Home. Introduction. News. Career. One Man shows. Books. Reviews. Articles. Contact.

Michael’s April 2013 News

Greetings!

This is the latest instalment of my introduction to the new-look website - with continued thanks to Mary Hunwicks; all the other links she’s started - Home, Introduction, Career, Articles, Contact - you can reach as always by going to one of the links on the left. There are also two new links now: One Man Shows and Books. And if you’ve any queries or comments on what I’m writing here, that’s where to reply to as well.

The main news is that the DVD of my solo Shakespeare show, SWEET WILLIAM, is now available. It goes under the title of SWEET WILLIAM - MY LIFE WITH SHAKESPEARE. It’s the entire performance, filmed with a live audience at LAMDA about a year ago with three cameras, and we’ve been editing it ever since.

At last I’m happy (I’ve produced as well as playing it); and now the stock’s arrived. At the moment it’s available from the National Theatre Bookshop for £12.99, at the RST Bookshop in Stratford at the same price; also online through both of them. It’s also available at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Bookshop in Stratford; and on Amazon.

And talking of SWEET WILLIAM, my book SWEET WILLIAM - TWENTY THOUSAND HOURS WITH SHAKESPEARE was nominated for the Theatre Book of the Year Award named after Sheridan Morley. The paperback should be available in the autumn, under a slightly new title, SWEET WILLIAM – A USER’S GUIDE TO SHAKESPEARE.

I’m playing the Captain in Strindberg’s DANCES OF DEATH in a version by Howard Brenton, at the Gate Theatre in London from the end of May through to early July; then after a break I’ll go back to the RSC for the autumn and winter to play John of Gaunt in Richard II in Greg Doran’s opening production as Artistic Director with David Tennant. That plays at Stratford and then at the Barbican until early in the New Year.

The rest of the time I’ll be finishing a book for Faber about the actor’s life which is to be called LET ME PLAY THE LION TOO. (Do you know your Midsummer Night’s Dream?)

Michael’s February 2013 News

This is the second instalment of my introduction to the new-look website - with continued thanks to Mary Hunwicks; all the other links she’s started - Home, Introduction, Career, Articles, Contact - you can reach as always by going to one of the links on the left. There are also two new links now: One Man Shows and Books. And if you’ve any queries or comments on what I’m writing here, that’s where to reply to as well.

The main news is that the DVD of my solo Shakespeare show, SWEET WILLIAM, is now available. It goes under the title of SWEET WILLIAM - MY LIFE WITH SHAKESPEARE. It’s the entire performance, filmed with a live audience at LAMDA about a year ago with three cameras, and we’ve been editing it ever since.

At last I’m happy (I’ve produced as well as playing it); and now the stock’s arrived. At the moment it’s available from the National Theatre Bookshop for £12.99, and in a few days will also be through the RSC - certainly in their Bookshop and soon afterwards on line I think. Same price. We’re beginning to sort out some more outlets, including Amazon, but I have to work out to do that so it may take another few weeks. But as I say the early copies are at the NT and RSC.

And talking of SWEET WILLIAM, my book SWEET WILLIAM - TWENTY THOUSAND HOURS WITH SHAKESPEARE has been nominated for the Theatre Book of the Year Award named after Sheridan Morley. The ceremony is on Wednesday 27th February. I’m there with a 16.66% chance, as are Simon Callow, Rupert Everett, Arthur Laurents (or his estate), Sue Prideaux and Kate Bassett.

I’m  just negotiating a play in London for the end of May through to early July (more news soon**); then after a break I’ll go back to the RSC for the autumn and winter to play John of Gaunt in Richard II in Greg Doran’s opening production as Artistic Director with David Tennant. That plays at Stratford and then at the Barbican until early in the New Year.

And that, apart from a book signing/general SWEET WILLIAM evening at the Gulbenkian Theatre Canterbury on October 1st - will do for the year.

The rest of the time I’ll be finishing a book for Faber about the actor’s life which until this week was to be called MERELY PLAYERS, but now I have something better: LET ME PLAY THE LION TOO. (Do you know your Midsummer Night’s Dream?)

All the best and thanks for the interest.


16th March 2013

I can now confirm that Michael will be appearing at the Gate Theatre Notting Hill In Strindberg’s Dances of Death from the 30th May to the 6th July 2013. Details and booking information can be found on Gate’s web site


27th February 2013

Unfortunately, missed out on the prize as it was awarded to Rupert Everett.


25th February 2013

In case you missed Michael‘s message on the Home Page, the DVD of Sweet William is now available for sale. At the moment you can purchase it through both the RSC and RNT book shops, and in the near future through other outlets and I’ll let you know about them as soon as details are finalised.. Michael’s book Sweet William - Twenty Thousand Hours with Shakespeare has been nominated for the Sheridan Morley Theatre Book of the Year. The ceremony is being held at the Garrick Club on the 27th February.


9th February 2013

You might be interested at looking at the NationalTheatre site where they have a short video about Anton Chekhov in which Michael is one of the contributors.


Michael’s News January 2013


“Welcome to my new-look website. My enormous thanks to Mary Hunwicks who continues to run it so well after several years; she's got it to the point that there is material in its Archive I barely remember myself. Now I've decided to weigh in with at least an introductory page - which I'm going to update every month or so with some news (Mary's news link having always suffered a bit from my neglecting to tell her everything I was up to !). So from now on that's going to be my part of the job. All the other links she's started - Home, Introduction, Career, Reviews, Articles, Contact - you can reach as always by going to one of the links on the left. There are also two new links now: One Man Shows and Books.

And if you've any queries or comments on what I'm writing here, that's where to reply to as well.


2013 dawns most immediately with the DVD release of my solo Shakespeare show SWEET WILLIAM. I filmed it at LAMDA about a year ago with a live audience and three cameras and have been editing it ever since. I'll update this page very shortly with information on where it can be bought.

Then I'm fairly certain to be playing the Captain in a new production of Strindberg's Dance of Death in the early summer. The autumn and winter may be busy with a couple of stage plays that I very much hope will come off, but l'm not talking about them for superstitious reasons.

I'm also trying to finish a book Faber commissioned from me more years ago than I dare to say. It's called, provisionally, Merely Players, and has nothing to do with Shakespeare. It belongs to a genre you'll have come across - Advice to a Young Actor - but I think I've found a way of doing it for the 2010s which is a little unusual... No publication date yet.

Among my books it follows up on Sweet William - Twenty Thousand Hours with Shakespeare, which I'm proud of and pleased with the response to, but which has absolutely highlit the difficulty of getting theatre books into the public eye; ten years ago my Hamlet book was reviewed by most broadsheets - now they hardly get a mention. So keep an eye out for it and tell your friends !

That'll do for the moment; but thank you all for all your interest and more soon.

Happy New Year !

Michael Pennington”


21st January 2013

As you can see from the Home Page Michael is going to be contributing to the site with occasional news of what he’s doing. So as well as keeping an eye on that, keep checking here for the odd snippet I pick up.


6th January 2013

Happy 2012 to you all. No news at the moment, except that tonight on Channel 4 they’re showing The Iron Lady in which Michael played Michael Foot.





Return to News