The ‘Punatomic’ Particle

By 5:15 we were all questioning whether we actually existed …

BH punatomic particle

Like Dante, as the Inferno unfolds, I found myself at a crossroads on St Andrew’s Day, and the way forward was unclear.  I had a little time to kill: I could walk round the block, or dive into a pub.  Within minutes, I was soaking up the warmth in The Bluebell, a decent pub I’ve not been to in several years.

The place was almost deserted.  For the rest of the world, it was that limbo between going home for tea (those who had already been drinking), and going to the pub for a couple after work.  For various reasons, I fell between both those stools.  So it was me, a pint of Titanic‘s Plum Porter, Aidan behind the bar, and Jamie – who had a bus to catch. 

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PTS 08/045: Oh, no it isn’t! Oh, yes it is …

You just can’t tell some people that you wouldn’t HAVE Blackadder without Shakespeare …


Ponytail Shakespeare read-through The Comedy of Errors: Act I scene I

‘Which is it today?’
The Comedy of Errors.
‘Ugh!’
‘It’s about two sets of twins, separated at birth, who find themselves-‘
‘Stop! Enough!’
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King Lear at The Globe (dir. Nancy Meckler)

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Is anyone going to step up and make this a great Lear with me?  (Kevin R McNally asks for help)

Whilst not one of my true favourites, Lear’s a play I know quite well and which, having a taste for Tragedy more than Comedy, I enjoy. I studied it at University, and I’ve seen at least two stagings before that I can remember. The first, at the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival some years back, was memorable for the blinding of Gloucester, which involved one of his eyeballs being sucked out. I’ve got a great photo of it (with a stretched ‘optical nerve’ leading from eye socket to mouth) which I often use to frighten children who claim that Shakespeare is boring. The second performance starred Derek Jacobi. The most striking things about it were Jacobi’s unsatisfyingly-camp Lear, and the use of strobe lighting to great effect in recreating the storm. Reading it, I’m always struck by Edmund‘s louche sexuality, and that always seems to have been missing. What did I want today? Hubris, wanton cruelty, ingratitude, and ‘the Globe experience‘ …

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PTS 05/031: I Don’t Know Whether To Laugh or Cry …

BH comedy tragedy

‘Good comedy is tragedy narrowly averted’ Jonathan Bate

The Two Gentlemen of Verona:  Act V

Over the past year I’ve used the question ‘What’s in a name?’ more than once, dismissing labelling in its many forms, but this feels the best way of articulating my unease with The Two Gentlemen as I finish the play …

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