Neil Rathmell

Books, plays and blogs on literary topics

Ted Hughes – the unnecessary biography

We are fortunate, I think, in knowing as little about William Shakespeare as we do. With no biography to distract us, all we have to think about is the work. … Continue reading

November 25, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Crucible

The importance of rhythm in a play is sometimes overlooked. The passage of time is part of the experience of watching a play. Time on stage and real time pass … Continue reading

November 11, 2015 · Leave a comment

Pincher Martin

Disasters affecting large numbers of people are often said to be of biblical proportions. Disasters in the lives of individuals, on the other hand, are usually called tragedies, the frame … Continue reading

October 28, 2015 · Leave a comment

Poems in October

Shakespeare, Keats and Dylan Thomas wrote, in Sonnet 73, To Autumn and Poem in October respectively, not about a season but about death. When poets write about one thing, they … Continue reading

October 14, 2015 · 1 Comment

The gospel according to Samuel Beckett

The key to understanding Samuel Beckett’s only television play, Eh Joe, is in the line, ‘Thou fool thy soul’, which comes from St Luke’s gospel, chapter 12, verse 20: ‘But … Continue reading

September 30, 2015 · Leave a comment

An odd kind of novel

I can’t help thinking that, if any other country had in its recent literary history a writer as distinctive and original as T.F.Powys, they would make more of him. They … Continue reading

September 16, 2015 · Leave a comment

Burying Shakespeare

First, the canal. Othello, thinks the designer, is set in Venice, so let’s have a canal, let’s start the play with Iago and Rodrigo sailing onto the stage in a … Continue reading

September 2, 2015 · Leave a comment

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