Tag Archives: Roland Emmerich

PBS Distribution To Release LAST WILL. & TESTAMENT on DVD on October 15, 2013

“LAST WILL. & TESTAMENT”

 

WHO WROTE THE WORKS OF SHAKESPEARE?

THIS NEW FILM SEEKS TO UNCOVER THE TRUTH

 Available on DVD from PBS Distribution October 15th

 Arlington, Va. – September XX, 2013 – PBS Distribution today announced it is releasing LAST WILL. & TESTAMENT on DVD. The film explores one of the greatest literary mysteries of all time: who wrote the works of William Shakespeare? Although the official story of a Stratford merchant writing for the London box office has held sway for centuries, questions over the authorship of the plays and poems have persisted. Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles are among the many famous figures who doubt that a grain-dealer from Stratford-Upon-Avon was England’s “Star of Poets.” Experts have debated, books have been written, and scholars have devoted their lives to protecting or debunking theories surrounding the authorship.

Sir Derek Jacobi leads an impressive cast featuring Oscar®-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave and Tony® Award-winning actor Mark Rylance on a quest to uncover the truth behind the elusive author, and discovers a forgotten nobleman whose story could rewrite history. LAST WILL. & TESTAMENT, from Executive Producer Roland Emmerich and debut directors Lisa Wilson and Laura Wilson Matthias, will be available on DVD October 15, 2013. The run time of the program is 85 minutes and the DVD SRP is $24.99.

The first part of this film explores the orthodox story of William Shakespeare of Stratford and the longstanding views held by academia. Stanley Wells, Honorary President of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and Prof. Jonathan Bate defend the orthodox position, while anti-Stratfordians Charles Beauclerk, Dr. Roger Stritmatter, Dr. William Leahy, Diana Price and actors Vanessa Redgrave, Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance expose the thin trail of evidence that has fueled doubt for centuries.

The second part is a testament to an alternative Shakespeare – one presented to the world in the literary works themselves and in the testimony of his most insightful doubters. Through a series of interviews with scholars currently working in the field, the film fashions a profile of the elusive poet. During the last century, a field of more than sixty candidates for authorship has narrowed, with Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, and group authorship becoming the most popular alternatives. A portion of LAST WILL. & TESTAMENT explores the life and literary career of this forgotten nobleman. Through on-camera commentary, a very human author emerges: a real-life Hamlet, whose tragic experiences provided the raw material for the canon and gave birth to the anti-Stratfordian and Oxfordian movements.

The final portion of the film weaves together the major historical events of the late Tudor era, including the crisis of succession and the Essex Revolt. The power politics of the Elizabethan Age and the towering figure of the Queen herself are addressed by the film’s commentators, who seek to connect Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets to the turbulent world of the court. By the end of the film, viewers will be challenged to explore the many unresolved historical, political and artistic issues that lie at the heart of the mystery of who wrote Shakespeare’s works.

 About PBS Distribution

PBS Distribution is the leading media distributor for the public television community, both domestically and internationally, extending the reach of these programs beyond broadcast while generating revenue for the public television system and our production partners.

PBS Distribution offers a diverse range of programming to our customers, including Ken Burns’s films, documentaries from award-winning series such as NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN MASTERS, NATURE, and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, dramas from MASTERPIECE, as well as films from independent producers and popular children’s programming. As a multi-channel distributor, PBS Distribution pursues wholesale/retail sales, consumer and educational sales through PBS-branded catalogs and online shops, and international broadcast and video sales. PBS Distribution is also a leader in offering programming through digital platforms including internet and mobile devices.

 

LAST WILL. & TESTAMENT

Street Date: October 15, 2013

Genre: Documentary

Run Time: 85 Minutes

SRP: $24.99

Format: DVD

Advertisements

From The “In Case You Missed It” Department: Anonymous Screenwriter John Orloff Answers Critics In The Guardian

This appeared several weeks ago.  In case you missed it … or in case you want to review again … well worth reading.  Here’s the link followed by a few paragraphs.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/27/shakespeare-scholars-authorship-plays-anonymous?intcmp=239

Our film Anonymous asks viewers to think for themselves about Shakespeare

Criticism of Anonymous has been vitriolic. But scholarship about Shakespeare’s life relies on smoke and mirrors

John Orloff

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 27 October 2011 11.00 EDT

As the screenwriter of Anonymous, I’ve watched the reactions to the film both here in the UK and in the US with great interest and not a little surprise. The film-makers, myself included, expected controversy – one does not take on sacred cows naively – but I must confess that the vitriol of our critics has been impressive.

