Posted By Roger Stritmatter on October 29, 2011
The Shakespeare Authorship Trust, a British educational foundation dedicated to exploring the authorship question (including adherents of multiple views) has announced the premiere of Last Will and Testament, the 1604 Productions documentary film produced to accompany Anonymous.
The ninety minute documentary film “explores the evolution of the authorship question since Shakespeare’s time, with particular reference to William Shakspere of Stratford and Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, though other candidates are discussed.”
Professors Stanley Wells and Jonathan Bate, both of whom were invited to appear at the premiere but apparently are not doing so, are featured on behalf of the orthodox view.
The beautifully shot documentary contains exclusive access to footage from Anonymous. According to the SAT announcement,
At a time when the Shakespeare world is being rocked by the imminent appearance of Roland Emmerich’s feature film, Anonymous, as well as the publication of several books based on new research, including Richard Roe’s The Shakespeare Guide to Italy and Katherine Chiljan’s Shakespeare Suppressed, there comes the first major documentary on the authorship question for 22 years.
The timing could not be better, and we are very fortunate to have the film’s director Lisa Wilson with us to introduce the work and answer questions on it. (Lisa was also a consultant on Anonymous, and is a trustee of the SAT.)
Wilson will be joined by no fewer than seven scholars who took part in the documentary: Diana Price, author of Shakespeare’s Unorthodox Biography, Professor Roger Stritmatter of Coppin State University in Baltimore, actors Sir Derek Jacobi and Vanessa Redgrave (pending availability), the Chairman of the SAT, Mark Rylance, Head of the School of Arts at Brunel University Dr. William Leahy, and Charles Beauclerk, author of Shakespeare’s Lost Kingdom.
Update 10/27/12: The SAT showing was a pre-release event. The film has now been officially premiered in the United States at the Austin Film Festival.