What is a minor dramatist? or, three types of minority

One of the concerns of Before Shakespeare is the impact of the canon on contemporary performance, editorial practice and theatre history. Dramatists, like playhouses, are often divided, either explicitly or implicitly, into groups deemed major or minor. Over the next four weeks, we'll be publishing papers from the 2019 annual meeting of the Shakespeare Association … Continue reading What is a minor dramatist? or, three types of minority

It Was the Summer of ’79, at the Curtain Playhouse

It’s recently proved effective for critics and historians to conjure a thick cultural history by concentrating on one particular year (e.g. 1611; 1606…).  Even the arguably patchier nature of theatre history has lent itself to studies concentrated on a specific date: think, for instance, James Shapiro’s entertaining account of the Globe, 1599. Writing a Year-in-a-Playhouse … Continue reading It Was the Summer of ’79, at the Curtain Playhouse

Tudor Drama in Modern Performance

How might modern performance histories and theatrical experiments advance research on Tudor plays? On Friday 1stMarch at Newcastle University, an event on ‘Tudor Plays in Performance’ will address this question. Professor Jessica Winston will speak about Tudor drama and modern traditions of "partial" performance. The event will also involve a staged reading of little-known Tudor … Continue reading Tudor Drama in Modern Performance

Christmas, Newyeares tyde: A summary of works done and attendance given, 2018

The Elizabethan Office of the Revels begins an important section of its yearly account books headed "Christmas, Newyeares tyde, & Twelfetyde" with descriptions of "Woorkes doone & Attendaunce geven Abowte the new making, Translating, ffytting, ffurnishing, garnishing, setting owte & Taking in againe, Making cleane & safe bestowing of sundry kyndes of Apparell properties, ffurniture, & … Continue reading Christmas, Newyeares tyde: A summary of works done and attendance given, 2018

Engendering Before Shakespeare: Women and Early English Playhouse Ownership

This post also features on Engendering the Stage, a research project with which we are in dialogue that explores women, gender, and performance in early modern Europe.  Stay tuned for project blog posts from Engendering the Stage in the coming weeks! The crossovers between the research projects Before Shakespeare and Engendering the Stage were raised several … Continue reading Engendering Before Shakespeare: Women and Early English Playhouse Ownership

Performing words #8: playhouse

This week Sony have relaunched the original Playstation, a game console first released in 1994. The Playstation entered a busy market for such consoles, dominated by the Nintendo-Sega duopoly, a market the Playstation changed forever by its experiments with technology, storytelling and a potential new demographic for gaming. But the Playstation is important for our … Continue reading Performing words #8: playhouse

Resurrecting All Hallows and Reanimating Henry Walton

Callan Davies explores some work-in-progress for a paper at the Shakespeare Association of America conference next spring for the "Tudor Performance: Contexts, Traditions, Afterlives" seminar, convened by Jessica Winston. One of my favourite horror film tropes is when a beleaguered resident of an old house, stricken with fear, rushes to the local library to trawl through … Continue reading Resurrecting All Hallows and Reanimating Henry Walton

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