Hillcroft LRC

Posts Tagged ‘plays

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!

 

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Look Back in Anger play, DVD and literary criticismOur Access to Higher Education students are  studying John Osborne’s play Look Back in Anger as part of their literature course.

We’ve got two DVD versions of Osborne’s play which students can borrow from the Learning Resources Centre ( LRC ) directed by Judi Dench and Tony Richardson. The Judi Dench TV film is available on YouTube. As is the Tony Richardson version split into two parts; 12, 3 and 4. There is an interview with Osborne broadcast in 1957 on ITV. You can also watch a Tony Palmer programme on the playwright John Osborne – The Gift of Friendship.

We’ve also got copies of the play to borrow and an audio CD of the LA Theatre Works production of the play directed by Rosalind Ayres and the literary criticism by Aleks Sierz called John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger. On the Internet you’ll find a literary guide on GradeSaver.

If you fancy a trip to see his first editions, uncorrected proofs and ephemera related to the launch of his films visit the British Library’s John Osborne page and you’ll also find a link to his papers in the Harry Ransom Humanities Center in Austin, Texas.

Much Ado About Nothing and Shakespeare, Feminism and Gender coversOur Access to Higher Education students are in the process of writing assignments on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at present.

Each student is researching away trying to find new sources and angles on the play and its themes to stand out from the others. Whilst we’ve got an ebook version of a  Harold Bloom’s literacy criticism Much Ado About Nothing to help them we’ve also got a copy of Kate Chedgzoy’s Shakespeare, Feminism and Gender which looks at the role and view of women in the play.

While working with them in Learning Zone this week and discussing the role of Hero in the play and the significance of her name our Learning Resource Centre (LRC) staff member suggested they might find something interesting about it on Britannica Online. As well as using the literature dictionaries we have. Britannica came up trumps with a reference to Greek mythology.

As a librarian our Learning Resource Centre team member found yet again by thinking laterally about the sources you could use for an assignment on Shakespeare it was possible to get a different angle on the play without spending hours running Google searches to find a quality and useful source to impress…

It’s 100 today to the start of the London Olympics Games. But did you also know that part of the celebrations includes a Cultural Olympiad?

Visit the London Festival 2012 page to find out about events happening to mark the Olympics. These include art, music, plays, dance and much more. It runs from 21 June to 9 September. You can search by artist and venue.


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