Bit of London tonight 

respectful thoughts for losses and thankful for reaffirmation of its beating heart with some theatre


Let’s ❤ #Shakespeare400


The coming weekend is the big anniversary of Shakespeare’s death 400 years ago.

For those abroad, there will be special online content here (available internationally):

There is a full schedule with timings, all GMT London time that is:

Richard II – David Tennant – free online on demand (international as well)

Update! the Richard II will be streamed at the BBC site linked above, the site only goes live on the 23rd (they have tested it already but check back on the 23rd). As per the site, the Richard II will be available on the site from 10.30pm (BST) on 23rd April 2016.

Among other videos and documentaries from the British Council, the BFI, The RSC, the Globe and the Hay festival the full Richard II play from the RSC with David Tennant will be available for free.


There are also unique insights into playing Shakespeare from Ian McKellen and specifically on Hamlet from Simon Russell Beale and Adrian Lester.

The Royal Opera House makes a contribution on ballet and opera inspired by Shakespeare.

TV & cinemas 

The RSC and the BBC have put on a special party in Stratford, which will be broadcast on TV but also live in cinemas around the country and soon also internationally; worth keeping an eye out for this ( Sat, 23rd April 2016, 8,30pm GMT)

Shakespeare Live! From the RSC

‘From the stage of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, hosts David Tennant and Catherine Tate are joined by Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Dame Helen Mirren, Meera Syal, David Suchet, Rufus Wainwright, Tim Minchin, Gregory Porter, Joseph Fiennes, English National Opera, The Royal Ballet and Akala for a very special evening.

Together they mark the life and work of William Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death. This unique event takes place in the presence of their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall and celebrates Shakespeare’s extraordinary legacy and his enduring influence on all performance art forms – from opera to jazz, dance to musicals.’

Also on TV …

All manner of special shows, like a Countryfile with Judi Dench dedicated to Shakespeare landscapes.

Re-runs of the Hollow Crown part I (adaptations of Shakespeare’s history plays Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 & 2, and Henry V) starting with Monday, the 25th of April 11pm on BBC4:

Richard II with Ben Whishaw


Followed next day, same time, BBC4 by Henry IV parts I and Wednesday part II, with Jeremy Irons:


and lastly, Thursday  Henry V with Tom Hiddleston:


London & online later

Shakespeare’s Globe – The Complete Walk

This is a series of 37 videos made for the celebration, each dedicated to a play which will be screen outside on buildings along the Thames during the weekend and will likely be available online after.

Check the Globe Player and the related iPhone app for further details on the videos (i assume shortly they will share the information online as well)

All Shakespeare400 events this year

For a round up of most events around the celebration check this website


So what am i doing?

  • watching the Winter’s Tale ballet at the Royal Opera House twice this week
  • recording the ShakespeareLive! show from Stratford;
  • recording the Countryfile with Judi Dench on Shakespeare
  • recording the re-run of the Hollow Crown part I
  • weather permitting spending the afternoon on the 23rd of April finding some of my favourite Shakespeare bits around The Complete Walk;
  • evening on the 23rd
  • 24th one of my favourite plays – Macbeth with one of my favourite actors – James McAvoy (finally! after thinking i missed out on this 🙂 )


Too much? Not really, not for me at least. The more is see and hear Shakespeare, the more i love him 🙂

Dear David about fans and work



David Tennant at BAM Harvey Theater Photo: Emily Assiran for Observer

Article published today i think, very interesting read, while he is doing Richard II on Broadway (his first time in NY with theater if i understand correctly).

David Tennant Resuscitates Shakespeare in Brooklyn

I loved the production, have seen it twice and was curious how it would be received in NY and also hoping he would be ok doing it as he’s sadly recently lost a parent.

(I’m still wading though daily life and work but slowly back on track and i mean to catch up on writing, including a lot of theater, and this year January has definitely been the David Tennant month for me. I was aware he was in NY with the Richard II and was looking for reviews but bumped into this interesting and at the same time recognisable interview – ie his opinions are not surprising to me at this point. So until i get round to posting some stuff of my own i thought this was a nice read).

You can find the full article in the link above, but i like what he said about fans 🙂 and he’s met them even in gym showers 😉 :

‘So between Dr. Who and Jessica Jones and Harry Potter and Shakespearian plays, these are some of the biggest franchises in history. Which fandom is the most crazy-passionate about what they follow? Probably the most…obviously enthusiastic to me are Dr. Who fans, but then I suppose in a way that that’s the franchise that I’ve been most significantly involved with I guess by playing the title character for a number of years. But I certainly wouldn’t use the word “crazy.” It’s a lovely thing to be the representative of. It just means a lot to people and people get passionate about it. And certainly Harry Potter fans can be, too. I suppose I’m certainly more in the periphery of that with one appearance, but I think you know, as hobbies go, as things to spend your free time on go, I can absolutely understand that kind of fandom because I’ve been there myself. That’s more explicable to me than even being a sports fan.

