Chronicles & Tales
Ellis J. Wells

Interviews - John Paton

John Paton
Role: Sempronius

Before we start, and just because you're a fellow Bristol boy, I have to ask: what's your favourite place in Brissle?

I have been away a long time and much has changed. Probably when I was younger my favourite place was the Odeon Cinema and The Dug Out Club or the Locarno night clubs! (hahahaha). However when I visit these days I love the Bristol Old Vic – it brings back happy memories of both my first ever ‘proper’ theatre trip to see The Crucible – age of 12. PLUS I got the thrill of working there in a play called "Croak, Croak, Croak" by Peter Tinniswood, directed by BOV's assistant Artistic Director Gareth Machin.

What was your first exposure to Shakespeare?

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Interviews - Prof. Ladan Niayesh

Prof. Ladan Niayesh
Literary Advisor

My starting question is very simple: what was your first exposure to Shakespeare?

My first exposure was very classically Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet seen on TV as a child, in a poorly translated Persian (my native tongue). At that young age, I was obviously more interested in the ghost and misty battlements than anything else. But the first play I was able to read in full text for a school curriculum was – rather unusually for a school programme – Coriolanus. The guidance of a passionate instructor made me all at one go fall in love with Shakespeare and want to become a teacher myself. I am much beholden to the gentleman for both reasons, and one of the highlights of my career many years later was to have his son among my students at university for a course on Shakespeare!

As a distinguished scholar of Shakespeare, can you talk us through your educational journey with Shakespeare?

Read more: Interviews - Prof. Ladan Niayesh