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

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 Woman in the Moon, Edward’s Boys: Review by Leah Scragg

We are thankful to Leah Scragg for her review, here, of Edward's Boys' The Woman in the Moon (8-11 March 2018). You can read the director, Perry Mills, on the production elsewhere on our site, and we also have interviews with the cast. *** Edward’s Boys, under the direction of Perry Mills, might well be said to … Continue reading The Woman in the Moon, Edward’s Boys: Review by Leah Scragg

Losing the Plot: Audiences, Scraps of Performance, and Selective Participation

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

“Fly me to the moon!”

Edward's Boys' Director, Perry Mills, introduces their latest production, in collaboration with Before Shakespeare, John Lyly's The Woman in the Moon.  To read about Edward's Boys in rehearsal at our conference in August 2017, read Perry's companion piece on our site. Now that Autumn and even Winter have been and gone – although Back-Winter appears to … Continue reading “Fly me to the moon!”

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

Banishment as a Romance Convention in Early English Drama (c. 1581-1591)

We're very pleased to host this guest post from Alexander Thom exploring the trope of banishment in early commercial drama. *** Regarding Shakespeare, James Joyce once wrote, “the note of banishment, banishment from the heart, banishment from home, sounds uninterruptedly”.[1] Certainly, Shakespeare’s plays are littered with conspicuous instances of banishment and a number of his … Continue reading Banishment as a Romance Convention in Early English Drama (c. 1581-1591)

The Woman in the Moon: Interviews with the Cast

During rehearsals for James Wallace’s The Dolphin’s Back production of John Lyly’s The Woman in the Moon (Shakespeare's Globe, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse) back in August 2017, we had time to catch up with a few of the cast members and ask them how it felt to play gods, Nature, men, and women on the Sam Wanamaker stage … Continue reading The Woman in the Moon: Interviews with the Cast

The Sound of Lyly: Galatea Interview

We recently had a chance to interview Vicky Abbott, the musical lead on Emma Frankland's Galatea project, and we asked her what it was like writing music for a sixteenth-century play in a modern production.  We feature here some of Vicky's brilliant recordings (©Vicky Abbott) along with choreographed responses to songs that have been crucial … Continue reading The Sound of Lyly: Galatea Interview