Book your seat for the UK and US cinema screenings of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, starring stage legends Kenneth Branagh and Judi Dench

[Images by Johan Persson. Dench Portrait: Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company]

Captured live from London’s famed Garrick Theatre, this prestigious production of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale is being broadcast to cinemas across the globe.

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For many of us, it will be the only chance we get to see two living Shakespeare legends – Judi Dench and Kenneth Branagh (who also directs).

Stanley Wells, Shakespeare expert and author of Great Shakespeare Actors, recently tweeted: “For an object lesson in speaking Shakespeare’s verse, hear Judi Dench as Time in The Winter’s Tale”.

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For UK screenings of The Winter’s Tale, on Thursday 26 November, go here to find a cinema near you and book tickets.

For screenings in the USA on Monday 30 November, go here to find a cinema near you and book tickets.

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Apart from Kenneth Branagh as Leontes and Judi Dench as Paulina and Time, The Winter’s Tale also stars Tom Bateman as Florizel, Jessie Buckley as Perdita, Hadley Fraser as Polixenes and Miranda Raison as Hermione.

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And the talented supporting cast includes stage veterans John Shrapnel and Michael Pennington. John Dagleish and Zoe Rainey also feature.

Go here for more on Branagh Theatre Company and The Winter’s Tale.

How jealous are we of these students at Shakespeare Summer School in Urbino, Italy? Answer: Very!

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As Shakespeare fans in the UK and USA experience stormy weather of King Lear-like proportions, over in sunny Urbino, Italy it’s a very different story. Starting last week and ending on 26 July, Shakespeare in Italy offers the chance for Shakespeare fans to immerse themselves in the text and culture of Shakespeare’s Italian plays.

The course will go beyond lectures and readings, containing a mix of “expert input, practical work on scenes, discussions, and evaluations of contrasting film versions of the plays.”

Fronting the course are four leading minds from the world of Shakespearean theatre. Bill Alexander, who was an Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company for 14 years, leads an exploration of The Merchant of Venice. “What I’ll be trying to do,” he says, “is take the participants through a sort of speeded-up version of the rehearsal process.”

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Leading the study of Romeo and Juliet is Michael Pennington, who was an Honorary Associate Artist with the RSC and co-founder of the English Shakespeare Company.

Josie Lawrence will use her film, television, and stage acting experience to guide the discussion of Much Ado About Nothing.

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Finally, Martin Best, who is known as an international performer and who has worked with the RSC for 30 years, will perform his lecture-recital Shakespeare’s Music Hall and lead a seminar on the Sonnets.

Co-founders of Shakespeare in Italy Mary Chater and Julian Curry will also provide input and be involved in the courses. After three days studying the text, Chater will lead alternative pursuits that will give the students a chance to explore Urbino and the Italian culture as it relates to the plays.

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Amazingly, we’ve heard there may still openings on the course. Go here for more information and to register, or e-mail Mary Chater: mary.chater@alice.it