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UPDATED . . . Professor Samuel Crowl's review of Kenneth Branagh's Love's Labour's Lost from the Summer 2000 issue of the Shakespeare Bulletin is added to the articles pages. Crowl wrote a chapter on Kenneth Branagh for the scholar Russell Jackson's new book, which features a photo from Love's Labour's Lost on its cover. Crowl is working on a new book, Shakespeare at the Cineplex, which will treat all of Branagh's films to date as well as the many others Branagh's success has inspired in the last decade. Shakespeare at the Cineplex should be available sometime in 2002.

The Crowl review joins playwright Wendy Wasserstein's essay. From the New York Times. New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island articles also available.

ENJOY . . . Several audio excerpts of Kenneth Branagh at the Shakespeare Guild's Golden Quill Award. The full print transcription of the Golden Quill ceremony is available, as well as press articles on the London event, with photographs.

ENJOY . . . Canby on Ken. Vincent Canby, the late film and drama critic for the New York Times, on Branagh's work.
"[I]t has an emotional impact I've never experienced in Shakespeare, on stage or screen."

NEW . . . From the Front Office: Review of Ralph Fiennes, centerstage.

The next issue of What's Up Stage--here's a snippet.

Every once in a while, you're handed a little slice of heaven on earth. About a week ago, I enjoyed a big, fat slice. Skeptical? My four days in New York included three days of performances by Ralph Fiennes. First, as Richard II, and then as Coriolanus, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where the Jonathan Kent production has made itself comfortable. On my last day, I was treated to 3 1/2 hours of watching Fiennes on videotape, as Hamlet at the Belasco Theatre.

Now you believe me.

Don't bother asking me which I liked better between the two live plays. It doesn't do either of them justice to compare. And fortunately, I don't have to choose. Instead, I'll take the opportunity to review them together, along with Fiennes' Hamlet, since such celestial alignment has gifted me so generously. More to come . . .

UPDATED: Remembering Sir John Gielgud, immortal Shakespearean actor.
A live tribute to him from his colleagues, including Ralph Fiennes.

"The Hamlet he played at the age of 26 in 1930 was arguably the most important and influential of the 20th century: neurotic, vulnerable, self-lacerating and even shrill, as well as sweet and sad." With thoughts from the New York Times.

ENJOY . . . Director Michael Almereyda's film "collage" of a knit-hatted Ethan Hawke as a Gen-X slacker. Our review of his Hamlet is here.

Almereyda does Denmark as a corporate prison. From the New York Times: Two Fortinbrases and the Ghosts of Hamlets Past. The last stage Hamlet of 1999 in New York becomes a photo album of Hamlets past, including Branagh, Olivier, and Gibson. Added: The New York Post muses on performing Hamlet.

ENJOY . . . The Road to El Dorado For Branagh and Kline's animated adventure, visit The Road to El Dorado Frame Gallery.
This film has been available in DVD format in the US since December 12, 2000.

IN MEMORIAM . . . Sir Alec Guinness (1914-2000) played Hamlet at 24 in 1938 at the Old Vic, and Shylock in Chichester Festival Theatre's Merchant of Venice in 1983. It's reported that last summer, although he was retired, he was considering the role of Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night's Dream at Chichester. "I would like to play him with a lank strand of hair falling into my eye, a dishevelled cardigan, and sandals and socks, like any one of those ghastly BBC television directors at whose hands we have all suffered."

  From the London Times. Ken and Martin Amis.

UPDATED . . . "With the death of John Gielgud, Kenneth Branagh must be the finest Shakespearean actor alive." Branagh scores five stars out of four in this LLL review which joins Empire, Variety, and Total Film in praise for Kenneth Branagh's newest Shakespeare film: Love's Labour's Lost. Photos and links.

  Making Love's Labour's Lost

"The play responds very well to music. There are many references to music and dancing in it and the elegance, style and wit of the play seemed to me to sit well in a context not unlike the fictional world of the Hollywood musicals of the 30s and 40s." Branagh's latest adaptation is a well thought out modern homage to classic moviemaking. How does he do it? Spanish radio transcript added to this look behind Kenneth Branagh's film. Excerpts from interviews, articles and press conferences with the filmmaker. Also featuring the Madrid press conference and Empire Awards transcripts. Photos. Excerpts from a June interview with the Cranky Critic (whose review is here) added.

NEW . . . Studio production notes from Love's Labour's Lost.

  The Story of Love's Labour's Lost
UPDATED . . . A summary of the story, as told in Branagh's fabulous laugh-out-loud musical comedy.
(Warning: There are, of necessity, some spoilers in this synopsis.) Links to lyrics added.

Shax Tracks: "I wouldn't have made ‘Shakespeare in Love' if I hadn't seen his ‘Henry V' and ‘Hamlet' and ‘Much Ado.'" Miramax President Harvey Weinstein, on the contribution of Kenneth Branagh to Shakespeare on film. Also: thoughts from Adrian Noble, artistic director of the RSC, as Shakespeare turns 436 years young. From the New York Times. And Branagh's thoughts on Shakespeare, as they appeared in the British television's South Bank Show's Tribute to Shakespeare.

  UPDATED . . . Trust Kenneth Branagh. Michael Doherty interviews the Bard of Belfast. Also read interviews with the Belfast Telegraph and The London Guardian. Photos and screen captures from Love's Labour's Lost.

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