar school in Stratford-upon-Avon, after studying at St John’s College, Oxford.

Professor Bate, 53, who specialises in Shakespeare at the University of Warwick, also said the bard later went on to model a character in one of his comedies on Jenkins – Sir Hugh Evans in The Merry Wives of Windsor.

The academic said Latin was “drilled into” Elizabethan schoolboys, making Jenkins one of Shakespeare’s formative early influences.

Scholars believe that, between 1500 and 1659, nouns, verbs and modifiers of Latin, Greek and modern languages like Spanish and French added 30,000 new words to English.

King Edward VI grammar school, where Thomas Jenkins taught William Shakespeare

Professor Bate, whose play is being performed at London’s Trafalgar Studios until July 23, said: “The way Thomas Jenkins would have taught him in the grammar school was exactly to encourage verbal creativity.

“One of the exercises they did in the grammar schools was to get the pupils to write, saying, ‘Your letter pleases me greatly’ in 195 different ways in Latin. That’s what Shakespeare was doing when he was 11 with his Welsh schoolmaster.”

Richard Pearson, the archivist at the King Edward VI grammar school – which is still open – said Jenkins was the headmaster for four years between 1575 and 1579, throughout which time he would have been teaching Shakespeare.

Besides The Merry Wives of Windsor Mr Pearson believes the schoolmaster Holofernes from Love’s Labour’s Lost is also based on Jenkins.

Mr Pearson, a 71-year-old former history teacher at the grant-aided school, said: “One would have said (Jenkins was teaching Shakespeare) during his most formative years.

Martin Coyle, a lecturer in Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama at Cardiff University’s English department, said links between the bard and Wales extend well beyond Jenkins.

When the poet’s folio – or collected works – was published for the first time in 1623 it was dedicated to the brothers William and Philip Herbert, the Earls of Pembroke.

The dedication described the influential political figures as the “most noble and incomparable paire of brethren”.

But though this strongly suggests a link between Shakespeare and Welsh aristocracy it’s not certain the dedication was penned in accordance with his wishes, as the bard had died several years earlier.

[Professor] Coyle said: “Whoever dedicated the first folio possibly knew Shakespeare’s wishes.

“We don’t know because it’s seven years after his death. But it would add to the clear evidence that Shakespeare talked about Wales and the Welsh, particularly in Henry V (in this play Henry Monmouth boasts three times about his Welsh credentials).

“There’s also reference in Cymbeline (where the action takes place in Wales) and Romeo and Juliet (the Welsh fairy queen Mab has her own monologue) and Henry IV (which features Owain Glyndwr).”

Read More

Shakespeare’s Globe at Cardiff Cinema

July 10, 2011

Coming to cinemas from June this year, you can experience Shakespeare as if you are there — front row and intense. Four plays, captured during 2010’s ‘Kings and Rogues’ season will feature in the series, including Roger Allam’s Olivier Award-winning performance as Falstaff in Henry IV.

The Merry Wives of Windsor

Henry IV Part 1 25th July

Henry IV Part 2 18th August

Henry VIII 15th September

For information about each screening, and details on where you can see these performances in cinemas, click on the links above.


Visit the Globe website here

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