One American Ivy League professor, James Shapiro, has insinuated that our film is like Nazi propaganda. The county of Warwickshire allowed the Shakespeare Trust to temporarily remove Shakespeare’s name from public signs – an act of protest against our film that seems counter-productive; anti-Stratfordians couldn’t agree more with that act.

Throughout the run-up to the film’s release, I have been reminded that one does not take on people’s livelihoods lightly.

While our little film not only does not disparage the genius of Hamlet and Lear, but rather honours, rightly, the genius of the work, it does challenge two Bard-related industries – tourism and, perhaps more provocatively, Shakespearean scholarship itself.

Read More:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/27/shakespeare-scholars-authorship-plays-anonymous?intcmp=239

Actor Michael York and Shakespeare Authorship Coalition challenge Stratford’s Shakespeare Birthplace Trust with new reasons to doubt the identity of author William Shakespeare in the wake of Sony Pictures’ heretical film, “Anonymous.”

Note: This story is embargoed until the date specified in the release: November 21, 2011.

Actor Michael York and Shakespeare Authorship Coalition challenge Stratford’s Shakespeare Birthplace Trust with new reasons to doubt the identity of author William Shakespeare in the wake of Sony Pictures’ heretical film, “Anonymous.”

Los Angeles, CA., Nov. 21, 2011 – amidst all the controversy surrounding Sony Pictures’ recently-released film Anonymous, actor and author Michael York, O.B.E., launched a powerful, multi-pronged counter-offensive against the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) in Stratford-upon-Avon, and its “60 Minutes with Shakespeare” authorship campaign, initiated in response to the film. York also announced a monumental breakthrough in the controversy – detailed evidence that Shakespeare traveled all over Italy. The problem for orthodox Shakespeare scholars is that the traditional author, Mr. William “Shakspere” of Stratford-upon-Avon, never left England.

During a briefing at the Los Angeles Press Club’s Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood (10:00 a.m.  to ~noon at 4773 Hollywood Blvd. – one block west of Vermont Avenue on the north side of street) Michael York, Hilary Roe Metternich, daughter of the man who discovered the new evidence, and John M. Shahan, Chairman of the California-based Shakespeare Authorship Coalition (SAC) lambasted the SBT for its Orwellianattacks against doubters, and for poor scholarship in its “60 Minutes with Shakespeare” website, featuring 60 SBT supporters, each giving a 60-second audio-recorded response to one of 60 questions posed by the SBT.

Michael York, in language echoing that which brought down Senator Joseph McCarthy, castigated Professor Stanley Wells, Honorary President of the SBT, and Paul Edmondson, Head of Learning and Research at the SBT, for suggesting that the authorship controversy is merely another “conspiracy theory,” and for labeling doubters “anti-Shakespeareans.” “Have you no sense of decency sirs, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”* York asked. “Or, as Shakespeare put it in Hamlet, ‘O shame! Where is thy blush?'” he added. “Doubters are not ‘anti-Shakespeare,'” York insisted, “but your behaviour is most un-Shakespearean.”

SAC Chairman John Shahan announced that a coalition of a dozen authorship organizations, based in the U.S., U.K., and Germany, has rebutted each point in the SBT “60 Minutes.” The rebuttal document, titled Exposing an Industry in Denial: Authorship Doubters Respond to “60 Minutes with Shakespeare, is at the SAC website at doubtaboutwill.org. “The SBT erred in coming down from their ivory tower to attack,” Shahan said, “This rebuttal document makes clear that the best of our scholars are far superior to theirs.”

Shahan challenged the SBT (online petition) to write a declaration of the reasons why they claim there is “no room for doubt” about the identity of “Shakespeare” and post it with the names of those who have endorsed it. He noted that the SAC wrote and posted a statement of its own position, the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare, in 2007. It has now been signed by over 2,200 people – over 800 with advanced degrees, and nearly 400 current or former college/university faculty members.

Hilary Roe Metternich announced the discovery of powerful new evidence in the controversy, contained in the newly-released book,  The Shakespeare Guide to Italy: Retracing the Bard’s Unknown Travels, by Richard Paul Roe (HarperPerennial). Ms. Metternich, the daughter of the author, a prominent Pasadena attorney who died late last year, said that her father spent more than 20 years traveling in Italy, his only guide being the texts of Shakespeare’s 10 “Italian Plays” (not counting three plays set in ancient Rome).

