Happy New Year Ken-fans! 2015 will bring us Cinderella and Wallander, and who knows what else (dare we hope for something on stage?). In the meantime I have dusted off some older articles I missed and a few newer ones.
A "Midnight Changes Everything" Official Sneak Peek trailer has been released for Cinderella, as well as "The Legacy" Official Featurette. I have also put links to the two-part video interview with Kenneth on the Cinderella page.
There are also a few new (and older) articles: Cinderella Trailer Debuts! Director Sir Kenneth Branagh Opens Up About the Live-Action Disney Movie!, Disney’s “Cinderella” Exhibit Celebrates an All-New Live Action Film, Barry Actor to Dazzle in Disney Epic and Swarovski Adds Its Magic To Disney's 'Cinderella'.
There is also finally a gallery of stills from Cinderella.
A final catch-up for Macbeth articles: Getting “Macbeth” Right, At Park Avenue Armory, the Play's the Thing, but Oy, the Seating,VIPs Toast ‘Macbeth’, and Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Macbeth’ Goes Out in a Fitting Burst of Blood.
I have updated (shockingly late!) the birthday donation page, adding the information I meant to add a year ago (cough). We should have news about the 2014 donation soon. Read about 2013 and earlier years here.
I have a bunch of snippets collected which I will try to post this week. In the meantime I hope everyone has a good start to the new year!
(4 January, thanks Jude)
Happy Birthday to Kenneth Branagh!! (It's already the day where he is.)
Just a few articles to let you know I am still here. They are all follow-ups to the Cinderella trailer release, which had break-the-internet numbers of views (well, almost). You can read them here, here, here and here. There is another article here with links to an online interview which I will link up separately the next time.
Back soon, I hope.
(9 December, thanks Jude)
So the official Cinderella trailer is out! You can see it here. There are also a number of official photos, which I will put up soon. For the moment, a couple of articles linked to the trailer launch are available here and here.
(23 November, thanks Lyn, Pat, Nancy)
Ken-Friends! A blink-of-the-eye teaser for Cinderella has been released and you can find a link to it from this article. Apparently a longer trailer will be released tomorrow - stay tuned!
Also, a few words from Ken about Cinderella, courtesy of Baz, here.
There will be more (plus I have about 6 months of catching up to do...), so - hopefully - till soon!
(18 November, thanks Lyn, Jude)
Greetings Kenians! I am actually not dead, my absence here notwithstanding. It's still the day job ruling the roost, alas, but I hope for better times.
Just a couple of quick things: Wallander is coming back and you can read three (very similar) articles here, here, and here. You can also visit Ian Bolton's Branagh's Wallander website.
The other thing I have for you - to keep the spirits up and beg forgiveness for being AWOL - are some photos: at the Macbeth After Party, at the 68th Annual Tony Awards and at the BGC Global Charity Day.
I will try to be back soon!
(2 November, thanks Lyn, Jane, Ian, Emma)
So, back after eons, as usual (blame the day job, alas). Random bits and bobs...
Excerpted from Stage Views: "Chicago Fire" and Becket Star Yuri Sardarov On Kenneth Branagh, Patrick Stewart and More by Andrew Gans:
What production are you most excited to see?
LOL! Hope he got a ticket! And, excerpted from Shakespeare's Bloody Problem: Why the Tragedies Almost Never Work Anymore by Jesse Green:
I'm currently struggling to find sensibly priced tickets to Branagh's Macbeth. I just can't get over the fact that this is his New York debut. Get out of here! He's Kenneth Branagh. The closest living embodiment of Shakespeare himself. If only someone had an extra... Can I post my number in this thing?
On the other hand, I have seen two Macbeths that managed to keep their balance. One—the National Theatre of Scotland version with Alan Cumming that played on Broadway last year—did so by setting the entire play within the fevered mind of a mental patient. (The murder of Macduff’s son was efficiently represented by a wee empty sweater.) Whether the result was really Macbeth is arguable, but it was coherent. The other is Branagh’s, now playing at the Park Avenue Armory. Within its theme-park trappings, it offers an integration of violence with scenic concept and dramatic development I can only compare to a modern musical. No accident that in staging the production Branagh was joined by Rob Ashford, who initially made his name as a choreographer. The violence throughout is as carefully considered, as varied in style and intensity, and as smoothly woven into the narrative as a scoreful of well-wrought (if totally unhummable) song and dances.
A blurb from the New York Daily News from the beginning of Macbeth in NYC:
'Macbeth' Gets Happy
Kenneth Branagh made his New York stage debut with Alex Kingston Thursday night, as the Park
Avenue Armory debuted his production of “Macbeth.” After the show, there was an intimate benefit dinner
for Park Avenue Armory donors and celebrity guests, featuring sips of Dom Pérignon Vintage 2004 Brut
Champagne with cast and crew. Guests there included the president and executive producer of the Park
Avenue Armory, Rebecca Robertson; arts programmer Alex Poots; Anna Wintour; Kate Beckinsale;
Willem Dafoe; Matt Bomer; Jonathan Groff; Bebe Neuwirth; Anne Hearst; Jay McInerney, and Jamie
And a good time was had by all, I'll bet.
And - maybe something still to come... from Contact Music, 30 May 2014:
Prince Harry - Stars Back Prince Harry's Wounded Warriors Competition In New Clip
British royal Prince Harry has recruited big names including Daniel Craig, Sir Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hardy to make a video in support of his new sporting competition for war heroes.
In September (14), more than 400 wounded service men and women will take part in the Invictus Games, a series of competitions in London organised by the British royal in the style of America's Warrior Games.
In the new promo clip, stars including Craig, Branagh and Hardy, as well as Joss Stone, Stephen Fry and Joanna Lumley, all recite William Ernest Henley's Invictus, the poem which gave the games their name, with rapper will.i.am delivering the powerful final line, "I am Invictus."
The Black Eyed Peas star adds, "This is all about using the power of sport to inspire recovery and support rehabilitation. I want to wish all the competitors the very best of luck with this inspiring event." Bond star Craig adds, "Our Armed Forces community have made huge sacrifices in recent years. Please give something back to those who give so much."
So, I have just rifled through the stuff on the virtual desk and it's daunting. There has not been much new news (thank goodness!) but having once been labelled a completist I feel an obligation to live up to that and cannot possibly do it quickly. Sooo... I will, at least, post the above for now, so you know the site is not abandoned! I will chip away at the rest whenever I am not dead from the day job (which brought to mind a site from waaaay back and I just checked and it's still there and although it will be irrelevant for most, yay for Death by Architecture, going strong since 1995!). [Apologies for the off-topic!]
(7 September, thanks Renie)
Greetings Ken fans! Needless to say, Macbeth was amazing and it was a huge privilege to be able to see it again. It conquered New York in all honesty and will no doubt be remembered for a long time.
I'm way behind as usual but have a few things, just to tide us over. There was a most excellent interview with Kenneth, and also Rob Ashford and Alex Kingston on The Charlie Rose show and you can watch it here.
A few Macbeth articles: one, two and three.
And a couple of others: an article about the Shakespeare Society's 'Playing Shakespeare' Celebration, which comes with photos; and a lovely look back by Samantha Bond, which also comes with a couple of photos.
That's where we end today. There is lots more, it will come... (not saying how soon!).
(2 July, thanks Paula, Renie, Jane, Jude, Virginia )