Margaret Atwood

The Hogarth Shakespeare Project

Just as directors, screenwriters, actors, and dancers are re-imagining Shakespeare, so too are authors participating in The Hogarth Shakespeare Project.
The project sees Shakespeare’s plays retold by acclaimed, best-selling novelists. The project is inspired by Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s Hogarth Press and the founding mission “to publish the best new writing of the age”.
At the time of writing, the participating authors re-imagining the play of their choosing include Jeanette Winterson with The Winter’s Tale, Anne Tyler with The Taming of the Shrew, Howard Jacobson with The Merchant of Venice, Jo Nesbo with Macbeth, Tracy Chevalier with Othello, and Margaret Atwood with The Tempest.
The Hogarth Shakespeare programme will launch in 2016, coinciding with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. For more information and to keep updated about the project, visit http://www.vintage-books.co.uk/about-us/Hogarth/The-Hogarth-Shakespeare1/.

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Shakespeare Challenge Sneak Peek- Silent Auction Items!

The SIA team has managed to receive some AMAZING items and packages for the silent auction at the Shakespeare Challenge fundraising gala! A huge thank you to all of the individuals and companies that have generously donated products and services to the auction, and we cannot wait to see who will walk away winners on May 21! Here are only some of the items that will be up for bidding. There will be more items and packages to come!

1. Stratford Package
Includes:

2. Shaw Festival Package
Includes:

3. Montreal Getaway
Includes:


4. Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Includes:

5. Soulpepper Theatre
Includes:

6. Toronto Tourism Package
Includes:

7. Fringe Salon
Includes:

  • A haircut and highlights, courtesy of Lora from Fringe Salon

8. Cozy Night In Package
Includes:

  • A hand made quilt designed and made in Australia
  • A gift card from Balzac’s Coffee
  • Delicious chocolate, courtesy of ChocoSol

9. Niagara-on-the-Lake Wine Experience Package
Includes:

10. Signed Book Package
Includes:


11. Summer Fashion
Includes:

  • A little linen dress from Designer Bruno Ierullo– perfect for the Summer!

12. Niagara-on-the-lake Ice Wine Experience
Includes:

13. Meat Butchering Experience
Includes:

14. Lush and Lavish Manicure
Includes:

15. Theatre Print C. 1860
Includes:

16. Cottage Getaway
Includes:

If you would like to join us to cheer on our Challenge Champions and bid on the silent auction items, you can buy your tickets here!

What If Modern Authors Redid Shakespeare?

In June of 2013, Random House imprint Hogarth Press announced that they are commissioning a slate of authors to novelize the complete works of Shakespeare for a modern audience. The launch of these books in 2016 will coincide with the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.

The roster of illustrious authors who have signed on to modernize Shakespeare’s plays includes Margaret Atwood (The Tempest), Jeannette Winterson (The Winter’s Tale), Anne Tyler (The Taming of the Shrew), Howard Jacobson (The Merchant of Venice), and Jo Nesbo (Macbeth).

With the 400th anniversary only two years away, and 32 plays left unclaimed, Hogarth is running out of time to get these books written, so we thought we’d help them out with suggestions of author and play pairings we’d like to see. We had trouble limiting our imaginations to living authors only though!

jrr-tolkein

J.R.R. Tolkein + Hamlet: Hamlet, Shakespeare’s longest work, is a four hour play about a prince who decides in Act 1 to avenge his father’s death, and after five acts and 3834 lines of flip-flopping, he eventually gets around to it. Who better to take on the dithering Dane than the man who wrote the three-part story of a skittish hobbit who takes 1300 pages to accomplish one task?

stephenie-meyer

Stephenie Meyer + Romeo and Juliet: Despite its reputation as the greatest love story ever told, let’s face it, once Mercutio dies, Romeo and Juliet is a total snooze-fest. In order to appeal to today’s main audience for epic love stories (i.e. tweens), R&J could use an injection of vampire vs. werewolf warfare to pump up the drama. “O Romeo, Romeo, a werewolf art thou, Romeo?”

george-rr-martin

George R.R. Martin + Titus Andronicus: Shakespeare, who was never one to shy away from bloodshed and violence, has a literary soul mate in the bloodthirsty author of the Game of Thrones series. I get chills just imagining what gruesome twists Martin would add to a story already brimming with beheadings, tongue removals, and characters getting baked into pies.

dr-seuss

Dr. Seuss + Timon of Athens: Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens is essentially the plot of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas told in reverse. In this lesser known play, Timon, a wealthy Athenian, blithely bestows his riches on his flaky artist friends, and anyone else who asks. But when his money runs out and his friends abandon him, he renounces human society and runs off to the forest to live in a cave. He spends the rest of his days hating everyone and spouting abuse at anyone who dares to visit.

jasper-fforde

Jasper Fforde + The Tempest: I know Hogarth already has an author for The Tempest, but we couldn’t resist fantasizing about what kinds of transgressions Fforde’s literary detective Thursday Next would call out the characters on Prospero’s island for.