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The New Book Press

The New Book Press We publish eBooks for the iPad that bring together Shakespeare's words and a complete filmed performance. Visit us at http://www.thenewbookpress.com

The New Book Press publishes the WordPlay Shakespeare. This is a new series of books for tablet computers and Mac computers, that puts Shakespeare's plays on the same page as a performance. Now, you can read, watch, understand and enjoy. Put another way:half the page is a stage!

Operating as usual

This is a story from a year and a half ago, but it reminded us here at The New Book Press of how skimpy our knowledge of...
05/21/2018
Portrait of Shakespeare to Be Cleaned for First Time - artnet News

This is a story from a year and a half ago, but it reminded us here at The New Book Press of how skimpy our knowledge of the "real" Shakespeare is. The Chandos portrait (below) is the wellspring for the subsequent gort of images that have imagined what Shakespeare looked like. At the very least, the Chandos portrait was painted over to make his hair and beard longer. About the ring in the ear, little is known...

The only portrait of Shakespeare painted from life is set to be cleaned for the first time in 400 years thanks to technological advancements.

An interesting article in The Independent explaining new Globe Director Michelle Terry's logic behind casting Hamlet aga...
05/16/2018
Hamlet, thy name is woman: Why Michelle Terry's Globe is staging post-gender Shakespeare

An interesting article in The Independent explaining new Globe Director Michelle Terry's logic behind casting Hamlet against expected gender norms.

Michelle Terry has arrived at Shakespeare’s Globe at a tricky time in the institution’s history. The theatre’s new artistic director, its fourth, takes over from Emma Rice, who left the role after only two years following clashes with the theatre’s board. Terry, an actor with huge amount of ...

We've read half a dozen takes on Childish Gambino's "This is America" over the last few days, as well as watched a coupl...
05/10/2018
Opinion | Heidi N. Moore: Childish Gambino's "This is America" is contemporary Shakespeare

We've read half a dozen takes on Childish Gambino's "This is America" over the last few days, as well as watched a couple of video exegetic commentaries (a far more effective way to comment on a music video in our editorial board's view). Here, Heidi Moore makes a good and detailed case for how Gambino/Glover video has achieved some truly Shakespearean qualities in the work.

A key aspect of Shakespeare’s works are their lack of easy answers. Likewise, Childish Gambino's latest music video refuses to provide cheap moralism.

Julius Caesar seems to be the go-to favorite for the "Trump through Shakespeare's prism" question, but Stephen Greenblat...
05/07/2018
Is there a tyrant among us? What would Shakespeare say?

Julius Caesar seems to be the go-to favorite for the "Trump through Shakespeare's prism" question, but Stephen Greenblatt suggests Richard III. Any other contenders out there?

It should: It is the plot of one of Shakespeare’s best-known plays, Richard III, which also forms the heart of a new book by the scholar and Pulitzer-prize-winning author Stephen Greenblatt, Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics. Nothing explicit, certainly, given the vast difference between the leader ...

We managed eleven out of twelve, but be warned -- the methodology for producing a Shakespeare title using emoji is sligh...
05/03/2018
Shakespeare by Emoji

We managed eleven out of twelve, but be warned -- the methodology for producing a Shakespeare title using emoji is slightly random...

Can you name the shakespeare plays from the following emoji combinations?

Nothing to do with Shakespeare, but grimly fascinating and not too far removed from his period: the records of England's...
05/01/2018
Browse - Central Criminal Court

Nothing to do with Shakespeare, but grimly fascinating and not too far removed from his period: the records of England's Old Bailey court. This record in particular is for 13th January, 1716. On that day, 5 men and 2 women were condemned to death, 20 were branded, 8 were whipped, 1 was fined and then put in the stocks. The two women condemned to death "pleaded their bellies", meaning they asked for clemency because they were pregnant. A "jury of matrons" was empaneled, and found one woman was indeed pregnant (she was spared), and one woman was not (she was not).

V - E -, G - C -, William Smith , John Long , Elizabeth Johnson , alias Wells, Anne Smith , Henry Hargrave , Mary Chennery , John Gerrard , Robert Godfrey , Thomas Shorey , Katharine Ely , Elizabeth White , Anne Bartley , Alice Douglass , Thomas Cane , William Eckersly , William Bowman , William Cla...

A mildly favorable review of the Mobile Unit of The Public's Henry V. Interesting casting, less engaging staging.
05/01/2018
Review: Does Power Corrupt in ‘Henry V’? Absolutely

A mildly favorable review of the Mobile Unit of The Public's Henry V. Interesting casting, less engaging staging.

The production of this history play, by the Public Theater’s Mobile Unit, is a provocative choice in a volatile political moment.

Although the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has closed the competition to new entrants, it's a nice idea -- have stud...
04/30/2018
The 2018 Shakespeare Selfie Student Writing Challenge is now closed | CBC Books

Although the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has closed the competition to new entrants, it's a nice idea -- have students submit a "Shakespearean" monologue that treats on a modern subject. Simple and smart.

Canadian students in Grades 7 to 12 wrote and submitted monologues and soliloquys in the voice of Shakespearean characters based on modern-day current affairs events.

A new £20M Shakespearean theater is getting built in one of the poorest boroughs in England. Shakespeare leads the charg...
04/24/2018
The replica Shakespearean theatre being built on Merseyside

A new £20M Shakespearean theater is getting built in one of the poorest boroughs in England. Shakespeare leads the charge on urban revitalization...

A £20m Elizabethan venue being built in Prescot is aimed at putting itself on the Shakespeare map.

Many happy returns to our favorite playwright and poet. A photo at dawn in New York City.
04/23/2018

Many happy returns to our favorite playwright and poet. A photo at dawn in New York City.

Following on yesterday's "stand post", another set of Shakespeare related stamps, this time from 2011, celebrating the 5...
04/11/2018
Royal Mail RSC 50 Years stamps | Communication Arts

Following on yesterday's "stand post", another set of Shakespeare related stamps, this time from 2011, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Two different styles, both beautiful and clever. Once again, can you identify the actors?

hat-trick design and Marion Deuchars created 43 stamps for the Royal Mail.

Almost exactly two years ago, the Royal Mail issued ten commemorative stamps celebrating Shakespeare's 400th anniversary...
04/10/2018
Shakespeare Stamps | Post Office

Almost exactly two years ago, the Royal Mail issued ten commemorative stamps celebrating Shakespeare's 400th anniversary. Scholar Sir Jonathan Bate chose quotes from Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and Julius Caesar. Have a look at what other plays and sonnets made the cut.

Who knew? A subset of the flowers in the Shakespeare Garden in Central Park (tulip, narcissus and fritillaria) are timed...
04/06/2018
Where Spring Is in Full Bloom

Who knew? A subset of the flowers in the Shakespeare Garden in Central Park (tulip, narcissus and fritillaria) are timed to bloom on April 23 -- Shakespeare's birthday.

Winter hasn’t released its grip, but nature’s warm-weather beauties are actually beginning to blossom. We offer a guide, starting off at the Orchid Show in the Bronx.

A 2016 interview with Howard Jacobson -- pinning down the nature of Shylock's victimhood or villainy -- a trickier inter...
04/05/2018
Books Features - Shakespeare's Shylock: Victim or scoundrel? - BBC Arts

A 2016 interview with Howard Jacobson -- pinning down the nature of Shylock's victimhood or villainy -- a trickier interpretive task than many imagine. Also some great photographs of past performances of the play in England.

Author Howard Jacobson analyses Shakespeare's depiction of Shylock.

David Crystal, linguist and father of the great actor Ben Crystal, examines in detail Shakespeare's linguistic innovatio...
04/05/2018
Macbeth and Shakespeare’s linguistic innovation

David Crystal, linguist and father of the great actor Ben Crystal, examines in detail Shakespeare's linguistic innovations in one of Shakespeare's hallmark plays: Macbeth.

In Macbeth, Shakespeare coins an extraordinary number of words and phrases, including 'assassination', 'unsex' and 'stealthy'. David Crystal shows how these linguistic innovations help express the action and atmosphere of the play and the troubled psychology of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

Students using our WordPlay Shakespeare eBooks often ask: "Why do the actors wear modern clothes if it's a Shakespeare p...
04/04/2018
Clothing in Elizabethan England

Students using our WordPlay Shakespeare eBooks often ask: "Why do the actors wear modern clothes if it's a Shakespeare play?" It's a fair question, but it also got us to thinking about clothing from Shakespeare's era. Teacher Liza Picard digs into the issue, examining Elizabethan sumptuary laws -- why certain men, for instance, were allowed to wear swords and spurs, and others were not.

Liza Picard describes the laws, trends and standards of hygiene that determined who wore what in Elizabethan England.

Simon Callow's exploration of Shakespearean era education contains some memorable tidbits, for instance, this: "They [gr...
04/03/2018
Shakespeare's childhood and education

Simon Callow's exploration of Shakespearean era education contains some memorable tidbits, for instance, this: "They [grammar school students] didn’t study history, they didn’t study mathematics, they didn’t study geography, they didn’t study science. They studied grammar, from dawn to dusk, six days a week, all the year round." An interesting piece.

From plague in the family to young love, Simon Callow explores Shakespeare's early life as the son of a glove-maker in Stratford-upon-Avon.

A fun list of "surprising" Shakespeare stars (although Helen Mirren is on the list, which doesn't seem that surprising)....
04/02/2018
12 Surprising Stars Of Shakespeare

A fun list of "surprising" Shakespeare stars (although Helen Mirren is on the list, which doesn't seem that surprising). But for fans of The Who, Harry Potter, and Fawlty Towers, see what roles Roger Daltry, Alan Rickman, and John Cleese played from the canon.

Behind every psychopathic computer, there's a Shakespearean actor. Great article about Canadian actor Douglas Rain, and ...
04/01/2018
The Story of a Voice: HAL in ‘2001’ Wasn’t Always So Eerily Calm

Behind every psychopathic computer, there's a Shakespearean actor. Great article about Canadian actor Douglas Rain, and the creation of the HAL 9000 voice for 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The veteran Shakespearean actor Douglas Rain replaced the Oscar winner Martin Balsam, setting the standard for how artificial intelligence sounds.

Hard on the heels of a favorable review of the latest RSC version of Macbeth, an altogether less kind review in the New ...
03/31/2018
Double, Double: Two Troublesome Takes on ‘Macbeth’

Hard on the heels of a favorable review of the latest RSC version of Macbeth, an altogether less kind review in the New York Times, which, amongst other things, suggests that success in staging Macbeth is comparatively hard, as opposed to -- say -- Hamlet. An interesting comparison, and a thought provoking review.

Why is “the Scottish play” so hard to get right? Two productions in Britain show why Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy is also his trickiest.

The play of the film of the making of the play "Romeo and Ethel".
03/30/2018
Austin theater review: ‘Shakespeare in Love’ | Austin Arts: Seeing Things

The play of the film of the making of the play "Romeo and Ethel".

A famous movie about a famous historical playwright co-written by a famous contemporary playwright is now a play adapted from that screenplay by a playwright best known for a screenplay. Which is perhaps only fitting for a play about a woman pretending to be a man so that she can act in a play writt...

Fledgling publication Shakespeare Magazine has some interesting pieces in it, including this article by Amogha Sridhar o...
03/29/2018
A young Indian writer engages with Shakespeare

Fledgling publication Shakespeare Magazine has some interesting pieces in it, including this article by Amogha Sridhar on Shakespeare's influence on her thinking and development.

For Amogha Sridhar, a childhood illness led to a life-long Shakespearean adventure

A useful Macbeth teaching resource: Royal Shakespeare Company production images, providing excellent classroom discussio...
03/26/2018
Production Photos | Macbeth | Royal Shakespeare Company

A useful Macbeth teaching resource: Royal Shakespeare Company production images, providing excellent classroom discussion material.

See the production photos from Macbeth, now playing in Stratford-upon-Avon until 18 September.

Finally saw a National Theatre Live performance (Nicholas Hytner's Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre stage) on a movie...
03/24/2018
National Theatre Live

Finally saw a National Theatre Live performance (Nicholas Hytner's Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre stage) on a movie screen. Really effective -- multiple camera angles, deftly filmed, really well acted -- all at a genuinely affordable price.

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Margot Robbie's production company will take ten of Shakespeare's plays and retell them with a number of different empha...
03/23/2018
Margot Robbie to retell the works of Shakespeare from female perspectives

Margot Robbie's production company will take ten of Shakespeare's plays and retell them with a number of different emphases, amongst which "female perspective", "diverse points of view" and all from an Australian perspective, "which many would not readily associate with works of Shakespeare."

Margot Robbie has quickly become a leading creative voice in Hollywood, not only starring in but producing multiple projects, including the award-winning I, Tonya and the upcoming thriller Terminal.

A mixed review of the RSC's latest Macbeth, which focuses on the ideas of the Thane of Cawdor and his wife as having rec...
03/22/2018
Macbeth, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon — portrait of a deeply loving couple

A mixed review of the RSC's latest Macbeth, which focuses on the ideas of the Thane of Cawdor and his wife as having recently lost their child. Notable too for large digital countdown timer on the set, indicating Macbeth's approaching demise. Interesting, if occasionally flawed, according to this FT review.

Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack star in Polly Findlay’s bold production

03/20/2018
Arin Arbus, Director, THE WINTER'S TALE

A brief interview with Erin Arbus with some thoughts on Shakespeare's intent for The Winter's Tale. Interesting.

Theatre for a New Audience Presents THE WINTER'S TALE A Tragicomedy by WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE Directed by ARIN ARBUS March 13 - April 15, 2018 Polonsky Shakespe...

First time to Theater for a New Audience in Brooklyn, to see The Winter's Tale. Fantastic space, and a very enjoyable pr...
03/19/2018
TFANA's 2017-2018 Season

First time to Theater for a New Audience in Brooklyn, to see The Winter's Tale. Fantastic space, and a very enjoyable production of one of Shakespeare's less often performed plays, The Winter's Tale. And yes -- this is the one with the "bear stage direction", which amazingly, eclipses the re-animation of a dead person (Hermione) at the end of the play.

Theatre for a New Audience's 2017-18 Season features two Shakespeares, a pair of comic one-acts, and a world premiere.

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