Shakespeare’s Sisters! With cover stars Harriet Walter, Judi Dench, Sophie Okonedo and Margaret Atwood, Shakespeare Magazine 12 is our biggest and best issue ever!

Happy New(ish) Year, Bard fans – Shakespeare Magazine 12 is here!

IMG_7495

Shakespeare’s Sisters is the theme of Shakespeare Magazine 12.

Meet our fabulous and forthright cover stars:

Harriet Walter

IMG_7497

Judi Dench

IMG_7512

Sophie Okonedo

IMG_7534

and Margaret Atwood

IMG_7532

All of whom speak with great authority, insight and wit about their adventures with the Bard.

Also this issue, we have:

Jade Anouka’s Donmar Shakespeare in pictures,

IMG_7518

while Hugh Bonneville

IMG_7520

and Benedict Cumberbatch chat about The Hollow Crown.

IMG_7522

We have brilliant guest essays on Shakespeare’s Storms

IMG_7533

and How to think like Shakespeare,

IMG_7517

along with John Foxx’s Arden Shakespeare cover art,

IMG_7511

the madcap comedy world of the Reduced Shakespeare Company,

IMG_7513

and Benedict Cumberbatch stars in a Doctor Strange/Shakespeare mash-up!

IMG_7500

 

A new book demonstrates that the legendary ‘curse of Macbeth’ – as depicted in BBC2 TV drama The Dresser – is in fact a relatively modern invention

Watching the excellent adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s play The Dresser on BBC2, there were many moments that tickled our Shakespearean tastebuds.

9494152-high_res-the-dresser
Not least of these was when ‘Sir’ (Anthony Hopkins) inadvertently says “Macbeth” in the theatre, and a panic-stricken Norman (Ian McKellen) has to lead him through a strange theatrical ritual to negate the resulting ‘curse’.

The Dresser
Interestingly, a new book, Anecdotal Shakespeare by Paul Menzer, suggests that the infamous “curse of Macbeth” that has supposedly plagued theatres for 400 years is in fact an invented tradition – with no records of it ever being mentioned earlier than 1937!

As The Dresser is set circa 1940, however, that would make it just about historically accurate to include the so-called curse of The Scottish Play.

The Dresser
On the other hand, this vintage clip from the BBC’s Blackadder, which is set in the 18th century, although utterly hilarious, would seem to be somewhat lacking in historical verisimilitude.

9457032-high_res-the-dresser
But then, as Shakespeare might have said, why let the facts get in the way of a good story – or, indeed, a great gag?

9456974-high_res-the-dresser
Anecdotal Shakespeare
is out now, published by Arden Shakespeare/Bloomsbury.

(Thank you to reader Gordon Kerry for sending us the Blackadder link)