Tag Archives: Shakespeare Plays

BBC’s Shakespeare Uncovered: Sir Derek Jacobi Discusses the Politics of Shakespeare’s Richard II, Visits Castle Hedingham, and Touts Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, as the Author

See below for the short story (click on link for more information) as it appears on the BBC website.  As part of this Episode on Richard II, Sir Derek Jacobi visited Castle Hedingham, the ancestral home of Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford.

A press release from Castle Hedingham reads, in part, as follows:

Press Release for Hedingham Castle

http://www.hedinghamcastle.co.uk/blog/index.php/2011/11/sir-derek-jacobi-visits-hedingham-castle

On Friday, November 25, Sir Derek Jacobi visited Hedingham Castle, as part of a BBC Documentary series on Shakespeare’s plays.

The episode presented by Sir Derek will focus on Richard II, one of Shakespeare’s most beautiful and moving plays. It is the only history play written entirely in verse.

Sir Derek was filmed in the keep, the ancestral home of the Earl of Oxford, and in the grounds. As well as discussing the play with the current owner, Jason Lindsay, the pair exchanged views on the “Oxfordian” debate, which questions whether the 17th Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere, wrote the plays attributed to Shakespeare. It is well known that Sir Derek is a supporter of the Oxfordian cause.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01km7f9

Derek Jacobi on Richard II

Episode 3 of 6

Duration: 1 hour

Shakespeare Uncovered: Derek Jacobi looks at Richard II and returns to a role he played 30 years ago. He helps actors at the Globe with aspects of the play, reveals why it might have cost Shakespeare his life, and shares some of the extraordinary political parallels within the play that still resonate today.

Derek first played Richard II for the BBC in 1978 – now 34 years later Ben Whishaw is starring in a new BBC film of the play. Derek spans those dates and uncovers what is so special about this play. Although written entirely ‘in verse’, it is nonetheless one of the most resonant and relevant of all of Shakespeare’s plays. Its understanding of power and its inevitable tendency to corrupt and distort the truth are continually repeated in current affairs.

Derek visits Shakespeare’s Globe and shares his thoughts with actors rehearsing the play – but he also looks at his own performance and those of other actors who have over the last 30 years tried this taxing role. Richard is both a king and a man who knows he is acting the role of a king. It makes him an extraordinary character for any actor to play. But was this play written by the actor William Shakespeare? Derek is one of those who doubt that and he visits the ancestral home of the man he thinks might very well be the true author of ‘Shakespeare’s’ plays.

Richard II is a politically sensitive play, with a monarch having the crown taken from them. Derek goes on to tell of the attempted coup against Queen Elizabeth led by the Earl of Essex, and how that involved Shakespeare’s company of actors. The Earl persuaded them to put on the play to encourage his ‘plotters’ and it could have cost Shakespeare his life.

With contributions from both the director and leading actor – Rupert Goold and Ben Whishaw – and clips from the new film, Derek uncovers the continuing resonance of this extraordinary play.

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