Twentieth Anniversary of Shakespeare in Love

Shakespeare in Love - 12 1998

That’s right: today is the twentieth anniversary of the premiere of Oscar-winning Elizabethan comedy Shakespeare in Love!

Here is a HQ trailer that was made a while after the film came out:

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The Week: 22nd – 28th October

White Spring Flowers Blue Sky Canberra Australia 25th October 2018 Sonya Heaney Sunshine Garden Nature

Spring sunshine – and a spring sunset – in Canberra.

Only days to go before I fly to China!

A Book for the Anniversary: Goodbye for Now by M.J. Hollows

Goodbye for Now by M.J. Hollows

Babies in Young Adult Fiction

Revisiting Madeline Hunter

A Devil of a Duke (2018) (The second book in the Decadent Dukes Society series) A novel by Madeline Hunter

Out Now: A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories by Angela McAllister (author) and Alice Lindstrom (illustrator)

A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories By (author) Angela McAllister Illustrated by Alice Lindstrom

On this day: British women prepare for invasion

The_British_Army_in_the_United_Kingdom_1939-45_Second World War Two 23rd October 1941 Women of Britains Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) operate a rangefinder during anti-aircraft

On this day 80 years ago

Out Now: A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories by Angela McAllister (author) and Alice Lindstrom (illustrator)

A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories By (author) Angela McAllister Illustrated by Alice Lindstrom

Step on to a stage full of stories with this beautiful anthology of stories from Shakespeare, rewritten to be accessible to children aged 5+. Including favourites such as The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Othello, each story is introduced by a cast list of characters, and stunningly illustrated by collage artist Alice Lindstrom. This lavish follow-up to A Year Full of Stories and A World Full of Animal Stories is the perfect gift for book lovers young and old.

A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories by Angela McAllister (author) and Alice Lindstrom (illustrator)

A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories

The first time I ever appeared in a Shakespeare production (a double bill of Othello and A Midsummer Night’s Dream) I was eight, and by the time I was eleven I’d been made to read full Shakespeare plays to prepare for performances. I’m not sure how much of it I actually understood at the time, but I’m happy to see so many “Shakespeare for younger readers” titles coming out these days!

A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories is another good addition to the genre, and the illustrations are atmospheric and help to bring the stories alive.

Recommended as an introduction to The Bard’s work for younger readers.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

50th Anniversary of Romeo and Juliet

Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet 1968

Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the release of Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet.

The movie premiered in London on the 4th of March, 1968.

When I was in Verona in February 2017 the old house that is now marketed as “Juliet’s House” had some of the costumes from the film on display, as well as Juliet’s bed. If you are ever in Verona, go *into* the house – don’t just hang out in the overpopulated, heavily touristy courtyard. It’s an incredible building in its own right.

Verona is an amazing city, and totally overlooked. The daytrippers really miss out by just glancing at Juliet’s and Romeo’s houses and then moving on to Venice.

DSC00697Juliet_s House Verona Veneto Italy Franco Zeffirelli Romeo and Juliet 1968 Costumes Bed Sonya Heaney Oksana February 2017

DSC00694Juliet_s House Verona Veneto Italy Franco Zeffirelli Romeo and Juliet 1968 Costumes Bed Sonya Heaney Oksana February 2017

DSC00696Juliet_s House Verona Veneto Italy Franco Zeffirelli Romeo and Juliet 1968 Costumes Bed Sonya Heaney Oksana February 2017

 

Shakespeare for Children: Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare for Children Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet needs no introduction. Younger readers with be suitably introduced to one the greatest love stories ever to be written. Romeo and Juliet is the tragic love story of the “star-crossed lovers,” Romeo and Juliet. Set in the city of Verona, Italy, the play revolves around the feud between two affluent families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Despite the enmity, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet fall passionately in love and wed in secret. However, the enmity between both disapproving families overpowers and leads everything to go terribly wrong.

Shakespeare for Children: Romeo and Juliet

I was interested to see how someone could possibly tackle Romeo and Juliet to make it into something palatable for readers even younger than Juliet herself.

This highly condensed version of Shakespeare’s dramatic play focuses mostly on the title characters and devotes more time to the developing relationship than the death-fest that comes afterwards. There are some illustrations throughout.

In order to simplify things, some characters are changed a little. Paris is no longer some titled guy looking for a well-bred baby-maker, but is now a man who comes to the Capulet ball already knowing Juliet and in love with her. The nurse becomes some random servant in the background of the story.

I think the violent aspects of the story were explained as briefly and best as they could be for the target readers.

Still, it’s an extraordinary choice of story for a middle grade book!

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

What I’m Watching

After a month in Italy through May to June, and with an upcoming trip to Italy at the beginning of 2017, I got myself into a bit of a Romeo and Juliet mood recently. For all the criticisms, and for all of Shakespeare’s – um – borrowing of the original story, it’s always been a story that has interested me. (Might have something to do with all the stage productions of it I’ve worked on!)

I watched the absolutely DREADFUL 2013 movie version while I was away (review to come), and wanted a palate cleanser.

A totally new take on the story was made with little fanfare a few years ago, a two-part television version. Playing around with the plot (remember: Shakespeare did NOT create the original story, so I’m okay with some changes), it stars older actors from Spain and Italy in the lead roles. The dialogue in English is a little cheesy, and all those grown women with their hair anachronistically down bug me, but I’m optimistic about other parts.

I ordered a DVD while I was in Italy, and I think my copy came from Spain, so I’m not sure what language I’m going to be watching it in! However, it has to be a million times better than the disaster the Hollywood crowd cobbled together.

Here’s the English-language trailer for the Italian production: