Sunday, 11 December 2011


I did write the plays, i don't care what Looney said!!!
And now for something completely different, or so John Orloff would have us believe. A certain Elizabethan playwright who went by the name of William Shakespeare did not actually write the plays and sonnets he had been credited with, instead the speculation our American screenwriter would have us believe is that they were written by the Lord Great Chamberlain Edward de Vere 17th Earl of Oxford. A theory originally put forward in 1920’s by the aptly named John Thomas Looney, an English schoolteacher in his book Shakespeare Identified. The idea of someone else writing these works probably stems from the belief that a working class jobbing actor whose parents were illiterate would not have the where be all to write such prolific works, but a well educated courtier, playwright and poet would have been far more likely to have turned out the 38 plays, 154 sonnets and a couple of narrative poems!!!

German film director Roland Emmerich, best known for disaster, or should I say disastrous movies, has taken Orloff’s screenplay and turned out a very entertainingly absorbing historical thriller! Anonymous (2011) as well as questioning Shakespeare’s right to claim authorship, deals with the political and sexual intrigue in the Elizabethan court and who would succeed the Queen for the crown of England upon her death.

These things never end well!

The film, without doubt, raises interesting questions about the Bard’s identity and succeeds in bringing history to life and even makes his plays seem relevant. Produced with a combination of CGI and sets, including the glorious Rose Theatre and surrounding London Streets, purpose built at Berlins Babelsberg Studios were Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will (1935) was made. Emmerich film has a first class British cast that adds gravitas to the story. Rhys Ifans shines as the Earl of Oxford as does Vanessa Redgrave as Queen Elizabeth with her own daughter Joely Richardson playing the younger Elizabeth. Other actors of note involved in this bizarre twist of history include David Thewlis, Rafe Spall and Mark Rylance. Not the turkey the critics would have us believe.

Whose a naughty girl then?

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