Hillcroft LRC

Posts Tagged ‘comedy

Shakespeare and theatreSaturday 23 April marks 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare. We’ve been adding new material to our reference section to compliment the bard covering not only Shakespeare himself but his plays, sonnets and the theatre.

To start off we have William Shakespeare: a Very Short Introduction by Stanley Wells which is one from our favourite Oxford University Press series. It’s a great introduction to Shakespeare’s life, work and the different types of plays he wrote from comedies to tragicomedies and tragedies. Next we have The Shakespeare Book edited by Satu Fox. This one is a Dorling Kindersley book listing each play with a plot summary, a timeline outlining the key parts of the plot and dramatis personae (list of characters) and an ‘in Context’ section exploring themes, origins of the material and the impact of the play. The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare by Michael Dobson and Stanley Wells is an alphabetical listing of the plays and characters, themes, plots and famous actors who played the roles. Lastly The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare By Albert F Kinney is for the more serious student of Shakespeare and holds chapters dedicated to issues in Shakespearean studies from the versions of the text, to interpretation of the works, issues within them and transfer of the material from stage to film and television.

You cannot study Shakespeare without looking at theatre so we have Theatre: a Very Short Introduction by Marvin Carlson to help you put the history plays and others into context. In addition we have the Oxford Guide to Plays by Michael Patterson which acts like a dictionary listing the plays alphabetically. Each entry summarises the plot, gives you the playwright’s name, when it was written, when and where it was first performed, categorises them by genre and tells you when and where it is set. There is also an index of playwrights and characters. Last but not least the Oxford Dictionary of Plays by Michael Patterson lists plays from around the world alphabetically and organises them by country and historical period. Basically a larger version of Oxford Guide to Plays.

There is a special Saturday night on television  Shakespeare Live! From the RSC on 23 April at 2030 which will be available on the iPlayer after the broadcast. A host of stars perform snippets from Shakespeare. Find out more on the BBC Shakespeare Special page about other programmes celebrating the anniversary.

Interested in studying more about Shakespeare? How about joining one of these Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) I found on the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s website. If you don’t fancy that there’s a free exhibition of primary sources you can examine on Shakespeare Documented. Great for students and teachers!

 

We have been busy searching for and ordering DVDs that feature brilliant actors such as Julie Christie and Glenn Close in their later years. Media representations of older people can be mainly of stereotypes, such as the grumpy old man or the nice little old lady. These films go beyond the stereotypes and open our world to view from different perspectives. Many books and films use the story-telling device of having an older person looking back on their youth and the events that happened to them. These movies don’t do that, they focus on the present time of the characters and what happens after or approaching retirement age.

The themes that they cover include loyalty, the autumn of life and separation of loved ones through death and traumatic experiences. ‘Away from Her’, ‘Still Mine’ and ‘Poetry’ also deal with the difficult subject of Alzheimer’s disease (a form of dementia). ‘Albert Nobbs’ is about a butler who wants to get away from his job in which he has had to pretend to be a man for 30 years. It’s not all doom and gloom though as ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ paints a humourous portrait of older people from Britain adapting to new situations in India.

You can borrow up to 3 DVDs (free of charge) during staffed hours 9.00am-5.30pm, Monday to Friday. We have many more you can browse too, there’s bound to be something you’re interested in. You can recommend something by leaving a comment below or speak with us.

We have been updating the VLE calendar and the YELLOW FOLDER with events going on next month. It is fun to find out all the exciting things you can do – often for only a tenner or for free!

It’s International Women’s Day on the 8th March so there are lots of cultural events going on to celebrate and support women.

The Southbank Centre has a whole host of great speakers and guests, performances and comedy shows as part of the WoW Festival. It stands for Women of the World – and the whole world wants to be there! I am particularly interested in the debate on What will the next government do for women? It’s on at 7.45 on Monday 2nd March. I now need to book a couple of tickets before you all jump on it! You can follow all the action on Twitter or Facebook searching the hashtag .

The Museum of London Docklands is also putting on a family weekend event on the Saturday 7th March. Rich Mix in the East End has a poetry reading on 6th March – but don’t yawn – it sounds like it will be a really exciting and unusual take on poetry. It is run by Scottee who, according to the website plumpf, “a dyslexic who thinks poems should rhyme.” Intriguing!

If there are any events going on in the nearby area to Surbiton I will be on the lookout, but please let us know of anything that might appeal to the wonderful women of Hillcroft.

Listening cat (Dave Morris 2005)Having books read aloud can really bring them to life. Many audiobooks and podcasts on the subject of books and reading are possible to download for free online. For example, BBC Radio 4 has ‘Book at Bedtime’ with dramatised versions of famous and great books. They divide the stories into 15 minute episodes that air on weekdays at 22.45. You can listen online to episodes for free for up to 4 weeks after they have been aired. You can find them on the iPlayer radio, there’s a mobile app for that or you can listen to it on the computer.

The next book reading (22nd December) is going to be ‘The Diary of a Provincial Lady’. It’s a comedy written by EM Delafield set in 1930s Britain and according to this review it is a real hoot (despite it’s age and fusty-sounding title).

Previous books they had broadcast include ‘The Bone Clocks’ by David Mitchell and ‘The Miniaturist’ by Jessie Burton. Both of these books have been highlighted on a number of prominent lists looking back at the best books of the year. So the books chosen are leading-edge and in high demand, getting them for free and often read by famous actors makes subscribing to their newsletter worthwhile. The LRC team are putting together a poll on which award-winning fiction books to buy in paperback copy in the New Year – so watch this space!

Woman spinning fireMarch is Women’s History Month and 8 March is International Women’s Day. As a women’s college we like to look out for events coming up to inspire women over these festivities and beyond.

The Women of the World (WoW) festival at London’s Southbank Centre runs from 6-10 March.

It’s ticketed and  includes events, debates and activities. Guest speakers include Naomi Woolf, Alice Walker, Ahdaf Souief, Sarah Brown, Sandi Toksvig and many more. There’s also a speed mentoring session. Take a look at the WoW Festival website for more information.

There are also a number of free events in East and Southeast London too. These include exhibitions at local art galleries and museums. You can find a listing of these on the Alternative Arts Women’s History Month page.


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