In August some members gathered for a friendly informal lunch at The Mechanics as has been the custom for the last few years during the long seasonal summer break. Afterwards there was chance for a look at the new season's plans and Di took a photograph of the lively exchange of ideas to use on our new flyers. Our first meeting of the season featured a return visit by Professor Lisa Hopkins from Sheffield Hallam University who gave an excellent talk on 'Othello' and why Shakespeare chose to set the play on the island of Cyprus. Even those of us who know the play well found much that was new and fascinating in this entertainingly delivered material.
Crab bows out
After many successful appearances with the Reading Group in a very entertaining extract from The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Crab, the troublesome dog, and his master Lance (Len Arrowsmith) have decided it is time to retire. Both of them will be greatly missed and we are most grateful for their participation. The sight of Len reaching the climax of his reprimand of the innocent-looking dog with a demonstration of the line, “When didst thou see me heave up my leg and make water against a gentlewoman’s farthingale? Didst thou ever see me do such a trick?” will remain in my mind for a very long time.
Local Shakespeare Screenings
For several years local cinemas have shown live screenings of Shakespeare productions from Stratford and other major theatres. There are two such screenings in Nottingham between now and Christmas 2018 - at four City cinemas simultaneously.
On 14th November there is 'Troilus and Cressida' from the RST on Stratford and on December 6th the excellently reviewed 'Antony and Cleopatra' from the National Theatre starring Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo. You can go to The Savoy on Derby Road, Showcase on the ring road, The Corner House in town or Broadway on Broad Street.
Look out for flyers from The Shakespeare Society at these screenings - and our members will be there to let you know how interesting it is to come to our fortnightly talks and readings!
Our season so far
After the lively talk on 'Othello' mentioned above we read an edited version of the play in our second meeting. Anthony Rice directed this, choosing his cast very skilfully and although time constraints meant that some scenes we wanted to include had to be omitted it was an enjoyable, successful reading.
Following this the next meeting saw our President, David Dunford, give a wide-ranging, apposite talk on Shakespeare and Gender in the 21st century. This was both entertaining and thought-provoking and as David had found such a wealth of material it became 'Part One' with the promise of the second part later! We hope we don't have to wait too long for it.
Next we have the very popular and highly regarded William Ruff returning to talk to us about Shakespeare's villainous king, Richard III, on October 23rd and we are full of anticipation. As William is such an excellent speaker we are expecting to have extra visitors that evening.
William Ruff, as anticipated, gave us an excellent talk about 'Richard III' in the later part of which we were able to hear and compare the styles and interpretations in excerpts from different performances. In the following meeting we read an edited version of the play in which we triumphed over adversity as several of the readers were substituted at the last minute owing to some of those originally cast being prevented by various adverse circumstances from taking part. The understudies rose to the occasion magnificently and everyone enjoyed the meeting.
On November 20th thirteen students from Nottingham High School paid us their annual visit. This year they read 'The Taming of the Shrew' and it was a joy to see their spirited, lively interpretation of the characters. Several of them had been in previous years and were reading to us for the last time before going on to university. We were delighted when their teacher told us how much they enjoyed coming and volunteered eagerly to take part. . There is exciting news of another live screening in the new year on January 15th at all four of the usual cinemas. Simon Russell Beale will be playing the king in 'Richard II'.
Please remember that we have a Nottingham Shakespeare Society Facebook page which has a link to the website. If you're on Facebook do remember to look at it and like it.