Tag Archives: Shakespeare

Week in Review: September 8

Vancouver Fringe Festival Fills the Stage The Vancouver Fringe Festival entered its final week of performances concluding on September 14. The annual celebration organized by the First Vancouver Theatrespace Society attracts over 30,000 attendees each season to celebrate theatre in all its diverse forms.     Toronto International Film Festival Fills the Screen The Toronto International Film Festival continues this week, which also wraps up on September 14. The festival founded in 1976, has since grown to one of the largest in the world becoming a top destination for both the independent film industry and Hollywood celebrities.     U2 Releases Unwanted Gifts to The World The iconic rock band U2 released their latest album, Songs of Innocence free to iTunes customers as a joint project with Apple. As the album was pushed to automatically appear in iTunes accounts, the group received a swarm of backlash as users not interested in their latest offerings discovered that they were unable to delete the album.     Shakespeare’s Complete Works Translated To Mandarin The U.K. government announced plans this week to donate 2.7 million to translate Shakespeare’s complete works into Mandarin. The goal of the cash infusion is to build a cultural cooperation with China and for East and West cultures to share art across boundaries.    

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Tweed & Taffeta: Romeo + Juliet

Tweed & Taffeta is a series from Laura Murray Public Relations that explores costuming in celebrated performances – the varying interpretations from one production to the next and the subtle yet sweeping influence of wardrobe on a show’s overall texture.   “Designing costumes is story telling in the same way that a writer or a director tells a story. Our work goes directly to bringing forth the personality that is written on the page. As costume designers we get under a character’s skin the way an actor does.”   – Jeffrey Kurland, Costume Designer   When speaking of classic love stories, it’s impossible to disregard Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Told time and time again, this cherished tale of star-crossed lovers has become an iconic narrative on stage, on film, and at the ballet. A romance we know by heart, storytellers must take extra care to understand how wardrobe choices will affect their interpretation of this timeless tragedy.   Film adaptations of Romeo & Juliet have experimented with costuming and manipulated the era in which the story takes place to offer a fresh angle. With the up-close-and-personal nature of film, extra care must be given to the details – fabrics, beading, even the threading must be handled with care.   From left to right: Romeo and Juliet (1968); William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996); Romeo and Juliet (2013).   The ballet world has also embraced this classic love story. First composed by Sergei Prokofiev in 1935, Romeo & Juliet is now included in the repertoire of companies across the globe. For dancers the costuming must allow for unencumbered movement, therefore Juliet is often garbed in a long, romantic chiffon gown.   From left to right: San Francisco Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, English National Ballet.   Theatrical versions of Romeo & Juliet have seen many unique and original costuming adaptations. Popular even in Shakespeare’s day, this play has been seen on stage thousands of times, allowing theatre creators to draw inspiration from stage performances past.   From left to right: Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford Festival, 2013 Broadway staging.   On January 30, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet will bring this beloved narrative to Vancouver, leaving audiences breathless with it’s sweeping, romantic beauty. The costumes promise to be nothing short of spectacular, several of which you may have already seen in select locations across the city.    

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A Room of One’s Own: Kevin Bennett

A Room of One’s Own is LMPR’s photography series that showcases the beloved spaces belonging to members of Canada’s artistic scene. With a nod to Virginia Woolf’s essay by the same name, we present self-portraits from artists, arts media, and arts administrators in a room they call their own.   This week we spoke with Kevin Bennett- a Vancouver-born director who has become renowned for intuitive, accessible, and profound stagings of classical theatre. A graduate of Studio 58, Kevin has worked as an apprentice director with Bard on the Beach and as an Assistant Director at the Stratford Festival and The Arts Club. In Vancouver, his directing credits include: Macbeth at Little Mountain Studios, The Priory with United Players, Treasure Island at Studio 58, as well as Hamlet and King Lear with The Honest Fishmongers Equity Co-op, of which he is a founding member.   Next up for Kevin is the Honest Fishmongers’ Measure for Measure – which begins previews at Pacific Theatre tonight!   This is Kevin’s room:     Q: Which room did you choose?    I live in a quaint studio apartment near Victoria Drive, so it’s more a favourite corner. My office space where I have two desks, my books, and a window which faces the North Shore mountains.   Q: What makes this room ‘yours’?    Definitely the fact that I’m surrounded by my work. When I sit here and dig into a play I’m surrounded by the inspiration of past plays I’ve directed, with posters framed on the wall and various scripts, dictionaries, history books- the list goes on- all about me. Anything that might influence my analysis of a play is in that corner of my apartment.   Q: Identify three items in the room that you love, and explain why they’re special to you.     I’d start with the three photographs of Macbeth, Hamlet, and King Lear. I fall in love with every production I direct, but I’d say that the biggest challenges for me have been the productions of Shakespeare. These are also the productions where I’ve been the most challenged and learned the most about myself.   Next on the left corner is a small card with a picture of “Balzac’s Cafe” on it. It’s a really cute little cafe I love to go to in Stratford, where I worked last year as an Assistant Director. I’m very fortunate to be a part of a program called the Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction. It’s a program for new Canadian classical theatre directors to work at Stratford with some of the world’s leading directors. The card reminds me of that quaint little town and how special it is to me.   Last I’d say is all my books. I’m a big fan of the real thing (no Kobo for me). These are a variety of plays, research materials, history books, etc. They represent me and all of my work.   I guess I should also explain the protest signs on the floor: My assistant director on Measure for Measure and I painted these the night I took the photo in preparation for a PR event. We had the entire cast marched through the city of Vancouver handing out hand bills and breaking out into Shakespeare scenes to promote Measure for Measure!   The Honest Fishmongers’ Measure for Measure runs Jan. 17 – February 8 at Pacific Theatre.   Tickets & info at pacifictheatre.org.  

