Want the news as soon as it comes in? Join Ken-Friends, the Kenneth Branagh Mailing List, which has spies in every corner of the globe... ;-). And if you have a bit of news or info yourself, let me know. This includes any "chance" encounters you might have with our Ken (on the street, in a restaurant, outside his home as you're being dragged away by security), but if you're stalking him, I don't wanna know...

 
 
Keen Kenians, we're back. Catching up with articles, but also a few bits of news.

The best: Kenneth will be honoured with the Freedom of Belfast. An article about the announcement is here and a statement from Ken is here. Others have knicked the info or added a bit: here and here, with a very similar article here.

And, speaking of awards, there might be another: Kenneth Branagh, Anna Friel Receive International Emmy Nominations.Fingers crossed - and if you happen to a voter reading this...you know what to do!

The London premiere of Murder on the Orient Express will be held at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday 2 November - clearly they are expecting a crowd!

There is also a tie-in promotion: from MarketsInsider, 2 October 2017:

Premium Belgian chocolatier, Godiva, is thrilled to announce an exciting new partnership with 20th Century Fox for the much-anticipated film 'Murder on the Orient Express', a big screen reimaging of the classic mystery novel by master storyteller Agatha Christie
[snip]

In honour of the collaboration, Godiva's talented chef chocolatiers have crafted a new Chocolate Collection. All indulgent new pieces are decorated with a whimsical moustache motif, inspired by Poirot's own distinguishable whiskers. The unique limited edition collection includes three new chocolate pieces in delicious flavours including: an intense dark chocolate ganache encased in a white chocolate shell, a tangy raspberry ganache sheathed in a milk chocolate shell and a creamy almond praline encased in a sweet milk chocolate shell. Synonymous with the craftsmanship, quality and chocolate artistry for which Godiva is renowned, the delicious chocolates are presented in a stunning, vintage-inspired, limited edition gold gift boxes that features a stylish Orient Express-themed design.

The chocolatier will also celebrate its first movie collaboration with a delicious Belgian speculoos-flavoured hot chocolate with an eye-catching new sleeve, playful chocolate moustaches on sticks and a bundle of four of Godiva's exquisite G Collection tablets, which are presented in a beautiful train-inspired packaging.

So, this past July there was a mention of Kenneth as director of Artemis Fowl, following a first mention of the project in September 2015 (Site Search - main page - is a wonderful thing!). It seems to be real at this point as cast names are being mentioned: Judi Dench in Talks to Join Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Artemis Fowl’ Movie Adaptation, as well as other info: ‘Artemis Fowl’: Everything You Need to Know About Disney’s Adaptation of the Beloved Young-Adult Series.

A winner has been chosen for the 2017 Shakespeare Shorts Film Competition, judged by Ken. Read who it is here.

As I'm putting this together even more stuff is coming in.... soooo.... going to post this and soon put up more stuff! Back soon!
(6 october, thanks Patricia, Ngoc, Jude, Jane)


Greetings Kenners! A few more articles and photos have been added. A couple of snippets first...

There's all sorts of (justified) anguish about the lack of access to Hiddleston, some of it amusing...

From TimeOut :

HiddleHamlet
Who’s the Dane? Cinema’s Tom Hiddleston.

What’s the deal? In a normal year you’d never get two big star versions of ‘Hamlet’, but Hiddleston has teamed up with director Kenneth Branagh for a brilliant wheeze: make it as inaccessible as physically possible. It’s a Rada fundraiser, with a three-week run at a 160-seat theatre and all the tickets were distributed by ballot weeks ago.

Should I see it? Given the scarcity of tickets, only for bragging rights, surely.

How do I get tickets? Christ knows. We’re told there won’t even be returns on the door. My best advice is to either become Tom Hiddeston’s bezzie mate very quickly, or to hope this is all a prelude to a big transfer.

Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre at Rada. Fri Sep 1-Sep 23

And from the Guardian :
A Message For Sir Kenneth Branagh: Let the People See the Hiddleston Hamlet!
It’s impossible to get tickets to see Tom Hiddleston. But if the play’s being staged to raise funds for Rada, why not be less elitist, and broadcast it in cinemas?

The arts world is facing a 'Hamlet' availability crisis. It is of course utterly impossible to get tickets for the reportedly superb Tom Hiddleston version of the play, running in a tiny London theatre for three weeks to raise money for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada). It was also fiendishly difficult to get tickets for the recent critically adored Hamlet, starring Andrew Scott of 'Sherlock' fame.