When I’ve gone to the conventions or stuff I have a real affection and warmth for these people, especially ones who feel are sort of misfits in their day life and they get to be included with likeminded people. And a huge joy in that, definitely, an egalitarianism.’

Enjoy! I’ve not seen his Kilgrave yet but definitely plan to once it is more widely available.

Love Virtually with David Tennant

Not what you might be thinking 😉 I’m actually going to suggest another radio adaptation which the BBC are thankfully replaying today and tomorrow on Radio4extra. This is one of David’s many appearances on radio and it is a different take on Valentine’s day listening:

Today at 2.14pm UK time, tomorrow at 2.15am! UK time. It should be available on BBCiPlayer radio after that for 30 days to listen to:


Starring David Tennant and Emilia Fox, Love Virtually by Austrian novelist Daniel Glattauer is a thoroughly modern epistolary novel with one difference – its protagonists Emmi Rothner and Leo Leike communicate exclusively by email.

The European answer to You’ve got Mail.

Two million copies sold in Germany to date. And bought by thirty-five publishers around the world, Love Virtually by Austrian novelist Daniel Glattauer, is well on the way to becoming a global publishing phenomenon.

They “meet” when Emmi mistakenly sends an e-mail to Leo’s inbox. A romance ensues that allows them to live out a shared secret life far removed from their day-to-day existences. But to what extent does it rely on fantasy and escapism, and will it survive a real-life meeting?

The problem is…Emmi (a modern Madame Bovary) is married….

Have email, Facebook, texting and the like created a generation of isolated young people who prefer to communicate remotely – who may be in fact afraid to engage in face to face contact to find love? Is it possible to fall in love with someone you’ve never met? Does a virtual affair ‘count’ as adultery? What are the implications of the fact that we can pretend to be anyone in cyberspace?

Adapted by Eileen Horne.

Just a minute

Just a minute BBC R4 Host Nicholas Parsons with Julian Clary, Stephen Fry and David Tennant

Is a show on BBC Radio4 which involves public speaking (free and spontaneous) on a given subject for 1 minute 🙂 For example like this:

“David Tennant’s days with the Royal Shakespeare Company came in useful when he was asked to talk for 60 seconds without hesitation, repetition or deviation on the topic, ‘Exit, pursued by a bear’ (Release date: 11 Feb 2015)”

And it was his first time on the show 🙂

I love the English language although i know i’ll never be as good at it as i wish… I find i’m often reminded by how beautiful it actually is not watching the news or reading papers, not even reading books, but hearing people speak, actors in particular. Of course the language is their main professional tool and they probably understand it better than most of us, but still, the capacity some of them have to express ideas fluently, in a very rich vocabulary is fascinating. And it’s not only the vocabulary, it’s also the accents that I find fascinating. I could listen to people like Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, David Tennant, Stephen Fry, Richard Armitage, Ewan McGregor talk for hours and not get bored (and many more, the list is just too long to mention them all). Not just because they seem to always have something interesting to say, but also because of the way they say things and how they use the language and the words.

Of course reading enriches our vocabulary, but I think the active use of the language, the sounds and words show us how truly beautiful English can really be. And however much I like to experience it spoken on a stage, I find the unrestricted use of it in free speech even more fascinating. (Especially when it doesn’t come through discourse used by politicians, although I appreciate it when they are competent at it.)

I didn’t know about this show, but it is amazing fun and tests the speakers under quite stressful conditions 🙂 There are of course rules ..

“(Doctor) Who’s the new boy on Just a Minute? The rules are simple. Or are they? Just a Minute virgin, David Tennant gets confused and receives a lesson in the English language from Nicholas Parsons. David joins veterans Stephen Fry, Julian Clary and Paul Merton for a hilarious Just a Minute challenge. (Release date: 11 Feb 2015)”

In case you want to listen to the whole 30 min of the show, the link is below 🙂 We can safely say David knows a lot about Shakespeare 😉 And can talk about it quite brilliantly. But there is a lot more in there to listen to from some very competent guests, good fun and a lot of innuendo 😉  Enjoy!! (it is available for another 28 days)

“Episode 1 Just a Minute, Series 71 Episode 1 of 8

It’s the return of Radio 4’s classic panel game in which the contestants are challenged to speak on a given subject for a minute without hesitation, repetition or deviation. This series, the guests include Jenny Eclair, Stephen Fry, Sheila Hancock, Robin Ince Paul Merton, Graham Norton, and trying his hand at the game for the first time, the tenth doctor, David Tennant. Recorded at the BBC’s Radio Theatre and Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury, this long running and popular series enters its 47th year with the same wonderful host, Nicholas Parsons.Kicking off this first episode in the series are Julian Clary, Stephen Fry, Paul Merton and David Tennant who makes his first impressive appearance on the show. Subjects include Exit, Pursued by a Bear, which is Shakespeare’s most famous stage direction.”