June 19th, 2012

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Ulysses, starring Andrew Scott, Radio 4

Ulysses and the Sirens (1891), by John William Waterhouse
Picture credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:John_William_Waterhouse_-_Ulysses_and_the_Sirens_(1891).jpg

Cut and pasted from the Radio 4 Website:

The official website is here:

The production was broadcast in seven parts across 'Bloomsday', 16th June 2012 on BBC Radio 4.

In a landmark project a new dramatisation of Ulysses was broadcast across one day - morning, afternoon and evening.

The dramatisation, by Robin Brooks, follows the novel’s two iconic characters, Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus as they wander across Dublin in the course of one ordinary day, the 16th June 1904.

The cast is led by Henry Goodman as Leopold Bloom. With Andrew Scott as Stephen Dedalus, Niamh Cusack as Molly Bloom and Stephen Rea as the Narrator. Twenty-five actors have taken part, and the music includes new recordings of songs by Irish soprano Daire Halpin.

The drama is directed by Jeremy Mortimer and Jonquil Panting and produced by Jeremy Mortimer and Claire Grove.

The total duration of the dramatisation is five and a half hours. All 7 parts are made available as free downloads for two weeks from time of broadcast.

What happens in Ulysses?

Two characters, Stephen Dedalus (an agnostic ex-Catholic) and Leopold Bloom (a Jew), both outsiders in the traditional Irish sense, go about their separate business, crossing paths with a gallery of other memorable characters. We watch them teach, eat, loiter, argue and in Bloom's case masturbate and follow their thoughts, emotions and memories through Joyce’s pioneering stream of consciousness technique. The result? Almost every variety of human experience is crammed into a single day.

Ulysses ranges over a plethora of ‘modern’ topics: relationships, sex, the press, publicity and advertising, popular culture and music, adultery, nationalist posturing and political cynicism, alienation, racial and ethnic prejudice, technology and consumerism - to name just a few. Many of the 'real' things and topical events (historical references, newspaper reports, descriptions of environments, places and objects) were meticulously researched by Joyce. He wanted to "give a picture of Dublin so complete that if the city one day suddenly disappeared from the earth it could be reconstructed out of my book". Dublin on 16th June 1904 was far more sophisticated and 'multicultural' than it was to be at any time again up to the mid 1990s. It also had an infant mortality rate only exceeded in the British Empire by Calcutta.

Raks's says - This project was mind-blowingly ambitious and epic. I love Andrew Scott and Henry Goodman, and I have so far managed to avoid Ulysses. This is one way where I can finally have a go at getting to grips with it!

You can download and listen to the episodes here:

Enjoy! And then post your reaction in the comments section below.
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Breaking News: Mike Bartlett pens first TV drama series - Andrew Scott to star!

Photo credit: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/reviews/sea-wall-traverse-theatre-edinburgh-1771112.html

Cut and pasted from The Stage:

Mike Bartlett pens first TV drama series

Earthquakes in London playwright Mike Bartlett has penned his first television series, a drama for ITV called The Town.

Starring Andrew Scott, Julia McKenzie, Charlotte Riley and Martin Clunes, it is a three-part drama.

Kenton Allen, Big Talk’s chief executive, said the drama features a family “struggling to come to terms with change. It’s also our hope to paint a picture of contemporary Britain through the magnifying glass of an ordinary market town”.

Follow the link for the full story:

Raks's Says

Mike Bartlett wrote 13 and Love, Love, Love. Andrew Scott is an acting genius. What is there not to like?!
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Julius Caesar, RSC, to be screened on BBC4, Sunday 24 June, 8pm

Cut and pasted from the RSC's website:

BBC Four will be broadcasting the filmed version of our current production of Julius Caesar on Sunday 24 June at 8pm.

The production, directed by Artistic Director Designate Gregory Doran and set in modern Africa, opened in Stratford-upon-Avon this month to four and five-star reviews.

The show was filmed on location in London during the initial rehearsal period, with additional recording during two Stratford performances.

The completed film will be broadcast on BBC Four as part of the BBC's Shakespeare Season for the Cultural Olympiad.

Full story here:

Find out more about Julius Caesar including videos, photos of the cast and a synopsis of the play here:

Cut and pasted from an email from Whatsonstage:

The dictator must be assassinated. But who will replace him?

As Rome struggles to choose between tyranny and mob rule, three men must decide between public duty and private will.

A new production of Julius Caesar transposes Shakespeare’s great political thriller to modern day Africa.

Julius Caesar is directed by Gregory Doran, recently announced as RSC Artistic Director Designate. The company includes Paterson Joseph as Brutus, Cyril Nri as Cassius, Ray Fearon as Mark Anthony and Jeffery Kissoon as Caesar.

Watch Gregory Doran and the cast talking about why the play works so well in an African setting:

Did you know?
Nelson Mandela's favourite quote from Shakespeare comes from Julius Caesar - 'Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.' He marked this passage in the Robben Island 'Bible' - the Complete Works of Shakespeare which had been smuggled into Robben Island prison disguised as a religious book.