Tuesday, November 28, 2006


On Sunday Jennie and I went to the Theatre Royal, Winchester [Jennie was its Chairman for many years and led the campaign to stop the site becoming a shopping mall] to see our old friend Michael Pennington's one man show, Sweet William. Michael is a wonderful actor, is steeped in Shakespeare and wrote the script.

He quoted a remarkable extract from Hector Berlioz' Memoirs, written on discovering Shakespeare for the first time at a performance of Hamlet in Paris in 1827. Berlioz wrote,

"Shakespeare, coming upon me unawares, struck me like a thunderbolt. The lightning flash of that discovery revealed to me at a stroke the whole heaven of art, illuminating it to the remotest corners. I recognized the meaning of grandeur, beauty, dramatic truth...I saw, I understood, I felt...that I was alive and that I must arise and walk".

He went on to marry Ophelia, the English actress Harriet Smithson, after a stormy courtship. Michael closed with Sam Goldwyn's response on being asked his views on Shakespeare

"Fantastic! and it was all written with a feather."


Post a Comment

<< Home