“The clues were all right there in the plays” Metternich said. “My father found the locations of nearly every scene in all 10 of these plays – locations unnoticed by Shakespeare scholars and biographers for 400 years.” “His great chronicle – a tour de force of travel, analysis and discovery – paints with amazing clarity a picture of what the author ‘Shakespeare,’ whoever he was, almost surely witnessed before writing his Italian plays.”

Contact persons: Re: Coalition and rebuttals: John Shahan at (909) 896-2006;  jmshahan@verizon.net

Re: The Shakespeare Guide to Italy: Hilary Roe Metternich: hrm3325@aol.com

——————

*Question put to Senator Joseph McCarthy on June 9, 1954, at the Army-McCarthy Hearings.

Christopher Paul’s Review of Shakespeare’s Lost Kingdom Now Available in German, Also in English on Various Websites

Oxfordian researcher and writer Christopher Paul reports that his review of Shakespeare’s Lost Kingdom by Charles Beauclerk has been translated into German by the Neue Shake-speare Gesellschaft (New Shake-speare Society) for the current edition of the NEW SHAKE-SPEARE JOURNAL: Christopher Paul, “Shakespeares verlorenes Königreich,” NEUES SHAKE-SPEARE JOURNAL New Series 2 (2011), 13-31. The German-language review is available online in pdf at http://shake-speare-today.de/front_content.php?idart=568.
 
With Roland Emmerich’s movie Anonymous now in theaters, this is a particularly good time to read Christopher Paul’s timely and insightful review.  If you haven’t read his review yet, you now have many options for getting your hands and eyes on this article.
The original English version of the review was published in Brief Chronicles II (2010, Print Edition), 244-57. For information about Brief Chronicles, see: http://www.briefchronicles.com/ojs/index.php/bc/index.php.
Paul announced that his review is now available as a downloadable pdf at the following weblog/sites:

John Orloff, Screenwriter of Anonymous, Responds to Shapiro in The Huffington Post

In case you missed John Orloff’s thoughtful response to Professor James Shapiro’s New York Times op-ed piece.  Orloff’s response highlights one of the perennial orthodox attacks against the Oxford theory — which Professor Shapiro employs in his New York Times piece — namely that Oxford died in 1604 before 10 or so Shakespeare plays were “written.”  This claim of post 1604 composition is at best an educated guess.  But it is frequently stated as if it is incontrovertible fact.  Like so much of the traditional Stratfordian theory, this post-1604 composition assertion is based on conjecture and assumption.  Yes there are some rather convoluted arguments for this assertion, but it’s a far cry from established by hard evidence.

In any event, here’s the link to the Huffington Post followed by a few graphs from Orloff’s article.  Enjoy, Matthew

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-orloff/shakespeare-anonymous_b_1034885.html

The Shakespeare Authorship Question

As the screenwriter of the upcoming Elizabethan drama Anonymous, I read Columbia Professor James Shapiro’s opinion piece (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/17/opinion/hollywood-dishonors-the-bard.html?_r=1) regarding our film in the NY Times last week with great interest. In it, Mr. Shapiro seemed to take great personal offense at the premise of our film; namely, that the works attributed to the actor William Shakespeare were in fact written by another man, Edward de Vere.

Not only did the NY Times decline to allow me to fully respond, but Mr. Shapiro refuses to be on the same stage with me at Q & A’s following screenings of the film — though he is happy to take questions from audiences as long as I am not present to defend myself or my film.

As the Shakespeare Authorship Question is a rather complex issue, I won’t attempt to prove my case that Shakespeare is not the man responsible for the works attributed to him in this forum.

SNIP

Again, here’s the link to the full article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-orloff/shakespeare-anonymous_b_1034885.html

New York Times Magazine Piece by Stephen Marche — Attacking Snobbery With Snobbery!

Here’s a wonderful example of someone with what appears to be a superficial grasp of the Oxfordian theory trashing that theory based on a few favorite straw men —  Oxfordians are snobs, Shakespeare “wrote” plays after Oxford’s death in 1604, Looney was “aptly named,” etc.

