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No snogging in the back, please.

By Mike Cunningham On May 4th, 2013 at 11:31 am

I took my kids (as in 1990, some twenty-odd years back, they were still were kids) to see Hamlet at a Newcastle cinema. There was a ‘full house’ with many seats occupied by teenaged girls along with a fair sprinkling of boys of a similar age, but with the lead role in Hamlet being taken by the young(ish) Mel Gibson, the Aussie and Hollywood star; this was to be expected. I accompanied my kids not because of Gibson’s presence, but mainly because of the need to see yet another of England’s  playwriting genius’ works brought to the screen.

So, in the days before ‘smart’ phones had even been invented, I was still a mite curious as to how one of the great plays of England’s past would be accepted by a restless teen-aged audience, most of whom had probably never even heard of William Shakespeare, and even less of the majesty of his plays.

But I was left astonished at the silence given this story of deceit, betrayal, murder and revenge. This largely teenaged audience remained entranced as the Danish Prince, at first devastated by his father’s death, and the suspiciously early remarriage of his mother to his uncle, who had claimed the throne on the death of his brother; began to plot his revenge under a cloak of seeming lunacy. There was no whispering, no laughter, no testosterone-fuelled uproar from the rear seats; just a silent acceptance that they, the youngsters in the audience, were in the presence of a masterpiece.

Which is why I reckon that this bloody idiot ought to be placed against a convenient wall, and silenced before she contaminates any more young minds with the dross she preaches.


By David Vance On October 25th, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Great news – the movie concerning the Shakespearean authorship and making the case for Lord Oxford is out this week and I’m off to see it on Saturday night, having seen Elvis on Friday night. What a weekend beckons!


By Pete Moore On March 18th, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Giv’em a reason to hate us lads …

The final day of the 6 Nations dawns tomorrow and all eyes will be on Dublin. I cannot describe how much I’ve been looking forward to this one all week. England go to Lansdowne Road/the Aviva with the Calcutta Cup in the bag after a win against the Jocks last week. If we win tomorrow it’s the Championship, Triple Crown and Grand Slam for what has been the best team in the Northern Hemisphere this year. With the World Cup looming in a few months a fancied Wales were seen off in Cardiff, Italy were put to the sword in style and the French beaten in a stunningly intense 80 minutes. The madman Lièvremont sent out a team for a punch up. England obliged him in a game where both packs took out anything above grass height. That same intensity tomorrow and we’ll do it.

Dublin, however, is where dreams have often gone to die. Ireland are better than they’ve shown this year and they’re due a Big Performance. England are full of energy and spirit but this Irish team has bags of experience, pride to recapture, a good recent record against England to maintain and World Cup places to secure.

We were in this very same position in 2003. England coach Martin Johnson was the Captain then of a team which had blown the Championship repeatedly on the final day in previous years. A World Cup was looming, England went to Dublin determined not to blow it again and so took the field determined to make themselves feel at home. We almost had a diplomatic incident …

Prediction: England by … one would be enough. Since I’ll be watching it in the village rugby club someone will have to remind me of the score the next morning in any case.


By ATWadmin On December 19th, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Did you read about outraged theatre-goers walking out of a performance of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, describing a simulated sex scene between two men as ‘pornography’.

Children as young as eight were among the audience at the performance of The Comedy of Errors at The Old Laundry Theatre, in Bowness, Cumbria. Actors from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) took part in the show. It featured one of the play’s characters Dromio guarding a door when a man dressed as a woman walked up to him, pulled down his pants and Dromio’s pants, before the pair simulated sex. No genitals were on show, but buttocks were visible.

Do you know that I have never been to see a Shakspearean (sic) play? Have you? I have read many of the plays and sonnets, and am a huge fan of the language used, but have never actually been to see them staged. Mind you, based on the above nouveau interpretation I bet “King Leer” might take on a whole new meaning, and as for “Two Men from Verona” well, that’s just an invitation for some serious male on male action!


By ATWadmin On December 9th, 2006 at 12:18 pm

So what have ALL these words in common? 

accommodation aerial amazement apostrophe assassination auspicious baseless bloody bump castigate changeful clangor control (noun) countless courtship critic critical dexterously dishearten dislocate dwindle eventful exposure fitful frugal generous gloomy gnarled hurry impartial inauspicious indistinguishable invulnerable lapse laughable lonely majestic misplaced monumental multitudinous obscene palmy perusal pious premeditated radiance reliance road sanctimonious seamy sportive submerge suspicious


That’s right – they were all invented by William Shakspear (Edward de Vere) -our greatest ever writer!