January Shakespeare News

08 February 2014 | Nothing is Truer Than Truth

Controversy Films presents Nothing is Truer than Truth
Mark Rylance, Ian McKellen, and Patrick Stewart take Broadway by storm, Diane Paulus creates a Tempest, Sir Derek speaks out, Shakspere’s Signature? and much more news…

A look at TWELFTH NIGHT and RICHARD III on Broadway
I had the great privilege of seeing Mark Rylance in Twelfth Night on Broadway last Saturday – a tour de force performance not to be missed! We stood in line in below freezing weather for two hours to get standing room tickets – the run is almost entirely sold out – and it was well worth it! The music and staging are excellent, and the performances are superb – Rylance’s Olivia is absolutely brilliant, and the rest of the cast is top rate, especially Stephen Fry as Malvolio and Angus Wright as Sir Andrew Aguecheek.

Here is a clip from the Globe Theater production in London, where the play debuted last year:

Shakespeare: Twelfth Night (Shakespeare’s Globe)

Earlier the same day, we saw the incomparable duo of Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellan in a mesmerizing production of Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land – here too we were very lucky to procure same-day front row seats for another sold out show! Two of the world’s greatest actors on one stage – old friends riffing on the words of the Noble prize-winning playwright – aided and abetted by a fabulous Billy Crudup in polyester and Shuler Hensley as Briggs. Meeting the stars  outside the stage door after the show was a true pleasure!


Sir Derek Jacobi: ‘Not one shred of evidence’ that Shakespeare wrote plays

Picture: Polly Hancock

Sir Derek Jacobi and Matthew Lewin at Burgh House, where Sir Derek was the special guest in the Lifelines series of talks.

From the Hampstead & Highgate Express

by Tom Marshall, Thursday January 23, 2014
Celebrated actor Sir Derek Jacobi surprised a room full of admirers by insisting there is no evidence that William Shakespeare wrote the great works which bear his name.
The stage and screen legend, star of TV shows Last Tango in Halifax and Vicious, opened up about his controversial views during a discussion about his life before a Hampstead audience on Thursday. He called on academics to accept there are significant doubts about the authorship of the Bard’s plays and to enter into a “no holds barred” debate.

Read the entire article here.


January was a very busy month, with meetings in Boston and New York as we prepare for the launch of the film. I’m thrilled to announce that we are moving ahead with final narration, featuring an award-winning British actor and writer, original music from the innovative composer and performer Melora Creagor, and online editing with Elisa Bonera, an Italian native now based in LA whose work has earned numerous awards including the Golden Lion at the Cannes International Advertising Festival.

Also in January, we continued talks with distributors, publicists, festival strategists, and graphic designers. We are very pleased to announce that Brianne Costa joins the Controversy Films team as post-production intern.
Brianne is a Boston area writer pursuing an MFA in Writing for Stage and Screen at Lesley University. She has experience in public relations, marketing, news media, and currently runs the social media campaign for Mass Literacy, a local education nonprofit. Her articles on lifestyle, comedy, and local events have appeared on Thought Catalog and BDCwire.

Thanks to everyone who donated to our year-end finishing funds appeal. Your support is critical to the success of the project! We are so grateful for your generosity and look forward to seeing you at the premiere!

From the Boston Globe:

Diane Paulus, center stage

By Laura Collins-Hughes, Globe correspondent

January 4, 2014

NEW YORK – It was heading toward late afternoon on a gray December day, and Diane Paulus was looking weary. Inside a studio on West 43rd Street, she had been casting the American Repertory Theater’s workshop production of the new musical “Finding Neverland,” slated for March in New York.

For Paulus, the ART’s artistic director, 2013 was a year of snowballing commercial success. In June, she won her first Tony Award as a director, for “Pippin,” which transferred to Broadway from the ART last spring, recouped its $8.5 million capitalization in December, and continues its run. It is Paulus’s third Broadway show, and her third to win the Tony for best revival of a musical.

In November, her production of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” which premiered at the ART in 2011 and spent nine months on Broadway, kicked off a national tour that will stretch into July. Her Cirque du Soleil show, “Amaluna,” is on the road, too, and will open in Boston in late May, she said.

Read the entire interview here.

Coming soon to the A.R.T.

Shakespeare’s The Tempest

Controversy Films Advisory Committee member Dr. Earl Showerman will attend the International Shakespeare Conference at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, to be held March 7th – 9th. More details here. Earl has graciously agreed to speak to the students in the World Drama class I’m teaching at Lesley University while he is here on the east coast. His expertise on the Greek sources of Shakespeare’s work will be greatly appreciated and is certain to inspire future  scholarship.

From the Folger Library:

Shakespeare and the Problem of Biography

An NEH Collaborative Research Conference at the Folger Shakespeare Library
3 – 5 April 2014

There is no more iconic figure with whom to push forward a fresh critical evaluation of the aims and methods of literary biography than Shakespeare. Within the academy, textual analysis often denies biography any explanatory force, while popular conceptions of Shakespeare look to biography precisely for insight into the works. In the standoff, the genre of literary biography is lost as a subject of serious inquiry. On the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth, the Folger Institute Center for Shakespeare Studies will undertake a rigorous investigation of the multiple-and conflicted-roles biography plays in the reception of Shakespeare today. A cadre of influential scholars, many of whom have written biographies of Shakespeare, will focus discussion on such topics as the distinctions between authorship and agency, the interpretations of documentary evidence, the impact of methods of dating texts on an understanding of Shakespeare’s life, the broadened context for that life of a more robust understanding of theatrical activity, and the possibility that biography is itself a form of historical fiction. The conference opens Thursday evening with a session that doubles as Shakespeare’s Birthday Lecture. In his presentation on “Shakespeare, Biography & Anti-Biography,” Brian Cummings will discuss the problem of writing the life of Shakespeare in terms of the documentary history and its haunting sense of missing links.

Details here.

Dr. Richard Waugaman, another Controversy Films Advisory Committee member featured in NOTHING IS TRUER THAN TRUTH, announced that his article “The Psychology of Shakespeare Biography: An Update” will be published in the Italian Shakespeare journal Memoria di Shakespeare.

Read more in the Oberon Shakespeare Study Group Blog by Linda Theil.

Donate today!

Thank you to everyone who has supported the project by donating through our fiscal sponsor, The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) New York. All donations made through IFP are 100% tax deductible and proceeds go directly to the film.


From Roger Stritmatter’s blog: The Lambarde Shakspere “Signature”: The Real Deal or Forgery?
Posted By on January 24, 2014
Rafe Spall, playing Mr. Shakspere in Anonymous, is Lifted to Fame by the  Anonymous hands of his bardolators.

No mention of the annotated Folger copy of Archaionomia would be complete without considering the alleged “signature” (which, though murky, reads “W Shakspere”).

Read the entire article here.

Please help us bring the film to audiences around the world! We cannot reach our goal without your help.

We still need to raise funds for rights clearances, music, graphics, color correction, online editing, and festival entries.



From @SirPatStew

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