Sunday, May 31, 2009

Extract from 'I Want New York' by Ogden Nash

"I think those people are unreliable are utterly unreliable
Who say they'd be happy on a desert island with a copy of the Biable
And Hamlet (by Shakespeare) and Don Quixote (by Cervantes)
And poems by Homer and Virgil and perhaps a thing or two of Dante's.
And furthermore, I have a feeling that if they were marooned till the millennium's dawn
Very few of us would notice they were gone.
Perhaps they don't like my opinions any better than I like theirs,
But who cares?
If I were going to be marooned and could take only one thing along
I'd be perfectly happy if I could take the thing which is the subject of this song.
I don't mean anything that was bought either by the post man or the stork.
I mean the City of New York."

Friday, May 29, 2009


I'm sure you've already heard by now, but just in case ...

David Tennant reprises role in RSC Hamlet for BBC Two

Well, him and the key players from the original cast. I had expected that it would be a filmed version of the stage show at the Courtyard, but it's being shot on location instead, which does sound rather wonderful.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Extract from Madeline Peyroux's "Bag of Bones"

In the title track of her sublime new album Bare Bones, Madeline Peyroux writing the lyrics herself for the first time, uses Hamlet to talk about the recent death of her father. She sings:

"Old Hamlet's done now, dead and gone
And there's no ghost who walks
Poor Yorrick tells you everything he knows
With no tongue to talk"

As she told The Telegraph: "I looked for ideas in literature [...] I checked out a few writers that I hadn't been able to grasp: Lorca, Neruda. I even tried Dante's Inferno because I wanted to look at the Christian idea of salvation in another poetic light outside the Bible."

That's in interesting way of looking at the play: to an extent perhaps the errant Hamlet, which is somewhat how he's portrayed at the outset is seeking salvation from his ways by seeking his dead father's revenge. Peyroux herself has had a chequered history -- is she implying that she too is trying to become a respectable person?