Sunday, March 26, 2017

Another year with our Will

Another AGM, another year to look forward to. I have stepped down from the committee, although I might still go to at least some meetings as a guest. I hope to use the time to keep this blog rather more up-to-date this year: I have been very forgetful of it lately, and try as I might, I haven't often been able to persuade people to write posts. Come on folks - review a performance (live or on screen), talk about your favourite plays or sonnets, or your own interest in Shakespeare and drama or literature generally. At least a couple of members have intimated that they first found out about The Shakespeare Club through chancing on the blog, so let's keep it alive and thriving.

Speaking of membership, it has grown a lot in recent years. When I joined, back in 2002, we used to have trouble casting our readings, and once or twice I even found my father's daughter in conversation with my grandmother's granddaughter when I'd been entrusted with several small parts to read. But now we regularly have attendances of over twenty, which has made casting the readings very much easier. What's more, the standard of reading has improved a great deal. Practice makes perfect, or at least encourages readers to improve their posture, breathing, projection and diction.

Anyhow, back to the AGM! The committee, apart from my replacement by Susan, a recent recruit, remains the same. I hope Susan enjoys her time on the committee as much as I enjoyed mine!

We waded through the election and necessary discussion very quickly, and so turned to the serious business of creating a program for the year. Now, I must reveal that I am happy with the middle period comedies, year after year, with an occasional history thrown in, so I was a bit sad when none of my favourites made the cut this time. It does look like an interesting program, though; one that will stretch our knowledge and appreciation of English Renaissance drama.

In April and May we shall read Richard III, and in June we shall have a guest speaker, the prolific and highly respected author/poet, Emeritus Professor Dennis Haskell (pictured at left). July and August will be devoted to The Duchess of Malfi, a tragic   if not downright macabre  play, written by the English dramatist John Webster and first performed in 1613–14. (I don't know how I'll go with that one: I have to cover my eyes during many scenes of Game of Thrones!)

For September, we shall organise a set of readings on a particular theme (still to be chosen) and the October and November meetings will be devoted to Henry IV, part one, with an implied commitment to open 2018 with a reading of part two! December's meeting will no doubt be given over to Yuletide celebrations, with or without a guest speaker, and January, as usual, will probably also be devoted to socialising.

So there we have it - plans for 2017 in a nutshell. Feel free to add comments if you wish, and better still, send me a post of your own making to add to the blog!