Saturday, 22 September 2007

Faustus on the Radio

BBC Radio Three are broadcasting Doctor Faustus, starring the very lovely Paterson Joseph as Faustus and Ray Fearon (who was a hugely impressive Othello at the RSC a few years back) as Mephistopheles. It'll be broadcast on Sunday 23 September 2007, 20:00-21:40, and will apparently be available to listen again online until 30 September.

Details and extra things here:

Monday, 17 September 2007

The Changeling on Tour

The Changeling
Thomas Middleton and William Rowley

On tour: 28 September - 1 December 2007

Beatrice-Joanna wants to marry Alsemero but her father has other plans. Meanwhile, her servant - the hideous Deflores - would do anything to win her. In return for killing the man her father has chosen as her husband, Deflores names his price - Beatrice-Joanna herself. At first repulsed, her desire is ignited and their torrid alliance thrusts them on a journey of lust, lunacy and death.

Often hailed as the greatest Jacobean tragedy, The Changeling is an electrifying mix of violence, family duty and sex.

This new production features period costume designed by Mark Bouman, a stunning stage design by Paul Wills and is directed by ETT's Director, Stephen Unwin.

A co-production with Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company.

Info. here:

[The Changeling seems to be flavour of the month of late... The recent Cheek By Jowl production was pretty stunning, and I've also seen decent versions from
Mamamissi (at the Southwark Playhouse) and Bristol's Tobacco Factory (at the Barbican). It's easy to see why it's so (comparatively) popular -- it's a fabulous play -- and I don't want to sound ungrateful... or wilfully obscurantist... but... wouldn't it be peachy to see a different Middleton or Rowley for a change? Like A Game at Chess, or All's Lost by Lust (which was rather spectacular in a staged reading at the Globe a couple of years ago), or even a completely different early modern tragedy? One that isn't The Duchess of Malfi, or Faustus, or 'Tis Pity She's a Whore?

Suppose I'll have to wait for that major revival of The Fatal Dowry...

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Library Meme

I have a slight fear of memes - all a bit intimate for this antisocial soul - but I like this Library Meme (as seen on The Little Professor).

Here’s my current hoard:

• Helen Cooper, The English Romance in Time: Transforming Motifs from Geoffrey of Monmouth to the Death of Shakespeare (OUP, 2004)
• Philip Schwyzer, Archaeologies of English Renaissance Literature (OUP, 2007)
• Nicholas Dames, Amnesiac Selves: Nostalgia, Forgetting, and British Fiction, 1810-1870 (OUP, 2001)
• Craufurd Tait Ramage, Beautiful Thoughts from Latin Authors with English Translations (Liverpool: Howell, 1877)
• Henry Thomas Riley, Dictionary of Latin Quotations, Proverbs, Maxims and Mottos, Classical and Medieval, Including Law Terms and Phrases. With a Selection of Greek Quotations (London, 1860)
• Marjorie Keniston McIntosh, Working Women in English Society, 1300-1620 (CUP, 2005)
• Rozsika Parker, The Subversive Stitch Embroidery and the Making of the Feminine, 2ed. (London: The Women’s Press 1996)
• Laura Gowing, Domestic Dangers: Women, Words, and Sex in Early Modern London (OUP, 1996)
• Alice Clark, Working Life of Women in the Seventeenth Century, 3ed. with a new introduction by A.L. Erickson (London: Routledge, 1992)
• Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century England (London: Weidenfeld and Nicholas, 1971)
• Diane Watt, Secretaries of God: Women Prophets in Late Medieval and Early Modern England (Woodbridge: D.S. Brewer, 2001)
Terence Vol.1, trans. John A. Barsby (Harvard UP, 2001)
Juvenal and Persius, ed. and trans. Susanna Morton Braund (Harvard UP, 2004)
• Terence, Comoediae (Londini: excudebat C. Whittingham, 1854)

The (frankly rather horrifying) eclecticism solely to be attributed to intellectual incoherence – though I’m as prone to that as any other butterfly minded early modernist – but a symptom of scholarly editing. A couple of the monographs are related to Book II, but most of this stuff is littering my shelves because I’m trying to write commentary notes on subjects that I know relatively little about and feel the need to rapidly swot up on. (Viz. Beautiful Thoughts from Latin Authors with English Translations, grabbed in the hope that it would help me to track down some Latin quotations. I went to a large, rural comprehensive school. We did six weeks of Latin – that’s half the time we spent doing metalwork... though you should see my welding...)

Editing is a weird activity. It’s also one that increasing numbers of us (especially early modernists, I think, but I’m ready to be corrected) seem to engage in, but few of us really talk or write about. This might be because much of it (collation, glossary notes, etc.) is tedious in the extreme. But at other times it’s oddly compelling – like trying to solve a crossword puzzle with only half of the clue – and it leads you into areas that you never intended to research and books that you never thought you’d need. (Viz. – again – Beautiful Thoughts from Latin Authors with English Translations.)

I wonder if it’s possible to identify the play from this list alone? I’d say yes, but its pretty obscure, even by my standards...