The excitement begins…

Rehearsals for our production of Hamlet at the Park Theatre begin in earnest tomorrow.  I am extraordinarily excited for it.  The team have come up with some insightful and provocative adaptations of the script to bring out the themes in the play we are most interested in and to support our vision of the play as a family drama.

It is going to be memorable.  Come along.

Shakespeare in Stratford

I had a wonderful time speaking at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Showcase Day on 15 July.  It is always a pleasure to talk about Shakespeare’s extraordinary use of language and the power of rhetoric but it is a particular delight to do so in front of an engaged and enthusiastic audience.  I have never done anything in The Other Place before.  It was an ideal venue.

My thanks to Helen Cave, for her seamless organisation of the day and my role in it, and to Lucy Barribel, the photographer, for capturing the moment!

All this is open to you if you become a patron of the RSC

Books and Beer

I am going to be one of the guests at this great event at The Blue Anchor Pub in Hammersmith, London on 13 June – along with some very interesting speakers:

“History by the River is new a monthly panel event with a social buzz for lovers of books, history and good beer. It’s a chance to get together with fellow readers and authors to hear about the best new historical writing, then discuss it all over a drink afterwards.”

If you are interested in Historical Fiction then there is no more convivial a place to be!

Literary Festival Goodness

One of the delights of publishing a novel is that you get invited to literary festivals.  I have had some delightful experiences so far: chairing a discussion about Shakespeare’s global reach between Edward Wilson-Lee (Shakespeare in Swahililand ) and Gabriel Josipovici (Hamlet Fold on Fold) at the Stratford-on-Avon literary festival, and speaking with Louis De Bernieres at the inaugural Buckingham Literary Festival about his new novel and his poetry.

I have also been doing some fascinating and fun solo discussions about Shakespeare and how he became the greatest master of the English language there has ever been in places as far flung as Henley, St Boswells in the Scottish Borders and at The School of Life in London

There is yet more to come!

Wednesday 7 September 2016 I am at The Idler Academy giving a masterclass on the power of language and how language works to persuade. From Cicero to Shakespeare to Obama and on to Trump – the secrets of classical rhetoric revealed.

Monday 26 September 2016 I am back in Henley, this time talking about fictional takes on great literary figures with the incomparable Bob Marshall-Andrews

Friday 30 September 2016 I am in Cranbrook at their inaugural literature festival. A double-header – I shall speaking with my father about the delights and difficulties of having a real person as your leading character.

Friday 14 October 2016 I shall be at the Ilkley Literary Festival talking about how Shakespeare became Shakespeare

Wednesday 19 October 2016 I shall be in Rochdale talking about Shakespeare and the scandalous lives of Elizabethan Playwrights

Thursday 3 November 2016 I am back at the School of Life to talk about the power of language and to show you how you can draw on the same lessons that Shakespeare drew on to make your words crackle with persuasive power.   The price of this workshop includes a copy of The Spy of Venice – bargain!

It’s going to be a wonderful autumn.

Literary Hijinks at Port Eliot

I am off to the Port Eliot festival tomorrow. My first ever festival, embarrassing to admit at my age, but true – it promises to be a great one.

I shall be helping host the Spelling Bee at the Bowling Green on Friday at 7pm and then on Sunday I shall be offering colour-commentary at the Rubbish Olympics at the Black Cow Saloon around 2pm.

Who knew that writing a novel would end up involving so many entertaining trips around the country and encounters with so many fascinating people? I have exchanged poetry tips with Louis de Bernieres, scene writing tips with David Edgar, and shortly I shall be sharing fashion tips with the world!

I only pray that there is no rain… although I am sure I shall be safe in my yurt.