Distractions

These are interesting propositions, which deserve more attention than they actually receive here. This must in part be because they have to share screen time with other matters. It may be perverse to say so, of a series about the greatest playwright in the language, but the most distracting of these is the recurrent presence of actors. With no disrespect to the skills of those involved (mostly members of the Royal Shakespeare Company), their precise function in the wider narrative seems not to...

I

Because Campbell Scott and Eric Simonson's Hamlet (2000) uses Hempstead House, a magisterial Long Island residence constructed in 1912 by the Gould family, for its exteriors and interiors, the film immediately presents itself as surveillantly preoccupied. Designed in the style of a Tudor manor house, the property is dominated by two towers, which, within and without, allow for a range of observational opportunity. Maximum advantage is taken of a series of linked central halls which give onto...

1

'There's only three ways a poor lad can make it out of the back streets of Liverpool show business, sport or crime,' announces Quick (Tom Bell), a customs officer in My Kingdom. Mourning a dying breed of citizen, he adds, 'Working-class heroes - tragic, really', and concludes by suggesting the current state of citizenship in Liverpool ' Humanity must perforce prey upon itself, Like monsters of the deep '.3 This paraphrase of King Lear is delivered to Sandeman (Richard Harris), the Lear...

Iv

Adopting Hamlet's admission to Horatio, this essay has explored the ways in which postmodernity 'sees' the past and Shakespeare in so doing, it has addressed questions relating to the vision of the 'mind', establishing varieties of 'screen', whether these manifest themselves as lenses, cameras or computer and television monitors, as key to a drive to recover memory and establish authenticity. Arguably it is because postmodernity is dominated by representations and simulacra, many of which are...

Notes

The 'mockumentary' was first broadcast on BBC4 on 29 November 2005. 2. Gary Taylor, 'Afterword The incredible shrinking Bard', in Christy Desmet and Robert Sawyer (eds) (1999), Shakespeare and Appropriation, London and New York Routledge, pp. 198-9. 3. Richard Burt, 'Shakespeare in Love and the End of the Shakespearean Academic and Mass Culture Constructions of Literary Authorship', in Mark Thornton Burnett and Ramona Wray (eds) (2000), Shakespeare, Film, Fin de Si cle, Basingstoke Macmillan,...

Substance

This is all rather more elegantly outlined in the book, which opens with a prologue in which John Shakespeare, as bailiff of Stratford, is called upon to obliterate the medieval (and so Catholic-tainted) wall paintings in the town's Guild Chapel. The work is done but only amounts to a thin whitewashing, which might conceivably have been reversed had English history performed yet another religious U-turn in the tortuous sequence that ran from Henry VIII through Edward VI and Mary to Elizabeth....

Twentyfirst Century

Edited by Mark Thornton Burnett & Ramona Wray Screening Shakespeare in the Twenty-First Century Edited by Mark Thornton Burnett and Ramona Wray Editorial matter, organisation and introduction, Mark Thornton Burnett and Ramona Wray, 2006 the chapters their several contributors, 2006 Edinburgh University Press Ltd 22 George Square, Edinburgh Typeset in 10.5 13 Sabon by Servis Filmsetting Ltd, Manchester, and printed and bound in Great Britain by Cromwell Press, Trowbridge, Wilts A CIP record...

V

King Lear ends by evincing nostalgia for a future that will never arrive, as Lear entreats Cordelia to 'Come . . . away to prison. We two alone will sing like birds i' the cage' (V.iii.8-9). My Kingdom begins with this happy family scenario, as the Sandemans gather to pose for their Christmas card, absurdly, in September. But this vision is steadily eroded as the family members turn upon each other, dying one by one, and Sandeman's only hope for the future - his desire, revealed to Mandy just...

Mark Thornton Burnett

A recent editorial in The Guardian claims that governments are building 'a global registration and surveillance infrastructure' in the 'US war on terror'. The aim, it is argued, is 'to monitor the movements and activities of entire populations' in what has been termed ' an unprecedented project of social control V In keeping with the associations of the term 'warning' that appears in the header, the report is concerned less with the details of the scheme than with the seeming threat that an...

Courtney Lehmann

One of the primary symptoms of late capitalism, as Fredric Jameson argues, is the rise of the 'nostalgia film', which projects on a collective level the confusion associated with the individual experience of post-modernity. This cinematic genre betrays a desire to escape the present via retreat into the past, even as its increasing failure to denote the past, by any means other than dead styles, conveys the more insidious problem of 'the waning of our historicity, of our lived possibility of...

Hearts of Darkness

Adapted from a stage play by Jeffrey Hatcher, and following in the wake of related films, Stage Beauty (dir. Richard Eyre, 2004) is a direct reply to the box-office success and Oscar-winning film Shakespeare in Love (dir. John Madden, 1998).2 A review stating that Stage Beauty is 'sexier than Shakespeare in Love' is on the Stage Beauty official film website homepage, and the opening blurb on the back of the US DVD edition of the film reads 'This year's Shakespeare in Love ' The generic,...

Mark Thornton Burnett and Ramona Wray

Shakespeare's Happy Endings, a spoof documentary produced as part of the BBC's 2005 'Shakespea(Re)-Told' season, concludes with a scene outside Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon.1 Here, the erstwhile presenter, Professor Simon Starkman (Patrick Barlow), greets William Shakespeare (Kevin Eldon), welcoming him as the 'man of the millennium' and announcing a surprise celebration in honour of the famous guest. Unfortunately, the church is closed the vicar has forgotten about the party, no...

Shakespeare in Love Actually

To understand the centrality of race to Stage Beauty, and the film's blind spot to it, we first need to locate Eyre's film in the broader context of two genres, the Shakespeare play-within-the-film genre, in which characters in a film rehearse or watch scenes from a play, and the UK US transatlantic romantic comedy convention that uses English and American actors and often includes a Shakespeare citation or reference.10 The commercial success of Shakespeare in Love was due in large measure to...

Ii

Fully inserted into the revolutions of postmodernity, Michael Almereyda's Hamlet 2000 pushes further a concern with observers and the observed, finding capital both in new technologies of representation and a filmic preoccupation with a world in thrall to visual introspection and examination. Covert glances and investigative stares are the norm, and even seemingly innocuous references to sight are compromised in the moment of their articulation. This is keenly exemplified in Gertrude's plea to...

Acknowledgements

Early versions of some of these chapters were given as papers at the Newcastle-upon-Tyne meeting of the British Shakespeare Association. For that opportunity, we would like to thank the organisers and, in particular, Kate Chedgzoy. We are also grateful to Stephen Buhler, Stephen Cavanagh, Tobias D ring, Ewan Fernie, Douglas Lanier, Kenneth Rothwell and Adrian Streete for relevant and productive conversations. At Edinburgh University Press, Jackie Jones has not only been a supportive and...

Info

8 'Into a thousand parts divide one man' Dehumanised Metafiction and Fragmented Documentary in Peter Babakitis' Henry V 146 9 Screening the McShakespeare in Post-Millennial 10 Shakespeare and the Singletons, or, Beatrice Meets Bridget Jones Post-Feminism, Popular Culture and 'Shakespea Re -Told' 185

Stuart Ward Mural At Altnagelvin

Like Almereyda's film, Stephen Cavanagh's Hamlet 2005 is concerned with recollection and the pressures of the past on the present. But here the similarity ends, for, in this Londonderry-based production, the question of memory is deeply riven with disputes and irresolutions specific to a Northern Ireland context. One has only to instance the Saville Enquiry set up to ascertain what 'actually' happened on 'Bloody Sunday', 30 January 1972, when thirteen marchers were killed in Derry by the...