To compound the nightmare, there happens also to be a new production of 'Hamlet' starring Gyles Brandreth, and it is very, very possible to get tickets for that.

News of utterly sold-out theatre shows has in the past brought out the anti-theatre grump in me: say what you will about Hollywood films, they are non-elitist – you can pretty much always get tickets. But I am also a convert to livestreaming theatre into cinema. So won’t Kenneth Branagh – director of the Hiddleston Hamlet – relent, and allow his production to be beamed into Britain’s movie theatres? A portion of the ticket price could go to Rada! It would raise money for Rada! Why are we all pining hopelessly for this show when the solution is obvious?

Of course it might be that Sir Kenneth has cunningly contrived his Hamlet-famine for precisely this outcome. Never mind. Let’s see Tom Hiddleston’s Hamlet in cinemas.

I'm hearing the Beach Boys....Wouldn't It Be Nice!!

I have added a few articles (there will be many more): a nice one about Ken's longtime agent Judy Hofflund, who worked with him on Murder on the Orient Express, which includes a cool photo.   There are four reviews of Hamlet : here, here; here and here.

There are two "supporting new talent" articles, here and here.

A new poster has been released for Murder on the Orient Express. You can read about it here and here and you can see all the posters here.

And finally, Kenneth will receive the Albert R. Broccoli Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Entertainment at the 2017 AMD British Academy Britannia Awards and you can read about that here and here.

That's all for today, we'll be back!
(15 September, thanks Jane, Emma)


Hello 2-B-or-not-2B-ers. Slowly getting the myriad articles archived. They are almost all Dunkirk related. Rather than list the links (they're a bit repetitious) click over to the Reading Room and look for the "new" flags.

There is one slightly more personal article which you can read here: Sir Kenneth Branagh Took Time Out of His Busy Schedule to Visit His Brother Bill For Sonning Golf Club's Charity Fundraiser. You can see the photos here.

More to come! Lots of articles about the Hiddleston Hamlet! Hopefully someone out there managed to get tickets!
(19 August, thanks Emma, Lynne)


Greetings Kenners - there is some news to share, so, just quickly (more articles will follow), you can read about Kenneth directing Tom Hiddleston in Hamlet, in support of RADA, here. There are details about tickets. You can also find information on the RADA site. As well, while the original Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company site has disappeared (alas!), there is a three-word new one, and - more informatively - a Facebook page and Twitter account.

I will be back with more of everything soon...
(1 August, thanks Jude)


Hello Ken-fans, just one line - literally - to say there is now a page for Dunkirk and one for Murder on the Orient Express. Both will have far more info as I slowly get it together.

More soon!
(29 July)


Keen Kenners, we carry on...

More speculation (or fact?) on a future project, from an article on future casting:

“Artemis Fowl”
As mentioned in a previous post, Ireland’s own criminal mastermind and hugely successful children’s book character is getting a film. Eoin Colfer’s book series captured the imagination of children seeking something a little more action- and arsenal-packed than “Harry Potter,” with the eighth installment of the series hitting shelves in 2012. So, as with “Harry Potter”, there’s the potential for a huge film franchise to emerge out of the first film (if they get it right). Open castings in Ireland have been hunting for the young Artemis himself but now genius casting director Lucy Bevan is attached and Kenneth Branagh is confirmed as director, the hunt for the rest of the cast begins. As Michael Goldberg (who wrote the screenplay for “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”) and playwright Conor McPherson are attached, it appears to be set for success. 
Further to the Tottenham Spurs stadium history, narrated by Himself, here is a description from a longer article in the Telegraph, 14 May 2017:
Sir Kenneth Branagh was waiting to recite the history of a ground built on the site of a former market garden rented from the brewers, Charrington, and occupied by Spurs in January, 1899. Branagh was not here in person, but appeared on giant screens like Hollywood royalty. The White Hart Lane crowd, so boisterous on the pitch, fell into a cinema-going trance as The Kinks provided the early soundtrack and black and white footage of the glory days brought an older London back to life.
There is another article about the possible Anne Frank film (same information as earlier).

Also two more articles relating to Murder On the Orient Express - here and here.

Which brings us to Dunkirk... You can read three articles : ‘Dunkirk’: Over 15 New Images Take Us Inside Christopher Nolan’s World War II Film;  From Harry Styles to Sir Kenneth Branagh, All You Need to Know About Blockbuster 'Dunkirk' and Film Review: Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’.

