The RSC’s ‘Death of a Salesman’

I was in that London at the weekend to see the RSC’s production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman (which we study in Make it New: American writing 1900-1950). During the day we took in the London Eye and the new cable car across the Thames at Greenwich. We separated these panoptical pursuits with lunch at the Tate and  some contemplative time with Rothko’s magnificent explorations of colour, shade and shape.

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Dracula at the Vic

Review from 1st Year student, Danny Collard

Theresa Heskins’ production of Bram Stoker’s Dracula was, undoubtedly, one of the more inventive adaptations of this well told tale. Performed at the New Vic Theatre in Stoke ‘in the round’, each audience member left with plenty to discuss on the journey home, regardless of their enjoyment of the show.
The performance stayed remarkably true to the original plot, and it may be said that many of the issues taken (for those that took them) came from its adherence to Stoker’s work, which, especially with age, Continue reading

Recent publication


Professor Douglas Burnham has just published The Nietzsche Dictionary, latest in the Bloomsbury series of philosophy dictionaries. A herculean task for the author, who has been described as ‘a subtle and incisive reader of Nietzsche’ providing the reader with ‘a comprehensive understanding of Nietzsche’s ideas’ – no mean feat.

The Nietzsche Dictionary

Out in time for Christmas!


Maxine Peake in Hamlet

I was at the Manchester Royal Exchange (just 45 minutes up the West Coast Mainline) to see Maxine Peake play Shakespeare’s Danish prince. Peake was mesmerizing as she strode the stage, at once sinister in her madness and profound in her insights. The run is extended, and sold out.

The production was very special, but I have yet to arrive at a satisfactory explanation for the translation of Polonius into the female counselor, Polonia, while Peake’s Hamlet remained a Prince. The reverence to tradition is neatly complemented by some neat contemporary gestures (such as the Liverpudlian gravedigger with an ipod), but I’m not convinced by the play-within-a-play scene.

Ibsen’s Ghost at the New Vic

Students from all years joined staff at the New Vic theatre near the uni for a staging of Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts (1881). A revival of Richard Eyre’s excellent production explored issues of generational conflict, rapidly changing social conventions, and moral hypocrisy at the end of the 19th century ( A few of us then had a bite to eat and a pint at the Polite Vicar next door, and caught the 2nd half of Stoke City v Newcastle (which was a lot less exciting than Ibsen).

We’ll be taking in the excellent Northern Broadside’s production of Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer at the Vic in November (