The Two Gentlemen of Verona: Trip to the Everyman Theatre, 12th October 2016

The Two Gentlemen of Verona: Trip to the Everyman Theatre, 12th October 2016

Our second year Shakespeare module had a change in its reading list this year when LJMU English lecturer Rebecca Bailey discovered that the Everyman was collaborating with Shakespeare's Globe on an October production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona. On Monday night over 50 students and staff from the department attended the show, which styles Verona as what director Nick Bagnall calls the 'cardigan clad world' of the swinging Sixties. The following day, Bagnall, whom the Guardian called 'the most mind-altering of Shakespearean directors' and Emma Whiteley, the Everyman's Learning Manager, came along to the module for a Q&A. Shakespeare students made the most of this opportunity with a range of questions. Many were fascinated with the music - a major facet of the production - asking how it had been composed, how it was used to separate the play's different 'spaces' (Verona, Milan and the forest), and how on earth the cast members were so talented that they all acted, danced, sang and played...
Read More
The Winter’s Tale: LJMU English Fieldtrip

The Winter’s Tale: LJMU English Fieldtrip

LJMU Level 5 Shakespeare student, Hugh Adam, writes about the 18th November production of The Winter's Tale. The Winter’s Tale Performed at the Liverpool Playhouse, the Northern Broadsides’ production of The Winter’s Tale captures all the vital emotional elements of the text (jealousy, betrayal, abandonment, acceptance, comedy, redemption), while adding a modern twist sure to please all theatre goers, not just Shakespeare enthusiasts. Beginning in Sicily, transposed from the time of its writing to New Year’s Eve 1999, The Winter’s Tale opens with the celebrations of old friends Leontes, the King of Sicily, and Polixenes, the King of Bohemia. In accordance with the play’s complexity of tone, the celebrations are bittersweet for Polixenes, who longs to return to Bohemia and his family. His eventual decision to remain in Sicily (convinced by Leontes’ wife, Hermione) gives the insecure Leontes grounds to suppose an affair between the two, leading the King of Sicily (and those around him) into a vicious, jealousy-fuelled turmoil. The first three acts...
Read More
Love’s Labours Lost: Live in Liverpool

Love’s Labours Lost: Live in Liverpool

On the 11th February 2015 a number of students attended a live streaming of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labours Lost in a Royal Shakespeare Company production coming to us in FACT Liverpool from Stratford-Upon-Avon. Set in an Edwardian country house, this was an excellent production of one of the lesser-known plays. The visit was arranged for Level 5 students taking the Shakespeare module but other students and postgraduates also came along. The play (and its comedy) really came to life although, sitting in a cinema, it was difficult to know whether or not to applaud along with the enthusiastic audience in Stratford! We did, however, have the advantage of taking in food and drink. Second-year student Andrew Stevens-Davies commented: ‘Having not attended a Shakespeare performance before, I did not know what to expect from a cinematic viewing of a live performance. That being said, my expectations were immediately surpassed. As an English student studying Shakespeare I quite often find myself getting frustrated with the...
Read More
Hamlet Blog by Sam Caddick

Hamlet Blog by Sam Caddick

Hamlet Blog   When considering the different characters in the works of Shakespeare, one may instantly think of the traditional monarchs, patricians, and the fools that are found in the majority of his plays.  Eric Heinze, Professor of Law at Queen Mary, University of London, however, chooses instead to focus on a less obvious type of character – that of the lawyer. Beginning his lecture, Eric drew our attention to Act 5 Scene 1 of Hamlet where the titular character comes across two skulls and muses on the possible lives of their owners.  The first he considers to have belonged to either a ‘politician’ or a ‘courtier’, upon which he delivers conventional remarks about each of the professions.  When finding the second skull Hamlet breaks into a curious lecture about the role of the lawyer in his time, which Eric suggests may link to the increasing dominance of legal power over the more martial power which is seen to be exercised in Shakespeare’s...
Read More