There are also videos : "Dunkirk" World Premiere (with Ken at 17.10 minutes);   Dunkirk, Face to Face With Christopher Nolan (interviewed by our Ken-Friend Pierpaolo Festa, with a question about Ken);   How Well Do Harry Styles and Sir Kenneth Branagh Know Their Shakespeare?;   Kenneth Branagh "Relieved" He Made the Cut For 'Dunkirk' and Kenneth Branagh: ‘Dunkirk’ Is ‘a White-Knuckle Ride’.

And finally, for today, there are additional photos from the filming of Dunkirk, as well as from the Dunkirk world premiere in London and from the premiere in New York a few days later.

That is all for today. More to come! There will be pages for Dunkirk and Murder On the Orient Express
(21 July [Happy Birthday Angelica!], thanks Emma, Lyn, Jude, Emily, Renie, Pierpaolo)


Hello again, going to add things in bits and bobs, only way to catch up without having a breakdown, heh heh.

You'll love this: Tottenham Hotspur Featured Video from #TheLaneTheFinale Show With Sir Kenneth Branagh! Enjoy!

And while you're in video viewing mode, you can catch a glimpse of Himself in the trailer for Mindhorn, totally fun to watch! The film was written and directed by Sean Foley. Enjoy 2!

And you can see an appearance on teh Lorraine show here. Enjoy 3!

There are two more Murder On the Orient Express (a.k.a. MOTOE) articles here and here.

And finally - for today - an article about a possible new project... we shall see...!

That's today's wee portion. More soon!
(3 July, thanks Emma, Jude, Ngoc)


Dear Kenners! Apologies for the lengthy tomb-like silence! My trusty and well-loved computer decided it had had enough and shuffled off this mortal coil with "drastic motherboard failure". Sigh. The replacement took a while to arrive and I am still getting used to it (with the added wrinkle that the bluetooth mouse is not yet working for reasons unknown... my brain/hand coordination is getting some exercise with the touchpad but it drives me batty).

Of course (!) tons of things came out while all this was going on, mostly about Murder on the Orient Express. There were a few things I had formatted before the death but they had not yet been backed up, so it's a 'square one' scenario. I have decided to just put a few things up, in somewhat random order, as they are ready. So here are a first few....

All-Star ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ Cast Assembles in London  -  Kenneth Branagh, All-Star Cast Unveil New 'Murder on the Orient Express' Footage in London  -   Poirot is Still 'Honing His Craft' In New 'Murder on the Orient Express'  -   'Murder on the Orient Express' Director Kenneth Branagh Geeked Out Over Johnny Depp  -   Kenneth Branagh Murder on the Orient Express Interview and Star-S Remake of 'Murder On The Orient Express'.

That's it for now but there is a lot more (including photos) and it will slowly appear!
(19 June, thanks Lyn, Emma, Jude, Jane)


Greetings Ken-Fans, finally a bit of catching up. It's been a bit quiet but there is a lovely video of Kenneth's speech at the Olivier Awards on 9 April 2017. A couple of days earlier there was a nice article to prepare us for the event : Why We Should Be Comparing Kenneth Branagh to Laurence Olivier.

Apparently a very preliminary trailer for Murder on the Orient Express was shown at ComicCon 2017. It was not for the eyes of the general public but there are brief descriptions here and here.

A final Ken-related item : you can see a photo of Ken with Sarah Ferguson, taken at the launch of a children's book, The Importance of Being Ernest the Earwig, written by the actress Nanette Newman (who appeared in Listening and illustrated by Lindsay Brunnock Branagh (bet exchanging family names was an ice-breaker when they met).

The 2016 July to December news has moved to the News & Notes Archive. The Special Events & Projects Archive has been limited to special events and projects. Links to films, plays, etc. are now only under their specific categories. The Sitemap is updated. There is tons more to do... :-)

More soon!
(22 April, thanks Bego, Jude, Jane, Emma)


Hello 2B or not-2Bers! I have just been looking for the early "News & Notes" of the Compendium, which are not listed in the News & Notes archive... was worried that July to December 1997 never made it onto the "commercial" server (from the Berkeley student webspace where the Compendium enjoyed its earliest gestation, heh heh) but eureka! I have found the file! It includes a couple of entries from January 1998 but I have left them in. (As always, the News & Notes "go backwards" in time.)

I am going to upload it 'as is' in its gorgeously no-frills HTML. The Compendium's version of the Dead Sea scrolls. And an introduction to the tons of fun that Ngoc's news updates always were (waving at you, Ngoc!!). Enjoy it here!.

And here are a few new things:

The best we-might-actually-see-a-photo news is that Kenneth will receive a Special Award at the 2017 Olivier Awards. You can read about it here.