But the amazing thing to me about this piece is how much it depends on snobbery as a way to attack the snobbery of Oxfordians.  Maybe Marche should devise an exam for “undergraduates” that counts how many unfounded assumptions and appeals to snobbish expertise his article contains.  Anyway, it’s worth reading.  He does make several good points about the historical inaccuracies of Anonymous.  Hey, I’m not here to defend Anonymous the movie.

But attacking the movie’s flaws should not be allowed to be a substitute for attacking the Oxford theory in general.  That’s too broad a brush.  It continues to amaze me that the traditional assumption — and it’s nothing more than that — that “Shakespeare” continued to write plays after 1604 — some with partners? — is presented so often as the slam dunk refutation of the Oxford theory.  The hard evidence for this is … what exactly?

The fact that so many so-called experts accept the traditional “narrative’ as fact is not the same thing as real evidence.  And I love that Galileo is invoked without any sense of irony since Galileo was punished — forced to recant what he knew to be true — by an establishment view of the world that was … well … flat wrong.  Sometimes those who come up with alternative theories that challenge orthodox opinion turn out to be right after all.  Not always.  But sometimes.  And resorting to emotional appeals, reckless ad hominem attacks, branding them as heretics, etc. is neither constructive or productive.

It’s not particularly helpful to make an argument based on historical analogies.  Those can easily cut both ways and don’t really advance the state of the debate.  They usually inflame the debate and only serve to generate much more heat that light.  There may be lots of legitimate reasons to question the validity of the Oxfordian theory, but the alleged snobbery of Oxfordians, Rick Perry’s anti-climate change or anti-evolutionary views, the “aptly named” proponent of the theory, or the unfounded assertion that Shakespeare “wrote” plays after 1604 are not among them.  Why do anti-Oxfordians so often stoop to these specious lines of attack?  Can’t they muster a real case against Oxford without injecting these bogus and logically challenged arguments?  Apparently not.

the good news about this article … and other reviews of the movie … is that the authorship question is being discussed widely in the media.  It would be a shame if various parties to the debate simply resort to their tried-and-true arguments to put down the other side.  This isn’t an election campaign.  We don’t have to “go negative” to get votes.  We should be evaluating and assessing evidence, not trying to score debate points.  Maybe one day we’ll evolve to that stage in this discussion.  Matthew

Wouldn’t It Be Cool if Shakespeare Wasn’t Shakespeare?

By STEPHEN MARCHE
Published: October 21, 2011

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/magazine/wouldnt-it-be-cool-if-shakespeare-wasnt-shakespeare.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&emc=eta1

“Was Shakespeare a fraud?” That’s the question the promotional machinery for Roland Emmerich’s new film, “Anonymous,” wants to usher out of the tiny enclosure of fringe academic conferences into the wider pastures of a Hollywood audience. Shakespeare is finally getting the Oliver Stone/“Da Vinci Code” treatment, with a lurid conspiratorial melodrama involving incest in royal bedchambers, a vapidly simplistic version of court intrigue, nifty costumes and historically inaccurate nonsense. First they came for the Kennedy scholars, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Kennedy scholar. Then they came for Opus Dei, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Catholic scholar. Now they have come for me.

[SNIP]

In the movies, a few mistakes don’t matter, but the liberties with facts in “Anonymous” become serious when they enter our conception of real history. In scholarship, chronology does matter. And the fatal weakness of the Oxfordian theory is chronological, a weakness that “Anonymous” never addresses: the brute fact that Edward de Vere died in 1604, while Shakespeare continued to write, several times with partners, until 1613. “Macbeth” and “The Tempest” were inspired by events posthumous to the Earl of Oxford: the gunpowder plot in 1605 and George Somers’s misadventure to Bermuda in 1609. How can anyone be inspired by events that happened after his death?

[SNIP]

The original Oxfordian, the aptly named J. Thomas Looney, who proposed the theory in 1920, believed that Shakespeare’s true identity remained a secret because, he said, “it has been left mainly in the hands of literary men.” In his rejection of expertise, at least, Looney was far ahead of his time. This same antielitism is haunting every large intellectual question today. We hear politicians opine on their theories about climate change and evolution as a way of displaying how little they know. When Rick Perry compared climate-change skeptics like himself to Galileo in a Republican debate, I dearly wished that the next question had been “Can you explain Galileo’s theory of falling bodies?” Of all the candidates with their various rejections of the scientific establishment, how many could name the fundamental laws of thermodynamics that students learn in high school? Healthy skepticism about elites has devolved into an absence of basic literacy.

