RSC & The Oliviers | Tennant on DVD | British Library II | essay essay essay

Photo: Ferdaus Shamim/Getty Images

Photo: Ferdaus Shamim/Getty Images

This week has been a very tough week, but I’m using this post to focus on the awesomeness, MUCH OF WHICH is contained in the photograph above: the RSC Histories company winning THREE Oliviers. The photo is ridiculous in some ways – only Chuk Iwuji, as my friend pointed out, seems to know how to wear a suit in the accepted fashion, and why is Jonathan Slinger (Richard II and Richard III, for god’s sake) on his tiptoes at the back – but it’s also great, and hilarious, and I’m so glad they won. In rather less awesome news, RSC Sources (a really posh way of saying ‘Kath, with whom I  used to work, who is on Facebook, and lovely’)  say that the news that the David Tennant Hamlet will be put on DVD may have been a bit premature… which is a shame. I’ll be sad if the story’s false, but hopefully it will still happen sooner or later… in incredibly exciting Shakespeare news, the Cobbe portrait may (or may not) be another ‘life portrait’ of the writer. I hope it is, although I always imagined him milder and not so Elizabeth I about the nose and throat. But really, who has a portrait (I nearly typed ‘photo’) of a balding, long-haired Elizabethan with aesthetic tendencies on their walls for 300 years without considering it might be him? I suspect the Cobbes need their roof doing.

Today, I was back at the British Library, dealing with mercifully more helpful staff and a significantly more important manuscript. Even if the preliminary conversation (the gist thereof reproduced below) was like a sort of German farce:

Me: I am here for a manuscript. Look, my card.

Her: We know you not.

Me: I think you do.

Her: There is no manuscript here.

Me: It is quite an important manuscript. I had to get letters of approval. Please give me my manuscript.

Her: [indicates with look, word and gesture that she thinks my ever being approved to look in a mirror is unlikely] There is no manuscript. When did you order it.

Me: Two weeks ago. Let me speak to someone else.

Him: OH MY GOD, you want to see THAT MANUSCRIPT? It’s in a SAFE. A safe with LOCKS. Are you SURE, are you sure you won’t just VOMIT on it or possibly COLOUR IN WITH CRAYONS?

Me: I am quite sure.

Him: !!!!!!!!!! You need a LETTER FOR THAT.

Me: You are holding my letter. I can read the heading and the Brasenose logo through the paper.

Him: This is quite true. [gives] Where are you sitting? Oh my GOD, you’re sitting THERE? You want to look at that manuscript while SITTING THERE? As if it hadn’t just COME FROM A SAFE? Are you sure you aren’t just HIDING CRAYONS in your NON-EXISTENT CLEAVAGE?

Me: I need to write 11,000 words quite soon.

And so forth. All in all, though, a successful day; for the price of a 36-foot yacht, I was able to purchase the most delicious sandwich I’ve ever eaten, and further destabilise the methodology of a leader bibliographer (at least two of us are now writing essays the theme of which is primarily ‘[Bibliography X] is full of lies‘. But THEN, dear readers, after I had drawn big smiley faces over the priceless artefact completed my research, I went downstairs and into a room that was casually displaying the Magna Carta (I list this first not because I care but because I gather one is meant to), the LINDISFARNE GOSPELS, BEOWULF (ACTUALLY BLOODY BEOWULF, THE ONLY ONE, OMG), Sylvia Plath MSS, all sorts of sacred texts from world religions, GOWER, and PERSUASION. Sylvia Plath had writing like a cheerleader, the Magna Carta was clearly made by robots (and looks like a map of the desert), and if it’s medieval and came from the Cotton library, it probably had its edges burnt off during a fire in 1731. The exhibition doesn’t seem to be listed on the British Library website, but it’s free (like the rest of the library), so go, go in, and bear to the left.

Also, I went swing-dancing this week. My calves. My calves.

(other sustaining things here in OX4 – Jenny, Chloe, the fail king, my MCR, custard creams, using the word ‘torrid’ unnecessarily in my bibliography essay, implying Wilde had yet more boyfriends, Jay, m’boy, theselby.com and my new Primark habit. Yes, I know goods do not bring happiness but I have never been able to shake the belief that my life will be much better if I can only buy a lot of stuff. If stuff is edible,* so much the better).

*I am not saying the stuff Primark sells is edible.

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5 thoughts on “RSC & The Oliviers | Tennant on DVD | British Library II | essay essay essay

    • In Robert Nye’s The Late Mr Shakespeare, there’s actually a sex scene BETWEEN Shakespeare and Elizabeth. Possibly in some sort of lake, I don’t remember the context. And yes, I thought that too!

      WAIT. I lie. I think actually the sex scene is between JOHN Shakespeare and Elizabeth, and that the Queen is Wm Shakespeare’s actual mother. It’s very funny in the book but as an idea (which I know you are not advancing, obv) it bothers me – part of the school of thought that says clearly there is no way someone as rural/non-aristo/uneducated as Shakespeare could POSSIBLY have written such high-faluting works. But anyway.

      Like

  1. “the Brasenose logo”

    Omg, omg. *comprehends & fangirls*

    I miss you. I’m sorry everything’s awful. But glad about the awesome as contained ici, in this post of awesome.

    Also pls not to be mocking Plath’s handwriting. (…Why are you determined to bash the writing/typesetting skillz of all my favourite people?)

    Also, TEN THOUSAND BLOODY CROWNS OF MOTHERS’ SONS. Please relay this to one Bolingbroke, H. I know you will.

    LOL OSCAR WILDE xxxxxxxxxx

    Like

  2. “the Brasenose logo”

    Omg, omg. *comprehends & fangirls*

    I miss you. I’m sorry everything’s awful. But glad about the awesome as contained ici, in this post of awesome.

    Also pls not to be mocking Plath’s handwriting. (…Why are you determined to bash the writing/typesetting skillz of all my favourite people?)

    Also, TEN THOUSAND BLOODY CROWNS OF MOTHERS’ SONS. Please relay this to one Bolingbroke, H. I know you will.

    LOL OSCAR WILDE xxxxxxxxxx
    Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

    Like

    • FAIL KING — I just emailed you, and adore you. No but, darling, such ridiculous handwriting. Like a cheerleader copying out Comic Sans MS. Really and truly.

      Like

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