Posts Tagged ‘william shakespeare’

Between 14-26 July 2014 the Guildford Shakespeare Company (GSC) will be staging Henry V, the second production in their Summer 2014 Open-Air Season, in the grounds of Guildford Cathedral (being used as a location for the first time). Shakespeare’s anthem to England will star Matt Pinches, Chris Porter, Richard Galazka, Morgan Philpott and Emily Tucker. Five actors tackling 30 roles. GSC’s first Summer 2014 production Twelfth Night was an acclaimed sell-out and Henry V is bound to follow suit.

More information on GSC, and tickets for Henry V, at



Brilliant, riotous and just plain bloody funny. That’s Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare’s romantic comedy of drunken revelry, unrequited love, and confused identity, as magnificently brought to life by the Guildford Shakespeare Company.

GSC Twelfth Night

412 years after its first recorded performance in February 1602 at Middle Temple in London, Twelfth Night delights once more thanks to the talented people drawn together on and off the stage by the Guildford Shakespeare Company (GSC). Tickets for this one are selling fast. Many performances are already sold out, as has become the norm.

Twelfth Night, or What You Will (to give the play its full title) is one of Shakespeare’s most accomplished comedies. It’s also a rare Shakespearian beast by not relying upon a sweepingly dominant figure such as Hamlet, Richard III, or Macbeth, to drive proceedings. Rather it gives flight, and fully-drawn life, to a memorable host of joyously entertaining and nuanced characters, including Sir Toby Belch, Feste the Fool, Olivia, Malvolio and Viola. (more…)

The Tragedy of Macbeth Part IIAs part of their supplementary programme for their hugely successful production of Macbeth, the Guildford Shakespeare Company made theatrical history on 20 February 2013 with the UK Premiere of The Tragedy of MacBeth Part II: The Seed of Banquo.

This sequel was penned in 2008 by American author Noah Lukeman after he concluded that Shakespeare had planted several seeds for a follow-up in the original play, including a hint from Lady Macbeth of a child she had bourn, the unfulfilled prophecy that Banquo’s descendants would come to reign over Scotland, and Donalbain’s flight to Ireland and non-return in the final conflict against Macbeth.

Unlike 18th century forger William Henry Ireland who tried to pass off his self-penned Vortigen and Rowena as a previously unknown work by Shakespeare, Lukeman has always made it perfectly clear that this is his personal extrapolation of potentially unresolved plot lines.

Enacted as a staged reading the sequel came to life within Guildford’s St Mary’s Church, a building dating back to the same time as the real events depicted in Shakespeare’s play.

In the scale of sequels this is certainly no The Godfather Part II but thankfully it’s no The Godfather Part III either. Once again framed by the prophecies of the Weird Sisters Macbeth II continues the threads of treachery, paranoia and bloodshed present in the original. Audience-pleasing moments include a second appearance by the Porter and the classic “something wicked this way comes” line.

It’d be fascinating to see Macbeth II come to life as a full scale production but whether any theatrical company would be willing to undertake such a big project remains to be seen.

Ultimately it was fun to be present for a moment of history.

More information on Macbeth II can be found on Noah Lukeman’s website here.

This rather splendid t-shirt inspired by BBC’s The Hollow Crown is en route to me.

The Hollow Crown t-shirt

Shakespeare Quotes Have is have, however men do catch.
King John 1.1.173, Philip the Bastard to John

Shakespeare QuotesWho loses and who wins, who’s in, who’s out.
King Lear 5.3.15, Lear to Cordelia

Shakespeare QuotesBy heaven I do love, and it hatch taught me to rhyme, and to be melancholy.
Love’s Labour Lost 4.3.11-13 Berowne

Shakespeare QuotesI have a young conception in my brain.
Troilus and Cressida 1.3.311, Ulysses to Nestor

Shakespeare QuotesOur revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind.
The Tempest 4.1.148-56, Prospero to Miranda and Ferdinand

Shakespeare QuotesA stony adversary, an inhuman wretch,
Uncapable of pity, void, and empty
From any dram of mercy.
The Merchant of Venice, 4.1.4-6, Duke of Venice to Antonio, of Shylock