# # #

Katherine Chiljan’s New Authorship Book — Pre-Order on Amazon.com: Shakespeare Suppressed: The Uncensored Truth About Shakespeare and His Works

Congratulations to my friend Katherine Chiljan.  Her new authorship book will be released on September 1, 2011, and is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com.  Here’s the book cover graphic … followed by a link to the Amazon.com page.

http://www.amazon.com/Shakespeare-Suppressed-Uncensored-Truth-About/dp/0982940548/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1313618470&sr=1-2

Here’s some basic information about the book and the author.  Sounds like a great read.   And great timing in advance of the worldwide release of the Roland Emmerich movie, Anonymous.   Let the Shakespeare authorship debate begin!

About Shakespeare SuppressedWILLIAM SHAKESPEARE is the most celebrated and most read poet and dramatist in history, but his personal life and artistic life is a mystery. How did he obtain the extensive learning and experience displayed in his works? When were his plays written and why were his works so often pirated by printers? Although publicly lauded during his lifetime, why was Shakespeare s death not noticed by those in the literary world near the time that it had occurred? These are only a few problems that the Shakespeare professor cannot answer definitively after two centuries of scholarship.

Much contemporary evidence, however, is available that can shed light on many of these problems evidence that gets ignored because it does not fit the experts picture of Shakespeare. This evidence overwhelmingly indicates that William Shakespeare was the great author s pen name, and that he was a nobleman. It shows that he wrote decades earlier than believed, and initially for the private entertainment of Queen Elizabeth I and her court.

The pen name idea is easy enough to grasp, but it becomes more complex and tangled by the fact that there was another man, christened William Shakspere, who lived during the same period. A resident of Stratford-upon-Avon, this man was involved in acting companies and theaters in London.  Not one shred of evidence, however, proves the Stratford Man was the great author during his lifetime, and neither he nor his descendents ever made such a claim. These two very different men merged into one identity after both of their deaths, and it was no accident, as this book will explain.

The lack of hard facts about Shakespeare and his career has caused the experts to write biographies full of fiction and fantasy. Those who love and appreciate Shakespeare deserve better. Fully documented, Shakespeare Suppressed is a valuable resource for those who want to learn the unadulterated truth about Shakespeare and his works. The book debunks the experts case for the Stratford Man as the great author, and exposes the misleading preface of the First Folio. Features an appendix detailing 93 too early allusions to the plays that destroy orthodox composition dates, and 27 plates.


About the Author

KATHERINE CHILJAN (BA History, UCLA) is an independent scholar who has studied the Shakespeare authorship question for over 26 years. She has debated the topic with English professors at the Smithsonian Institution and at the Mechanics Institute in San Francisco. Chiljan served as editor of the Shakespeare-Oxford Newsletter, and edited two anthologies: Dedication Letters to the Earl of Oxford, and Letters and Poems of Edward, Earl of Oxford.

Columbia Magazine’s Review of Shapiro: Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?

Dear Friends … Many thanks to Tom Regnier for sharing this link to the review of James Shapiro’s Contested Will that appeared in Columbia Magazine last summer.  I’ll post several paragraphs below.

Here’s an excerpt that addresses the Oxfordian thesis directly and fairly sympathetically.

“There is no question that Contested Will, which has already occasioned considerable debate, lands at a time of great popular interest in the subject. As Shapiro acknowledges, this is a cultural high-water mark for the presumed authorship of de Vere, a celebrated poet and playwright who would have been intimate with court manners and politics, and whose life story evokes incidents in Hamlet and the rest of the canon. The progenitor of the Oxford hypothesis was the Englishman J. T. Looney, whose 1920 book, “Shakespeare” Identified in Edward de Vere the Seventeenth Earl of Oxford, was embraced by Freud, among others. Shapiro reads it as “a product of Looney’s profound distaste for modernity,” but also calls it a “tour de force.”

And here’s the link to read the entire review on the Columbia Magazine website.

http://magazine.columbia.edu/reviews/summer-2010/brush-your-marlowe?page=0,0

Brush Up Your… Marlowe? by Julia M. Klein

by Julia M. Klein

When James Shapiro ’77CC began plotting out Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?, a friend unnerved him by asking, “What difference does it make?” Shapiro, the Larry Miller Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia, answered, “A lot,” without articulating why. This intellectually passionate book represents his more complete and considered response: The controversy matters, he suggests, because a belief in Shakespeare’s authorship affi rms the power of the human imagination.

