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
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
This has been the only full year of our two year research project, and we have been busy. This blog offers a summary of the year's blog activity, from furries to archives, from handwriting competitions to virgin sacrifice. And whatever else you do, do be sure to take our fabulous and not-in-any-way-difficult Christmas quiz. Our … Continue reading A slice of Christmas (b)log
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. It's nearly Christmas, and I'm writing to ask if there might be room for the inns in our accounts of early London playing spaces. When we think of … Continue reading Performing words #2: No room in the inns?
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. Do actors act? And what would it mean if they did? The current post concerns the word 'actor' and its surprisingly untheatrical history. It asks why and when … Continue reading Performing words #1: what is an actor?
This series of posts explores some of the issues raised in our first project publication, the Forum in Shakespeare Studies 45 (2017) devoted to 1580s drama. We are grateful to Diana Henderson and James Siemon for allowing us the opportunity to publish these essays in their journal. When we think of playhouses, or of theatres (or … Continue reading Performing words: introduction to a new thread on theatre and language
Who visited the Elizabethan playhouses? What did it mean to have non-English characters being played on stage? What does dramatic engagement with issues of immigration, identity, and belonging tell us about sixteenth-century theatre? Earlier this month we tackled these questions at a collaborative workshop hosted by TIDE project, Before Shakespeare and the Dolphin’s Back. This … Continue reading Audiences, Immigration and Belonging in Elizabethan Theatres: Putting the archive into performance
On the 19th November 2017, the TIDE project and Before Shakespeare are hosting a workshop exploring the diverse audiences of Elizabethan playhouses and their surrounding neighbourhoods, based at the University of Liverpool’s London campus, 33 Finsbury Square. Working with The Dolphin’s Back, we will be looking at a range of plays, archival documents, diaries, and … Continue reading Audiences, Immigration, and Belonging: Strangers in Finsbury
She’s got it, Yeah baby, she’s got it ---Shocking Blue For 1570s and 1580s theatregoers, love was all around. One of the defining characteristics of the earliest surviving commercial plays is the predominance of the character Venus or her allegorical equivalent, Love. “Theaters and curtaines Venus pallaces,” reads a marginal note in Philip Stubbes’s The … Continue reading Venus’s Palaces
Finished, it’s finished, nearly finished, it must be nearly finished. (Pause.) Grain upon grain, one by one, and one day, suddenly, there’s a heap, a little heap, the impossible heap. […] I love order. It’s my dream. A world where all would be silent and still, and each thing in its last place, under the … Continue reading ‘barren of all interpretative comment’