Preparing a Play the Mike Alfreds’ Way

Preparing a Play the Mike Alfreds’ Way Mike Alfreds’ book Different Every Night: Freeing the Actor has turned into one of my favourite books on directing and acting. It’s excellent. Needless to say, my initial response to his fairly gloomy prognosis for the future of live theatre was one of qualified disagreement– a personal response, for sure, for I am far less excited by rock concerts and other electronic media than I am by the theatre.  Good film is, of course, something wonderful, too. Not quite up there, but at times close, when it’s at its best. I was very happy to discover as I got deeper into the book that despite Alfreds somewhat pessimistic stance about the theatre’s long-term future, his own passion for and commitment to the stage and the whole integrated process involved in making a play well – arduous, exhilarating, demanding, rewarding, difficult, challenging – won…

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The Significance of the Title Sredni Vashtar

The Significance of the Title Sredni Vashtar  In this article, we will be discussing the significance of the title, Sredni  Vashtar, of Saki’s beautifully crafted short story. The title, Sredni Vashtar, is eponymous, referring as it does to the central role that Sredni Vashtar, the polecat-ferret turned hutch-god, plays in the story as Conradin’s agent of vengeance against Mrs De Ropp and all that she stands for. The ferret is the hero that brings about positive change in Conradin’s life and, through its actions, rids the boy of his guardian’s presence and influence forever. This is the literal truth of the situation. For a FREE COPY of Saki’s Sredni Vashtar, PLEASE GO HERE! On another level, Sredni Vashtar, is an imaginative construct in the sense that what in Mrs De Ropp’s eyes is an ordinary ferret-in-a-cage, is in Conradin’s something qualitatively different; it is something divine, godly – the hutch-god,…

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Seamus Heaney, his Poetry and his Craft

Seamus Heaney his Poetry and his Craft In this article we are going to explore Seamus Heaney, his poetry and his craft. He wrote lyric poetry of great intensity, beauty and depth.His work is deeply rooted in the world in which he was born, raised, educated, got married, had a family, and worked as a poet, writer, teacher and man of letters.  Thus, his poetry is firmly grounded in: the natural landscape of Ireland – the Northern Ireland landscape of his youth and early adult years, as well as, places in the Republic of Ireland where he lived from the early 1970s onward. the farming life of his family, ancestors and neighbours bringing vividly to life the work, habits and attitudes of the people he writes about. the social reality of living in sectarian Northern Ireland, sometimes directly and sometimes more obliquely. A profound sense of community within the social…

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“Sredni Vashtar” by Saki (Hector Hugh Munro)

“Sredni Vashtar” by Saki (Hector Hugh Munro) Here is the complete text of the short story ‘Sredni Vashtar’ by Saki. It is one of the eleven short stories prescribed for the AS and A-Level Literature Course for the Cambridge International syllabus.  Watch this space for more help on the analysis of Saki’s powerful and complex story. SREDNI VASHTAR     1912 By Saki (Hector Hugh Munro 1870- 1916) Conradin was ten years old, and the doctor had pronounced his professional opinion that the boy would not live another five years. The doctor was silky and effete, and counted for little, but his opinion was endorsed by Mrs. De Ropp, who counted for nearly everything. Mrs. De Ropp was Conradin’s cousin and guardian, and in his eyes she represented those three-fifths of the world that are necessary and disagreeable and real; the other two-fifths, in perpetual antagonism to the foregoing, were summed up…

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Seamus Heaney’s ‘District and Circle’ volume of poems

Seamus Heaney’s ‘District and Circle’ volume of poems District and Circle is Heaney’s 12th volume of poetry and was published by Faber in 2006. This collection was written when Heaney was in his sixties and takes its title from a poem which describes the speaker-poet’s journey on the London Underground’s District and Circle Line . He   describes the journey into the Underground where he encounters a musician – a busker – who is playing his music for passing commuters with the hope that someone will stop and listen to him play and then possibly reward him for his art. An interesting feature of the District and Circle volume is that the main thrust of its poems is a re-visit, a circling back, to places, people and experiences remembered from his youth and later years. Heaney relooks at these early experiences with the full power of hindsight that comes with the passage of time, of how history has played…

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RSC’s Richard II

The RSC’s Richard ll  – stage footage Act IV scene 1     Richard II is one of my favourite Shakespearean plays and the RSC’s Greg Doran’s production of the play with David Tennant as Richard II one of the most compelling productions to be seen in recent years. This extract of the performance is deeply moving because at this stage of the action the audience’s attitude to Richard has changed and we are much more sympathetic to him. It is very exciting that the digital recording of the play that was beamed to schools throughout the UK as well as to a few cinemas in the world becomes available on DVD in May 2014.

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