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
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
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
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
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
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. How much do we think about stories when we read, perform, produce, watch or study early modern plays? How aware are we of the decisions being made by … Continue reading Performing words #5: story
We've been talking about authorship and the way we study it so much on this blog that I've taken a moment to think aloud about where we've got to as a discipline. This post is unusually scholar-facing for me, both in the sense that it's about scholarship and it’s aimed at my colleagues, and it … Continue reading Authorship studies: where have we got to, and where are we going?
I had the enormous privilege of seeing Julius Caesar last night at London's newest theatre. It's one of the greatest Shakespeare productions I've ever seen: visceral, violently physical, exuberantly political but also jewelled with exquisite details. A few newspaper reviews have said that because the show is loud and frenetic it is therefore not terribly subtle. They … Continue reading ‘I do fear the people’: theatre and the problem with audiences
One of the best-known disputes in popular conversation around Shakespeare is the question of who wrote his work. After all, someone must have written it, so it stands to reason that we need to find out who that someone was, and buy them congratulatory cake. One of the foremost candidates for the authorship of Shakespeare's … Continue reading Did Oxford write Shakespeare?
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. A short post from me today, but I hope an engaging and topical one as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the right to vote for some women … Continue reading Performing words #4: gender