You can watch an overview of Ken's career (with lots of nice 'director' shots) here.

Leslie Odom Jr., a passenger on The Orient Express, replied to a tweet asking "How's filming going?" with:

"So well. Branagh is a prince. Learning a ton and having so much fun."
And in a February issue of Entertainment Weekly, he is quoted thus:
"[Director Kenneth Branagh] runs the set kind of like we're a little theater troupe. I really went from one pinch-me experience to the next."
So he's now an honorary Ken-Friend.

While we're in 'Hamilton' territory, this comes from a Playbill article on a Q & A with the cast:

Who were you most excited to see backstage?
Diggs: MC Hammer
Miranda: Kenneth Branagh
Goldsberry: Michelle Obama
Soo: (in the accent) Julie Andrews
Jackson: President Obama
Onaodowan: Dave Chapelle
Groff: Beyoncé
Odom, Jr.: Well, this is a theatre crowd, so Anna Deavere Smith
Okay, so Leslie Odom Jr. was unfaithful this time, but the Main Man delivered!

I've added a couple of older "casting for 'The Orient Express'" articles: All Aboard. Every Famous Person in Hollywood Will Kill Johnny Depp in 'Murder on the Orient Express' and Penelope Cruz Joins Johnny Depp and Daisy Ridley for Kenneth Branagh's 'Murder On The Orient Express'.

You can also read a lavishly illustrated review of Romeo and Juliet in Shakespeare Magazine here.

And finally, an eagle-eyed Ken-Friend noticed Himself - at 36 seconds in - in the trailer for Mindhorn, a recent film directed by Sean Foley (whom you'll see in the same scene). Not sure we can hope for an international release...

That is all for the moment. There is houskeeping to do (out-of-date sitemap!) and I will try to pull together any random stuff lying on the virtual desk. Let's look forward to a sighting at the Olivier Awards!
(23 March, thanks Lyn, Paula, Jude, Ngoc, Beth)


Greetings, Kenians! Happy 2017! The twentieth anniversary of the Compendium... which makes it quite the online archive.

We now have the hope that current articles which appear online will continue to be available in their original version "forever" (though the internet definition of forever is still unclear, despite the brilliant visionary Brewster Kahle), but you will find many articles on this site which originally only appeared in print or for which the online version has disappeared. I argue with myself about the need to "copy and format" current articles but ultimately always decide to err on the side of caution.

Similarly I wonder about why to do this at all, given search engines and the sheer wealth of information out there. And in the end it is that sheer wealth which seems the best reason. A Google search with kenneth branagh warm springs turns up almost 16,000 hits of the most varied nature. The same search on the Compendium calls up 60 items, primarily articles (plus a few ads that Google slips in with their free site search). You can cut to the chase, so to speak.

Long-winded way of saying the Compendium will continue. Big waves to Ngoc, the original creator of the site, and Cate, Virginia and Douglass, the original patrons!

And so to few bits of news: at the end of 2016 the Ken-Friends once again joined together to celebrate Kenneth's birthday with a donation of $4007 US to the The William & Frances Branagh Memorial Award at the Royal Aacademy of Dramatic Art (RADA). This award was established through the Ken-Friends in 2008 to support RADA students from Northern Ireland.

Since 1998 the Ken-Friends have have donated a grand total of $89,607 US to Kenneth Branagh's selected charities and organisations. You can read more here.

Just a couple of "new" articles: another review of the stage production of The Entertainer and another of the cinema presentation with lots of quotes from Ken.

And, finally for today, news that The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is bringing back its film festival:

The Shakespeare Film Festival is back in September 2017 with all new events and our short film competition Shakespeare Shorts: Crossing Borders (also known as Filming Shakespeare). We're delighted that our patron Sir Kenneth Branagh will be acting as a judge in this year's competition.

As well as our short film competition we will be screening two well-known films inspired by Shakespeare and offering a variety of workshops in the art of film making and animation in our Film Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon.

“I am pleased to be patron and judge of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Shakespeare Film Festival. The works of the world's greatest playwright have featured on the screen in many and varied ways. This new annual celebration of Shakespeare Film is not only a wonderful opportunity to look back at landmark productions, but also to nurture new film making talent and explore fresh ways of translating his work to the screen. I wish it every success.”

— SIR KENNETH BRANAGH, PATRON

Follow the links above to find out more about our Film Festival events, Shakespeare Shorts competition and festival partners.
That's it for today - more to come!
(24 January, Happy 90th to PL! Thanks, Jane)