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)
[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
On 21 July, we and MOLA, The Stage, and The Dolphin's Back will explore the history and future possibilities for the Curtain playhouse with a public audience at Hackney House. Tickets are available on Eventbrite. The Curtain is one of the earliest playhouses of the Elizabethan period, open by 1577, discovered in 2011, and excavated … Continue reading The Curtain Rises (21 July 2018)
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. See below for links to the full series. When … 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