The authorship debate, though mostly ignored by specialists, has long intrigued writers from Mark Twain and Henry James to Helen Keller and the now-obscure Delia Bacon. It has fl ourished because so little biographical information has survived about the Stratford-upon-Avon-born actor and grain dealer — and the facts that are known point to a man of modest education, travel, and life experience. How in the world, the doubters say, could such a man, neither an aristocrat nor an intellectual, write such masterpieces, with their literary sophistication and references to law, foreign languages, courtly customs, the classics, and European geography?

In Contested Will, Shapiro has two aims: to provide insight into the debate and to make what is known as the Stratfordian case, which he does with gusto. His account of the theories of skeptics is purposely selective (though a bibliographic essay usefully points readers to more information). “My interest,” Shapiro writes, “is not in what people think — which has been stated again and again in unambiguous terms — but in why they think it.” Shapiro attempts to take the opposition seriously, locating its origins in the Higher Criticism that undermined Homer’s authorship and exposed the piecemeal composition of both the Old and New Testaments. But, in the instance of Shakespeare, he can’t help being dismissive of the briefs for Sir Francis Bacon and Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, the only two claimants to whom he allots full chapters. (The playwright Christopher Marlowe and other alternative bards receive only passing mentions.)

The history of the skeptics, Shapiro writes, is “strewn with . . . fabricated documents, embellished lives, concealed identity, pseudonymous authorship, contested evidence, bald-faced deception, and a failure to grasp what could not be imagined.” He uncovers a scam himself, involving what he says is a forgery of a 19th-century manuscript that spread doubt about Shakespeare’s capacities.

In Shapiro’s view, to believe that anyone but Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare’s plays is to succumb to conspiracy theories, weird cryptographic excesses, social snobbery, and incipient lunacy, not to mention the anachronistic fallacy of reading Elizabethan and Jacobean literature as autobiography. This last is Shapiro’s particular bête noir, and he is lacerating on the subject, indicting such early Shakespeare scholars as Edmond Malone for pointing the (wrong) way. “The plays are not an à la carte menu, from which we pick characters who will satisfy our appetite for Shakespeare’s personality while passing over less appetizing choices,” Shapiro writes.

[SNIP]

Read the entire review:  Click HERE.

ESU Shakespeare Authorship Debate Available Online — Link to the debate featuring Professor Stanley Wells CBE, Professor Michael Dobson, Rev Dr Paul Edmondson, Charles Beauclerk, and Doctor William Leahy.

http://www.esu.org/news/item.asp?n=12890

On Monday 6 June, the ESU hosted the Shakespeare Authorship Debate, with director Roland Emmerich.

The debate also featured Professor Stanley Wells CBE,  Professor Michael Dobson, Rev Dr Paul Edmondson, Charles Beauclerk, and Doctor William Leahy. The chairman for the evening was James Probert.

The ESU hosted the event in conjunction with Sony Pictures, the ESU and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to coincide with the release of multi-award-winning director Emmerich’s latest film, Anonymous.

Inspired by the upcoming release of Emmerich’s new film Anonymous, starring Derek Jacobi, Vanessa Redgrave and Rhys Ifans, the two panels debated whether Shakespeare really was the author that most people believe him to have been.

Here’s the link to read more and watch the video.

http://www.esu.org/news/item.asp?n=12890

“The Man Who Was Hamlet” — Written and Performed by George Dillon — Getting Rave Reviews In London

Dear Friends: The Shakespeare Authorship question is heating up … and not only because of Roland Emmerich’s movie Anonymous.  Check out the info and reviews below.  Here’s the link for more information about tickets and schedules.  If you’re in London over the next few weeks, this sounds like a performance you don’t want to miss.

http://www.georgedillon.com/theatre/the_man_who_was_hamlet.shtml

Who really wrote Hamlet?

That is the question!

With a brilliant script and a five-star performance from award-winning actor George Dillon, The Man Who Was Hamlet reveals the comical, tragical and utterly scandalous history of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, the man who many believe was the true author of the works of ‘William Shake-speare’.

5 stars Amazing!
Electrifying! Wicked!”

FringeReview5 Stars Transporting,
subtle, spellbinding , compelling,
charismatic, wry and moving.”

