It’s August so the Edinburgh International Festival – and the Fringe – opened this week-end. Of course, a bit like the Olympics, a few shows had already started before the official opening.
We saw the official light show which opened the Festival, lighting up the castle, on the way home from seeing the Kubrick film, ‘ Barry Linden’ (lease said, soonest mended).
So what does the EdFest have in store for Shakespeare lovers this year? There are three of the Bard’s plays on at The Lyceum: Twelfth Night (Eat a Crocodile) – in French; Measure for Measure (Cheek by Jowl + Pushkin Theatre); and Richard III (Schaubuhne Berlin). You can find the details of these three shows at a story we ran back in April when the programme first came out. See https://players-shakespeare.com/event-edinburgh-international-festival-2016/.
Of course, since then the Fringe programme has come out, but on the Fringe the quality is so variable that it’s very difficult to recommend anything unless you’ve seen the show. However there are exceptions, and if you’re interested in children’s tongue-in-cheek versions of Shakespeare, we can recommend the following two shows, both run by Shakespeare @ Traquair:
(click on the pic for the details of each show)
Unfortunately, this year we’re so busy with preparing next year’s plays for our play-reading group, that we’re going to have to miss out on the Festival.
We’re getting towards the end of our First Folio Edition. We’ve around ten plays left to go to complete the Modern First Folio Edition, so we expect to complete our first complete edition in 2017, though we still will have some plays to convert from MFFEV1 to MFFEV5 format.
So what lies in store for the Edinburgh play-reading group this year? We’ve completed early drafts of Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, and All’s Well That Ends Well. A&C and AWTEW were fairly new to me, and I found them well worth the time spent editing them – they should be excellent in a play-reading, as also is The Comedy of Errors. I’m also in the process of converting the three parts of Heenry VI to MFFE format. These were incredibly popular in Shakespeare’s lifetime, but the complexities of Plantagenet politics rather goes over one’s head these days, though there’s a lot of interest in the war against the French and Jeanne d’Arc; and Caid’s rebellion. So we don’t get too heavy a diet of Plantagenet history I’m thinking of inter-weaving these plays with the first three.
We read eight plays a year, so that leave’s two more. One is almost certain to be The Merry Wives of Windsor, and the other will probably be Henry VIII or Two Gentlemen of Verona.
There’s a growing feeling of excitement at the idea of having a complete Modern edition of the First Folio, though there’s a lot of work still to do to tidy it up and get it to the quality standards that we’d like to achieve. Enough to keep us busy until 2023, probably, and the 400th anniversary of the First Folio.
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