The Gap of Time – a too-close Shakespeare retelling by Jeanette Winterson

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing

A father and son discover a baby girl, and decide to look after her. In another time, a father grows convinced that his wife has been cheating with his friend, and that his daughter is not his own. He sends them away. And eventually, all the people and all the characters come together, etc etc etc.

The above is a plot description for both this book and for Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. This book is part of ‘Hogarth Shakespeare; a project to get renowned contemporary writers to adapt the bard’s plays, and a summary of this one appears in the front of the book. I was unfamiliar with the story so read it greedily, hoping for the ability to spot clever parallels and riffs from the original. Generally, however, I felt disappointed. Winterson’s version did not seem to add or grow the story at all, just to set it in a different time in a fairly straight way.

The Globe and the Bard strike again – fantastic cheap London theatre!

literary london, London, theatre

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We went to the Globe! This is one of my very, very favourite things to do in London. You can get tickets to stand in the Yard for just £5, which puts you right in the middle of the action. From the enthusiastic staff to the exquisite theatre and watching the sky darken above you as the play unfolds, in all it makes a totally magical experience.

We saw The Merchant of Venice, which I’d never seen live before. It was a fantastic production with great performances and imagination, impressive staging and great moments. This play shows Shakespeare’s incredible ability to combine what is a terribly serious and sad topic – Shylock’s story – with silly and fun love stories, and not really to any story’s detriment.

Shakespeare at The Globe – cheap London theatre

Book Thoughts, Recommended, Uncategorized

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I had, completely and honestly, just forgotten how good Shakespeare is. Watching Julius Caesar was just incredible. Hearing the classic lines I recognised in context and just listening to the marvellous prose was an astounding delight, that endured despite the fairly heavy rain that fell on our heads throughout the performance.

The acting was largely good, in a traditional vein. Usually I would find this a little dull, but it was so well executed that it usually gripped me. I didn’t know the story before I watched it, too, which was exciting as though I expected death I didn’t know who it would be. Brutus has since joined my list of literary heroes.