Shakespeare Magazine 13

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to Issue 13 of Shakespeare Magazine

Photo: David Hammonds

Every summer there is a Shakespeare Festival here in Bristol, and I usually manage to miss most of it. This year was different. I saw an eccentric play called Shakespeare’s Worst in a church hall. I saw an inventive production of The Tempest in the open-air setting of the Blaise Castle estate, and a ferociously funny Taming of the Shrew on Brandon Hill. The latter also hosted a ludicrously amusing Comedy of Errors by an all-male troupe who’d recently had their van stolen. I saw four mad blokes doing A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a city farm, and I saw a haunting Romeo and Juliet in a Victorian cemetery. I saw a surprisingly enjoyable opera about Ophelia in a church. (I missed a one-man King Lear because I turned up at the wrong church) And I went to see a Bristol University professor talking about Shakespeare in a pub. Needless to say, I enjoyed that. I also enjoyed two things that weren’t part of the festival but were happening at the same time – a production of Julius Caesar at the historic Bristol Old Vic Theatre, and an extraordinary staged reading of Hamlet by people of all ages and varying degrees of experience, the culmination of one of the Old Vic’s adult courses. The festival closed with a performance of Twelfth Night in the verdant St George Park. It took place by a small lake, with the rain absolutely bucketing down. At the end, clutching futile umbrellas, the cast valiantly performed the song ‘The Rain it Raineth Every Day’. It was a truly magnificent Shakespearean moment. Enjoy your magazine. Pat Reid, Founder & Editor

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