Friday 20 July 2012

Staging the World - Shakespeare at the British Museum * Until 25 November 2012

During the summer of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games the British Museum presents a major exhibition on the world and works of William Shakespeare, supported by BP. Shakespeare: staging the world is part of the World Shakespeare Festival in the London 2012 Festival. The exhibition provides a new and unique insight into the emerging role of London as a world city four hundred years ago, interpreted through the innovative perspective of Shakespeare’s plays. The exhibition features over 190 objects, including coins, armour, textiles, sculpture and paintings such as the famous Sieve Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I shown here by Quentyn Metsys the Younger, 1583. (Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena). For a minute and a half taster see the video below. While on the subject of Shakespeare and fabulously inspiring videos, I have to tell you about the magnificent Hollow Crown cycle of Shakespeare's Richard II, Henry IV pt 1 and pt 2 and Henry V which we have been in raptures about each Saturday night for the last month. If you follow the link below you will see a taster from Henry IV pt 1 featuring the Geordie Armstrongs père et fils, Alun and Joe, playing the powerful Percys of the Northern Marches in Northumbria - with Geordie accents. Young Joe Armstrong plays Hotspur who has just vanquished the Scots and, as was the custom, taken hostages for lucrative ransom. However, the King demands his right them. Hotspur is not impressed - particularly since the Percys were the family that helped the exiled Henry Lancaster back to his lands, after which he seized the crown from Richard II to become Henry IV.

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