FringeGuru

5 Stars Excellent!
Worth seeing both as
education and entertainment.”

BroadwayBaby

“It’s easy to see why
Dillon’s performances
have made him the toast
of the Edinburgh Festival.”

British Theatre Guide

“One of the most compelling
performances I have seen
at the festival.”

Steven Berkoff

http://www.georgedillon.com/theatre/the_man_who_was_hamlet.shtml

“O God! What a wounded name, Things standing thus unknown, I leave behind me! In this harsh world draw thy breath in pain, To tell my story!”
Hamlet / Edward de Vere

Who really wrote Hamlet? Could it possibly have been the work of a barely literate Stratford grain merchant and money lender? Or was it really the dramatic autobiography of a disgraced and disgraceful nobleman?

THE MAN WHO WAS HAMLET, written and performed by George Dillon, tells the comical, tragical, romantic and utterly scandalous history of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, the leading alternative candidate for the authorship of the works of ‘William Shakespeare’.

Most people accept the fairy-tale story of ‘the man from Stratford’ – an unschooled glove-maker’s son who abandoned his shrewish wife to become a player and upstart writer in London and made a fortune before he retired to idleness and litigation, leaving his second best bed to his wife in his will. But what most people don’t know is that there is actually very little evidence to connect the merchant of Stratford, William Shaksper (sic), with the poetic works attributed to him.

But who was Edward de Vere?

A brilliant but disgraceful aristocrat whose life and character strikingly echo Shakespeare’s most famous character, Edward de Vere was a courtier, swordsman, adventurer, playwright and poet, who killed a servant, made love to Queen Elizabeth, abandoned his wife, got his mistress with child, was maimed in a duel, travelled in Italy, was captured by pirates, fought the Armada, was imprisoned in the Tower of London, kept two companies of players, but disappeared from history for fifteen years before he died virtually bankrupt. In youth he was hailed as the best of the secret court writers, especially for comedy, but no plays bearing his name have survived and his poetry suddenly stopped after the first invention of… ‘William Shake-speare’.

So was de Vere the inspiration and role model for Hamlet… or was he really the author?

The dying Dane’s last words summon from hell the ghost of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, to draw his breath in pain, tell his own story and restore his wounded name in George Dillon’s seventh solo show THE MAN WHO WAS HAMLET, with original music by Charlotte Glasson, directed by Denise Evans.


Reviews

“This actor, on the stage for an hour and a half, gave one of the most compelling performances I have seen at the festival.  I’ve known George for many years and this performance is amongst the best I have seen – a lesson in the art of acting for any up and coming thespians.”
Steven Berkoff

“MUST SEE! A clever script… a masterful performance!”
The Stage

5 stars Truly masterly… amazing… wicked!”
FringeReview (in Edinburgh)

5 Stars Transporting, subtle, spellbinding and human…  It’s very cleverly done… a fascinating play…  compelling, charismatic, wry and moving.”
FringeGuru

5 Stars Excellent one-man show… wonderful acting… great wit and wonderful gags… worth seeing both as education and entertainment.”
BroadwayBaby

5 Stars Easily one of the best shows of the Fringe… cannot be admired, complimented and recommended more.”
Hairline Magazine

4 stars Absorbing and thought-provoking… the evening’s a romp, and a clever one.”
The Scotsman

4 stars An engrossing solo show well worth one’s time and attention.”
Edinburgh Spotlight

“It’s easy to see why Dillon’s performances have made him the toast of the Edinburgh Festival… direct and absorbing… A virtuoso display of dramatic range.”
British Theatre Guide

“A big production in a small theatre and a cut above your average one-man show.”
The Argus

“An exciting piece of writing, witty and sharp, ironic, comedic and sometimes philosophical and, as usual, a masterclass in delivery and individual performance.”
FringeReview

“Makes a good drama even without the Shakespeare theory.”
Dorset Echo

“A thought-provoking evening to anyone with even a passing interest in Shakespeare and an enquiring mind.”
Surrey Mirror

“Very imaginitive… brilliantly scripted, the writing is witty and extremely well researched… Dillon’s performance is excellent… keeps the audience engaged throughout even if you have only a passing interest in Shakespeare.”
Guide2Bristol.com

“A man. A stage. A time for perfect theatre… An evening of theatrical pleasure that leaves you inspired.”
Nerve