Rattling bloody facts; or, why Tamburlaine would make a rubbish boyfriend

I got to see Michael Boyd's production of Tamburlaine last night, a show that focuses as much on the plays' verse as it does on their violence. The production has the most extraordinary and urgent verse speaking I think I've ever heard: fast, fluent and often underscored by the band's rhythmical beat. This blog post is not … Continue reading Rattling bloody facts; or, why Tamburlaine would make a rubbish boyfriend

Before Shakespeare at The National Archives (The Theatre)

This post also appears on The National Archives blog. BOOK FOR OUR TALK AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES, 1 AUGUST, HERE Tucked away somewhere in the temperature-controlled archival store rooms of The National Archives is an equity suit in the Court of Exchequer that records a series of trespass complaints.  This suit seems unremarkable, if a little complex: … Continue reading Before Shakespeare at The National Archives (The Theatre)

The Curtain Rises: Post Match Report

On Saturday 21st, we enjoyed seeing the puffed-up knight Huanebango being struck down by a disembodied voice, entering a sixteenth-century smoking area, meeting the cosmopolitan neighbours of 1580s Shoreditch, and learning how to use a sword and buckler... Here at Before Shakespeare we’ve already hit the bar. Here is a love jug, a fear god … Continue reading The Curtain Rises: Post Match Report

PhD Studentship: Before Shakespeare

Department of English and Creative Writing, University of Roehampton, London A three-year, full-time Ph.D. studentship is available in connection with the AHRC-funded Before Shakespeare project. The project: Before Shakespearefocuses on the earliest years of the London playhouses (broadly conceived of as c. 1565-95), and investigates the literary, economic and entertainment experimentations associated with theatre-making at this … Continue reading PhD Studentship: Before Shakespeare

The Before Shakespeare Guide to [The] Theatre Etiquette

[Come and behave (well?) with these tips in mind at our upcoming event on the Curtain playhouse at hackney House on 21 July.] Just as writers in twenty-first century New York have opinions on how other people should behave in theatre spaces, so early modern London has its fair share of advice to spectators.  Whether … Continue reading The Before Shakespeare Guide to [The] Theatre Etiquette

Performing words #7: permanent

I'm afraid this blog post will seem especially pedantic and churlish, because it is about the unexpected embedding of a strange word in conversations about early modern theatre history: the word 'permanent'. Theatre history tends to distinguish between playhouses it considers permanent, and those it considers impermanent, despite the fact that no Elizabethan, Jacobean or … Continue reading Performing words #7: permanent

The Woman in the Moon, Edward’s Boys: Review by Leah Scragg

We are thankful to Leah Scragg for her review, here, of Edward's Boys' The Woman in the Moon (8-11 March 2018). You can read the director, Perry Mills, on the production elsewhere on our site, and we also have interviews with the cast. *** Edward’s Boys, under the direction of Perry Mills, might well be said to … Continue reading The Woman in the Moon, Edward’s Boys: Review by Leah Scragg

Losing the Plot: Audiences, Scraps of Performance, and Selective Participation

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