(Roughly) Daily

“Jack shall have his Jill, Nought shall go ill”…

 

This Midsummer’s Weekend (June 21-23) the Royal Shakespeare Company will mount its 40th production of Midsummer Night’s Dream: the play will be performed by members of the company in real time, directed by Artistic Director Gregory Doran, culminating in a wedding, which those present can attend.  Simultaneously, in cooperation with Google Labs and Google+, the RSC will be making the production available online.

In anticipation of the event, the RSC has posted this helpful introductory video, in which playwright Billy Shakespeare and his pet pig Francis (Bacon) explain the antic goings-on…

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More information on the production at the RSC’s site; sign up to follow the progress with the RSC on Google+.

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As we remark at “what fools these mortals be,” we might recall that it was on this date in 1808 that Napoleon’s forces executed captured rebels in Madrid– an event memorialized in Goya’s “El tres de mayo de 1808 en Madrid .”  Anxious for its strategic access to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, Napoleon had occupied Spain, giving rise to a a Spanish resistance and the five-year Peninsular War, the first real guerrilla war.  The executed prisoners were particpants in the Dos de Mayo Uprising (also memorialized by Goya in a companion painting).

In 1814, after the expulsion of the French, Goya secured a commission from the Spanish government to do the paintings.  Though it drew on sources from both high and popular art, “El tres de mayo de 1808 en Madrid” was a clear break from tradition– a groundbreaking work that has become an archetypical image of the horrors of war.  In the words of art historian Sir Kenneth Clark, “El tres de mayo de 1808 en Madrid” is “the first great picture which can be called ‘revolutionary’ in every sense of the word, in style, in subject, and in intention.”

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Written by LW

May 3, 2013 at 1:01 am

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