I was pleased to come across Gregory Doran’s remarks about The Tempest, which will be staged at the RSC in the summer with a “digital” Ariel (/Aerial?).  Doran points out the influence of court spectacle on Shakespeare, noting that early modern “masques” were the multi-media events of their day, using innovative technology from the Continent to produce astonishing […]

I was really taken with this inscription in the opening pages of an early 20th-century copy of Herrick’s Hesperides, which I found tucked away in a second-hand bookshop in Rochester. It’s bound in wrinkled leather.  The dedication is dated 7th April 1914–roughly three and a half months before the outbreak of the First World War. Innocence […]

Richard III had a funeral procession earlier today, ahead of his reburial on Friday. Here’s a light-hearted poem I wrote after the discovery of his body inspired a million television programmes:   BALLAD OF RICHARD III I come back into this world Again scarce half-made-up, An archaeological secret unfurled In pixels on a laptop.   I won’t soliloquize, or […]

Staging Exeter: An Evening in the Guildhall The public engagement project I am working on alongside Anna-Marie Linnell and Nora Williams, funded by AHRC Catalyst Exeter, is now coming towards its final event–an exciting performance-cum-exhibition at Exeter’s historic Guildhall. Entry is free and it will be an innovative mix of immersive theatre and display. Click […]

Wouldn’t normally post CFPs here, but a friend of mine is organising an exciting conference at the University of Exeter in June on the performance and reception of classical drama in early modern England.  Details can be found here: https://earlyenglishdrama.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/reception-and-performance-of-classical-drama-in-early-modern-england/ 

Prologue: Introducing Staging Exeter

Teaching, marking, and working hard to draft an introduction and chapter have all come before blogging, so posts have been sparse. Recently, though, I and some colleagues have had some good news about a project we’re working on: Catalyst Exeter has provided money from their seed fund to fund a local dramatic research project! Staging […]

Leading up to the start of term, I have been preparing some materials for a class I will be teaching on early modern literature.  Although everybody takes notes when they are reading, I thought it might be interesting to follow the lead of others who teach early modern classes and encourage students to frame this […]

There are so many debates about the form of the printed playtext – what it represents, how close to the stage it is, where it comes from, to whom it can be ascribed.  Much criticism and theatre history was written in the twentieth century to re-situate  (or restore?) quarto and folio playtexts on the stages […]

Reflecting on his film Revengers Tragedy (2002), Alex Cox notes that Thomas Middleton is a strikingly “contemporary” dramatist: his concerns are our own, his language is distinctly “modern.”  Sean Foley and Phil Porter prove this to be true of Middleton’s sensational comedies as well as his sensational tragedies.  In their words, the play is “as […]