ext_22860: Dr Who in a t-shirt reading 'trust me, I'm a Doctor' (happy ships)
[identity profile] coughingbear.livejournal.com
Just a quick post about a book on Shakespeare's London that I was told about last night, which might be of interest to readers of the Players books. The Guardian short review:

Part of the Arden Shakespeare series, this fascinating study argues that although Shakespeare rarely wrote about London – none of his plays is set in the city of his own day – it played a central role in shaping his imagination: “The size, diversity, noise, smell, chaos, anarchy and sheer excitement of London can be felt in all that Shakespeare writes.” The exact date when the playwright moved to London is not known, but it’s clear that by 1592 he was living and working in the capital and would remain there for the next 20 years. The eight chapters (each on a separate play) explore the symbolic power of key locations, beginning in the west of the city and moving east. The first tackles Tyburn – the city’s place of execution where as many as 60,000 died – using London’s bloodiest site to frame his most violent play: Titus Andronicus. Later chapters move to Whitehall, then along the Strand, and finish at the Tower. It is an evocative journey that places Shakespeare’s plays in a revealing urban context.

Available from Amazon or better still your local independent bookshop!

ETA: Full title and details - Shakespeare in London by Hannah Crawforth, Sarah Dustagheer, Jennifer Young.
[identity profile] lilliburlero.livejournal.com
Thanks very much to [livejournal.com profile] highfantastical for posting last week, and to all of you for the discussion. Sorry this one's slightly late.

Chapter 13: Highways in Summer )

Chapter 14: Hangman’s Hands )

Chapter 15: Homeward He Did Come )

Over to you!
[identity profile] lilliburlero.livejournal.com
For the delay to your regularly scheduled readthrough post. It will go up first thing in the morning (UTC), perhaps even still on Friday in some timezones.
[identity profile] highfantastical.livejournal.com
Thank you very much to [livejournal.com profile] lilliburlero for giving me the opportunity to guest-post this week -- the first two TPB recaps were fantastic and it's an honour to follow in her footsteps!

Chapter 9: A Good Sprag Memory )

Chapter 10: The Youngest of that Name )

Chapter 11: Well Grac'd Actor )

Chapter 12: His Hopeful Son )


A long summary of some PACKED chapters covering masses of time, professional formation, maturation, and much else besides. So that is more than enough from me -- over to you!
[identity profile] lilliburlero.livejournal.com
24th April: Chapters 1-4
1st May: Chapters 5-8
8th May: Chapters 9-12, guest post by [livejournal.com profile] highfantastical
15th May: Chapters 13-15

If you'd like to do a guest post, please let me know below or in pm. Similarly if you would like to lend/circulate/borrow Players texts, please contact me via pm.
[identity profile] lilliburlero.livejournal.com
I'm planning to begin reading the Players books on 24th April. Schedule to follow. Unfortunately, I don't have or know of any electronic copies of these novels. If you do, and would be willing to share, please let me know. If you're able to afford them, 2nd hand copies of the books are available from various dealers and on Ebay etc. Unfortunately it looks like these will set you back about £40 each at the going rate, so it would be great if people were able informally to circulate pdfs or loan spare copies &c.
ext_22860: Dr Who in a t-shirt reading 'trust me, I'm a Doctor' (widget)
[identity profile] coughingbear.livejournal.com
Looking for something else, I came across this brief review by Gillian Avery of Player's Boy in The Tablet from 1971, so thought I would put it here in case other people don't know it:

Sweeping forward some three thousand years to 1590 Antonia Forest in The Player's Boy plunges into the uncertainties of England in the reign of Elizabeth the First. Her eleven year-old hero moves into a world of intrigue and secret plotting via the death of Kit Marlowe, an encounter with Lord Southampton and a place with Will Shakespeare's company of players. He works his way through the girl's parts and we leave him as a promising Hotspur. The background to the story is skilfully laid in. Antonia Forest catches the atmosphere of the players in a society totally dependant upon the patronage of the powerful and succeeds in conveying a wholly satisfactory impression of day to day living in a world of conflicting loyalties and uncertain futures which both lives vividly in the mind of the reader and satisfies the most demanding historian.There is a moving chapter in which we see through the eyes of our young actor hero a Tyburn execution of three Papists, one of whom he recognises.

I had a quick search in the archives to see if there were other reviews of her books, but only found one, from December 1953, by Pamela Whitlock:

Miss Antonia Forest's The Marlows and the Traitor (Faber, 10s. 6d.) is one of those novels for young people of which the standard seems to get higher every year. She has taken one of the most baffling problems of today, the psychology of treachery, and deals with it in terms of the experience of children none of whom are out of their teens, and though there are, of course, grown-ups in the story, and the traitor himself is one, yet the whole story turns on the attitude of the children to their discovery that the naval officer whom their brother thinks wonderful is, in fact, on the wrong side : the algebraical equation of The Heat of the Day, in other terms. The dialogue is vivid and assured, the plot integrated and the characterization is neatly defined, and we really care about the nice Marlows and their friends ; one even cares about the traitor, which of course would happen in real life.
ext_22860: Dr Who in a t-shirt reading 'trust me, I'm a Doctor' (paws)
[identity profile] coughingbear.livejournal.com
On Radio 4 yesterday, an interesting half-hour on the boys who originally played Shakespeare's female roles, 'Who Was Rosalind?'. From the website:

In As You Like It, Shakespeare created one of his greatest and most complicated female roles. At a time when women were not allowed to act on stage, the role would have been taken by a young boy. But who? Actor, critic and academic Susan Hitch tries to find out

In doing so she looks at how Shakespeare wrote for his actors, the educational culture of Elizabethan England, and the brilliance of the makeup artists of Shakespeare's company. She talks to academic experts, to actor Adrian Lester who has played Rosalind, and to contemporary schoolboys and teachers about boys playing girls, and discovers how radically our ideas of intimacy and desire have changed in the last 400 years and how strong the power of theatre still is today.

I listened yesterday; inevitably it seemed over-simplified in places, but worthwhile for fans of Player's Boy and Players and the Rebels. (I'm afraid I have no idea if the recording is available outside the UK.)


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Antonia Forest fans

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