Ruff Play with Shakespeare: combat, gender and entertainment

Wrestling Resurgence, @RobBrazierPhoto To book, please click here. Before Shakespeare and Engendering the Stage are delighted to announce our next performance workshop, focusing on combat as entertainment—in both Shakespeare’s time and today. Combat, acrobatics and feats of strength were everywhere in the early modern period: wrestling happened on the streets, in the countryside and in plays … Continue reading Ruff Play with Shakespeare: combat, gender and entertainment

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

The First Blackfriars Playhouse 1576-84: Ownership, Repertoire, Audience

On the 18th February, Before Shakespeare and The Dolphin's Back will return Elizabethan drama to the site of the First (and Second) Blackfriars Playhouse(s).  We are hosting a workshop in the Apothecaries' Hall, built on what was formerly part of the Blackfriars complex that housed the two different playhouses (where we'll focus on the First … Continue reading The First Blackfriars Playhouse 1576-84: Ownership, Repertoire, Audience

Audiences, Immigration and Belonging in Elizabethan Theatres: Putting the archive into performance

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

Audiences, Immigration, and Belonging: Strangers in Finsbury

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

Relearning how to learn: potential ideas for scholarly debate

  We've just finished our four-day Before Shakespeare conference, and this blog post is an attempt to report back to the profession more generally about the things that worked or didn't work in the way we ran the event. That will easily feel presumptuous to lots of people, but I guess I've realised our profession … Continue reading Relearning how to learn: potential ideas for scholarly debate

CONFERENCE RESPONSE: Reflections on the Before Shakespeare conference by Stephen Purcell

Theatre history is not so much about establishing fact as it is about embracing uncertainty, a dialogue between competing and sometimes complementary narratives. That seemed to be the guiding principle of this stimulating and exhilarating conference, and one of the central arguments of Bill Ingram’s generous and provocative opening keynote. Indeed, the conference had clearly … Continue reading CONFERENCE RESPONSE: Reflections on the Before Shakespeare conference by Stephen Purcell