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The Week in Review: October 14

BANKSY IN NY The infamous street artist Banksy is loose in New York this month, conducting the most unconventional of residencies. The city-wide exhibition, called Better Out Than In, has seen the elusive figure paint trucks, erect sculptures, install video installations, and more. One particularly viral component saw the artist in Central Park, selling enormously valuable works for $60 each (he made just $420 over the course of a day). MAN BOOKER PRIZE WINNER ANNOUNCED At 28-years old, Canadian-born Eleanor Catton became the youngest person to ever win the Man Booker Prize this week. The author received the prestigious award for her novel The Luminaries, an intellectually rigourous murder mystery that takes place in Victorian-era New Zealand. This also marks the final year that the award will be available exclusively to authors hailing from Britain, Ireland, and the 54-nation Commonwealth of former British colonies. Beginning in 2014 all novels written in English and published in Britain will be eligible, regardless of the author's nationality. HOPKINS PEN FAN LETTER Legendary actor Anthony Hopkins wrote a fan-boy letter to Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston. The impulse struck the actor following a marathon viewing of the recently-concluded series. The writing offers fascinating insight into both the film & television industry and Mr. Hopkin's rich depth of character. KRONOS MARKS MILESTONE WITH LANDMARK PREMIERE This Saturday, the Kronos Quartet will celebrate 40 years of performance and creation at a celebratory Chan Centre concert. The occasion will be marked with the world premiere of Philip Glass' String Quartet No. 6 – the first piece the eminent composer has written in this configuration in more than 20 years. While conducting research for their interview with the group's founder, David Harrington, the CBC turned up this essential piece of pre-concert viewing: EVIDENCE ARISES FOR NEW SHAKESPEARE Every several years some individual comes forward alleging to have discovered a new play by William Shakespeare. The most recent claimant however, would seem to have a much stronger argument than some historic cases. buy online cigars Using sophisticated linguistic and computer analysis, academic Johnathan Bate has identified 'fingerprints' of the Bard in three works: Arden of Faversham, The Spanish Tragedy, and Mucedorus. As a compelling endorsement of the discovery, the three plays will be included in an upcoming publication of the complete works whose collaborators include the Royal Shakespeare Company. zp8497586rq

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Contest: Win Advance Screening Passes to Romeo & Juliet

Laura Murray Public Relations and Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet are offering Vancouverites the opportunity to attend a special advance screening of Romeo & Juliet on Monday September 30 at 7pm at the Scotiabank Theatre. Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare's epic and searing tale of love, is revitalized on screen by writer Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) and director Carlos Carlei (The Flight of the Innocent). An ageless story from the world's most renowned author is reimagined for the 21st Century. This adaptation is told in the lush traditional setting it was written, but gives a new generation the chance to fall in love with the enduring legend. With an all-star cast including Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Paul Giamatti and Stellan Skarsgaard, it affords those unfamiliar with the tale the chance to put faces to the two names they've undoubtedly heard innumerable times: Romeo and Juliet. Every generation deserves to discover this lasting love. In celebration of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's upcoming visit to Vancouver with their own Romeo + Juliet, LMPR will be giving away a pair of tickets to the advance film screening every day this week! To enter, simply: Leave a comment below naming your favourite character from Romeo & Juliet (One Entry) Comment on our Facebook post with the name of your favourite character from Romeo & Juliet (One Entry) Post the following to Twitter (One Entry per Day): I entered to win advance screening passes to @RomeoJulietFilm from @LauraMurrayPR. #ForbiddenLove http://ow.ly/pb2tR    All attendees at the film screening will also be entered to win tickets to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's January 30 performance of Romeo + Juliet at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.   Be certain to follow us on Twitter & Facebook so that we can contact you. Winners will be drawn at 4:30pm daily!  

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The Week in Review: August 19

ART & THE MIND A Canadian study released this week demonstrated that artists are better protected against  Dementia. Coming out of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, the report’s findings have far reaching implications for preventing cognitive decline and are a strong endorsement for the importance of arts education.   ART IN THE PARK Vancouver’s beloved Stanley Park turns 125 years old this year and the city is throwing a massive celebration of art, history, and music to mark the occasion. Taking place Saturday and Sunday at various sites throughout the park, the largely free event includes an enormously diverse array of artists, including Boca del Lupo, You Say Party, Bobs & Lolo, and City Opera Vancouver.   The Vancouver Aquarium opted to join in on the fun by preparing a very special cake for one of its residents… LEONARD GOES TO HIS BIG SLEEP Crime fiction lost one of its truly great authors this week, with the passing of Elmore Leonard. The prolific author penned 45 novels, including Get Shorty, Freaky Deaky, and Glitz, which were renowned for their off-beat characters, dead pan humour, and well-crafted writing.   SHAKESPEARE SHAKE-UPS A pair of milestone firsts pertaining to the Bard were announced this week. The first came from the Stratford Festival who revealed there would be not one, but two productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in their 2013/14 season. One of the productions will be an innovative, four-person chamber adaptation under the direction of legendary theatre artist Peter Sellars.   South of the border, it was announced that luminary actor Kenneth Branagh would make his long anticipated New York stage debut in a production of Macbeth. The staging had its world premiere at the Manchester Festival this past July, where it was performed in and around a deconsecrated church.   BEN AFFLECK NEXT TO DON BATMAN’S COWL Variety broke the news that Ben Affleck would play Batman in Zack Snyder’s upcoming, untitled Superman-Batman film. A sequel to this summer’s Man of Steel, the film represents a step toward a DC Comics film canon, culminating in a Justice League movie, similar to what Marvel Comics have created with their Avengers franchise.   Online backlash was immediate, ranging in tone from confusion to mockery to genuine upset.  

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