Saturday, 25 January 2014

FutureLearn course - Shakespeare's Hamlet Assignment 1

Hello and welcome to my first post on this blog for a long, long time!

I have decided to keep my other blog for my crafting endeavours, and will continue this blog for other interests.

Our first written assignment for the free FutureLearn MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) is to create a blog post 'review' from someone who has seen an early (1600) performance of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' at the newly constructed Globe Theatre in Southwark.  So here goes - I have imagined a letter from a lady to her sister, who is to visit London soon...

My dearest Sister, when you make your visit to us next month, can I commend you to make known to my beloved Husband your desire to visit the new playhouse at Southwark?  For yes, we have a new playhouse, on the other side of our great river, with seats around and a floor where the poorer people stand.  To sit was most welcome to me; I pity the groundlings, although I am sure that if I were to be one of them, I would still rejoice to hear Master Shakespeare’s words spoken with such eloquence by the players.  I would urge you to make known to my Husband that you wish him to accompany us to a performance of the latest play by that most glorious of playwrights Master William Shakespeare.

My dear, have I conveyed to you the glory of his words and poetry?  I have earnest hopes that Master Richard Burbage plays for us his role of Hamlet, the most tragical prince of Denmark, whose father was so cruelly murdered by his brother.  Hold, I hear you say, do not let me know the substance of the play ...  But I assure you, my dear Sister, the plot is already known; do you not recall our visit to the playhouse some six years since to see the enactment of 'the tragedy of the Prince of Denmark'? It is at once the same in story, but is so far above in the words and the playing as can be regarded as entirely a new creation.

The play opens with the appearance of the ghost, who urges Hamlet to take revenge on his false brother, the usurper of his throne and the new husband to his beloved Wife, after so little time as to be dining at the wedding feast on the cold meats provided at the funeral.  My dear, what unseemly haste!  The players arrive at the castle to play before the new king and Hamlet himself adds lines to their play so as to enact the very scenes of the murder, to trap the usurper in his guilt.  Hamlet urges the players to play true to their emotions, with no false ranting; and Burbage himself, the most glorious actor, takes Hamlet's advice so entirely, that the audience weeps along with him and the horrors that await him.  He can talk to us both wildly, but again, in such a gentle voice, his thoughts and wonderings made with such clarity...

For this, my dearest Sister,  is no Revenge Tragedy of overacting, blood and gore which we lately saw enacted at The Theatre.  Master Shakespeare's Hamlet is a man of the deepest thoughts and indecisions, which make the tragedy so much more. I remember the words of one part most clearly, “to be or not to be, that is the question” as the tragic, grief-stricken prince debates with himself and the audience a self-imposed entry into ”the undiscovered country from which none can return”…

And his love, the pure and innocent Ophelia, your tears will I am sure flow like mine at her tragic situation …

But enough, I will write no more.  I await your visit with much pleasure and anticipation.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

New posts coming soon!

I know I haven't posted anything for ages!  I will be back soon with more pictures etc!
And I've just got a new blog, "taffeta attic" for my more crafty posts - its listed on my profile (hopefully!) - or you can go to 

Sunday, 27 February 2011

A fantastic day!

ArtsyCrafts workshop last Thursday - so inspiring!
Morning with Leandra (PaperArtsy) and Lin

Followed by afternoon with Tim Holtz - who could ask for more!

Time to learn, time to play, and time to be inspired!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Listen to this!

Link to track from new Bellowhead album - Hedonism

(not long to wait now, before it's released 4th October, and seeing them live again in November!)

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Photos from Kenwood

Rufus Wainwright @ Kenwood
& Fyfe Dangerfield who supported him

Sunday, 4 July 2010

a sunny day in Kenwood

A beautiful afternoon/evening at Kenwood yesterday.

Sun shining, gentle breeze blowing...

Support act, Fyfe Dangerfield ... lovely voice

and then Rufus Wainwright ... amazing!!!

pics to come ...

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Sunflowers by Jon Curtis

Sunflowers by Jon Curtis
One of my favourite songs by Jon Curtis, currently busking on the London Underground. (the link is to Jon's Myspace profile). He makes me smile, and I travel onwards home from Euston with a spring in my step and a song in my heart, whenever I see him.

Wicken Fen windmill reflection

Wicken Fen windmill reflection
click photo for weblink

New Place Garden, Stratford-Upon-Avon

New Place Garden, Stratford-Upon-Avon
click photo for weblink

Sunset at Broadway Hill

Sunset at Broadway Hill
"The Wanderer Returns" or "Rambling Robin" !