Further to Andy’s post on story, this post asks questions about the nature and necessity of coherent “story”—and of audiences following “plot”—in early modern commercial dramatic performance. It does so by putting literary and archival material into conversation with archaeological discoveries, and as such I'm thankful to Heather Knight of MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) … Continue reading Losing the Plot: Audiences, Scraps of Performance, and Selective Participation
what’s the matter? This post follows up some of the points raised by Andy in his discussion of “story” and early modern theatre as part of his Performing Words series. Here, I suggest that the term “matter” might afford a more historically nuanced—and appropriate—vocabulary for thinking about the intersection of “story,” words, and performance. the … Continue reading Performing words #6: matter
It’s Friday, and we’re hurrying across London Bridge in the rain towards a part-carpeted Methodist Church in London’s Eastcheap: that Elizabethan-sounding nook somewhere loosely between Crutched Friars and Leadenhall (more Tudor echoes). We settle in to observe how woman was first created. Not Genesis 1:27 or 2:22, though. John Lyly’s Pandora. Again, sheltered from the … Continue reading The Woman in the Moon: In Conversation with Edward’s Boys
Last year I saw Dolphin's Back's Woman in the Moon; last night I saw Edward's Boy's Woman in the Moon. This is presumably the first time in history anyone has been able to see multiple Women in the Moons, and we're very grateful to both companies for sharing their work with us on this play. It's … Continue reading Women in the Moons
This post is part of a series on theatrical words. For an introduction to the series, see Performing words: introduction to a new thread on theatre and language. How much do we think about stories when we read, perform, produce, watch or study early modern plays? How aware are we of the decisions being made by … Continue reading Performing words #5: story
On Sunday, we, the Dolphin’s Back, and a room-full of participants were lucky enough to see the history of the Blackfriars and the First Playhouse brought to life on the very spot on which it once stood. Thanks to the Society of Apothecaries, London, we were able to stage the leases, drama, court quarrels, and … Continue reading The First Blackfriars: A Workshop Reflection
We've been talking about authorship and the way we study it so much on this blog that I've taken a moment to think aloud about where we've got to as a discipline. This post is unusually scholar-facing for me, both in the sense that it's about scholarship and it’s aimed at my colleagues, and it … Continue reading Authorship studies: where have we got to, and where are we going?
I had the enormous privilege of seeing Julius Caesar last night at London's newest theatre. It's one of the greatest Shakespeare productions I've ever seen: visceral, violently physical, exuberantly political but also jewelled with exquisite details. A few newspaper reviews have said that because the show is loud and frenetic it is therefore not terribly subtle. They … Continue reading ‘I do fear the people’: theatre and the problem with audiences
One of the best-known disputes in popular conversation around Shakespeare is the question of who wrote his work. After all, someone must have written it, so it stands to reason that we need to find out who that someone was, and buy them congratulatory cake. One of the foremost candidates for the authorship of Shakespeare's … Continue reading Did Oxford write Shakespeare?
Edward's Boys' Director, Perry Mills, introduces their latest production, in collaboration with Before Shakespeare, John Lyly's The Woman in the Moon. To read about Edward's Boys in rehearsal at our conference in August 2017, read Perry's companion piece on our site. Now that Autumn and even Winter have been and gone – although Back-Winter appears to … Continue reading “Fly me to the moon!”