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

Resurrecting All Hallows and Reanimating Henry Walton

Callan Davies explores some work-in-progress for a paper at the Shakespeare Association of America conference next spring for the "Tudor Performance: Contexts, Traditions, Afterlives" seminar, convened by Jessica Winston. One of my favourite horror film tropes is when a beleaguered resident of an old house, stricken with fear, rushes to the local library to trawl through … Continue reading Resurrecting All Hallows and Reanimating Henry Walton

The Before Shakespeare Guide to [The] Theatre Etiquette

[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

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

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)

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

CONFERENCE Panel: Theatre History 3: Metre and Repertory

by Romola Nuttall Disclaimer: this post will be a grossly incomplete summary of a tremendously rich and engaging panel "Metre and Repertory", which was so full of fascinating facts and questions that I cannot do them justice here. Robert Stagg's 'Metre before Shakespeare', contested prevailing orthodoxy of Shakespeare as creator and chief innovator of blank … Continue reading CONFERENCE Panel: Theatre History 3: Metre and Repertory

CONFERENCE Panel: Theatre History 1: Texts and Places

by Kim Gilchrist The first panel of Before Shakespeare kicked off with four fantastic papers that set the tone and the agenda perfectly by opening up underexplored yet fundamental areas of the sixteenth-century performance industries. Tracey Hill’s paper, “The Theatrical City Revisited,” presented what Hill described as a “revisionist account of the role of the … Continue reading CONFERENCE Panel: Theatre History 1: Texts and Places