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Blog

Donmar Coriolanus in review

The National Theatre production of Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse sold out the day tickets were released. This was not a surprise, partly because it’s a small theatre with a relatively short run, partly because of its casting and also because it’s Shakespeare and he’s bigger box office now than ever. It’s actually quite remarkable that a […]

Posted by shakespearecomics on 13th Jan 2014

Lear, Pickwick and Dr Charity

There are few plausible connections betweenKing Lear and The Pickwick Papers. Only one man seems to have found a bridge between the two. He was Dr Alan Charity, late of York University.  Alan Charity was a brilliant academic. It was said his doctoral thesis was so recondite that no-one else could understand it, not even him some years after […]

Posted by shakespearecomics on 10th Nov 2013

Shakespeare, Dylan and self-creation myths

‘No artist can accept reality,’ Nietzsche observed. This is not surprising since artists live in fictional worlds. They make things up for a living, so it’s also not surprising they should make things up about themselves. Everybody does it in minor ways, but the scale of deception deployed by Bob Dylan when he first emerged on […]

Posted by shakespearecomics on 13th Oct 2013

Words, words, words: Shakespeare’s neologisms

Shakespeare’s world was exploding in all directions. England’s population was rising rapidly, London was booming, New Worlds were being discovered, religion and politics were in ferment (again), science was beginning to be scientific, capital becoming capitalistic and at least according to John Donne, the new philosophy was calling all in doubt. As if this wasn’t […]

Posted by shakespearecomics on 7th Sep 2013

Shakespeare’s menagerie: Appendix

Plays listed in alphabetical order A Midsummer Night’s Dream Hog         2 + thorny hedgehog Boar        1 Dog         6 Hound    7 Cur           1 Ox            1 Mouse    3 Fox          3 Wolf       2 Horse    5 Lion        30 Tiger       1 Creature […]

Posted by shakespearecomics on 24th Aug 2013

Shakespeare’s menagerie 2: ten whales, five caterpillars and a rhino

Shakespeare wasn’t right about pigs. But while whizzing through his plays to locate references to swine, sows and hogs and trying to decide if hogs-heads of wine counted as hogs or not, I thought I would see how other animals fared in his work. Twenty six creatures were selected for analysis on a purely subjective […]

Posted by shakespearecomics on 24th Aug 2013

Shakespeare’s menagerie 1: the mysterious absence of pigs

There is a serious shortage of pigs in Shakespeare. This terrible fact only became apparent  in the last few months, since we borrowed three from friends to clear brambles and weed from our field. Never having had a great deal to do with the animal before, I found them sociable, intelligent, hardy, playful and affectionate. […]

Posted by shakespearecomics on 20th Jul 2013

The Bard, the Fool and the Private Dick: Shakespeare, Wodehouse and Chandler

PG Wodehouse, Raymond Chandler and Shakespeare are not obvious buddies. Yet all were populist writers, all masters of figurative language and all with a connection to the Elizabethan stage since both Wodehouse and Chandler attended Dulwich College – a school in south east London founded by Edward Alleyn in 1619. A contemporary of Shakespeare’s, he […]

Posted by shakespearecomics on 17th Jun 2013

Richard III and Iraq

History teaches us many things. One of them is that it goes on for a very long time. Sometimes nothing much happens for a lot of that long time and occasionally all sorts of things pile on top of each other. It doesn’t stop. One event unfolds into the next and carries on doing so […]

Posted by shakespearecomics on 17th May 2013

Nelson Mandela, Shakespeare and The Robben Island Bible

The world is full of extraordinary people. Mostly they are unknown outside their immediate community. Occasionally they enjoy a brief renown. More rarely, their lives will be remembered for centuries to come. Nelson Mandela is one such person. Along with Gandhi and Martin Luther King, he is one of the truly great leaders of the […]

Posted by shakespearecomics on 17th Apr 2013

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