Tom Stoppard has always had an ear for the Bard, stretching back to his surreal and hilarious early plays Rosencrantz and Guildernstein are Dead
and Dogg's Hamlet and Cahoots Macbeth
. For those who have already seen the film of Shakespeare in Love
, this screenplay offers a chance to savour Stoppard's exuberant collaboration with the renowned screenwriter Marc Norman. The result gives us amongst many other things a dog, Hamlet, Kit Marlowe, Elizabeth I and probably one of the best screenplays based around Shakespeare in modern cinema.
The pace of the script, from its opening long shot of London in 1593, to the final shot of Viola (played in the film by Gwyneth Paltrow) walking off into her brave new world, is breathtaking. The verbal fireworks and Shakespearean borrowings are not only worthy of the Bard himself, but perfectly recreate the conditions of the Elizabethan theatre. The jokes and allusions fly thick and fast, often straining the agility of even the most nimble Shakespeare scholar, but at the heart of the screenplay is both a compelling love story and an ingenious perspective on the inspiration behind both Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night. A wonderful piece of writing--long may Shakespeare in Love keep the Bard in fashion! --Jerry Brotton
About the Author
Tom Stoppard's work includes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Real Inspector Hound, Jumpers, Travesties, Night and Day, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, After Magritte, Dirty Linen, The Real Thing, Hapgood, Arcadia, Indian Ink, The Invention of Love
, the trilogy The Coast of Utopia
and Rock 'n' Roll.
His radio plays include If You're Glad I'll Be Frank, Albert's Bridge, Where Are They Now?, Artist Descending a Staircase
, The Dog It Was That Died
, In the Native State
(incorporating Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon
). Television work includes Professional Foul
, Squaring the Circle
and Parade's End.
His film credits include Empire of the Sun, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
, which he also directed, Shakespeare in Love, Enigma
and Anna Karenina.