I've just had a short film released by the BBC! I am incomparably excited about this. It's available from BBC Arts - I'm talking about why we should listen to history as well as look at it, exploring Max Reinhardt's 1933 production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'.
I’ve just come back from the Sage Gateshead, where I was at Radio 3’s Free Thinking Festival for my last official outing as a New Generation Thinker. It was a little different to the essays and discussion shows I’d done so far: we all had to come up with a “controversial idea” for an academic... Continue Reading →
Just had a guest post for the Shakespeare anniversary published on the music site Corymbus. What made Shakespeare so appealing for the C20th Nordic stage, and how was he interpreted? The article looks at early twentieth century music for Scandinavian Shakespeare productions, including pieces by Jean Sibelius, Ture Rangström, and Gösta Nystroem. The full article can... Continue Reading →
Review of a stage adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov’s ‘Master & Margarita’
Adapting Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margaritafor the stage is, by any account, an ambitious undertaking. The novel is notorious for the multiplicity of interpretations it allows, simultaneously presenting satire, socio-political critique, philosophical allegory, and theological musing. Beyond this, Bulgakov’s prose is stylistically mercurial as he jumps between 1930s Moscow and Pontius Pilate’s Jerusalem, incorporating elements of magical realism along the way. Despite these obstacles, Magnolia Productions’interpretation is the latest in a whole host of dramatic adaptations, from Edward Kemp’s 2004 stage rendition to the BBC’s radio play broadcast earlier this year. It seems that there is something irresistible about the dramatic challenge of staging Bulgakov’s book.
Magnolia Productions opted for an outdoor setting, in the gardens of St John’s College. In many ways, this was an inspired choice —the uplit trees created fantastical shapes and shadows across the moonlit lawns (reminding me of the shadow puppets…
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