The Finale to The Adventures of Christopher Marlowe!

February 26, 2015

Posted on February 26, 2015 by

The final instalment in Darren Freebury-Jones’ The Adventures of Christopher Marlowe trilogy is now available on Amazon Kindle here.


The Engines of War have a new leader in Richard Bancroft, who sends a team of bloody assassins to Turkey in search of the Quill of Herodotus, an ancient artefact with the power to transcend time itself.

Christopher ‘Kit’ Marlowe travels to London to gain the aid of the famous playwright, William Shakespeare. Together they brave erupting volcanoes, tempests at sea, and the deadly machinations of the mercenary, Aaron Valdes, who has a unique way of butchering his victims…

Marlowe finds himself on the most violent, action-packed mission of his career. But in this instalment, will The Engines of War prove fatal for him?



Now Showing: A Midsummer Night’s Dream at WOW Bar, Cardiff

February 24, 2015


Set in the disco fever of the seventies, this revival of the comedy is fast-moving, and will get you grooving to the sounds of the summer boogie nights. Summer may seem a million miles away but this production will draw you into a dream world of warm summer days, and starry nights where the heady world of the nightclub can make any dream possible. Dazzling and daring, hilarious and vibrant, A Midsummer Night’s Dream offers a spectacular and inspiring interpretation of blind passion, unrequited love, mischief making and meddling. Experience a marriage of Shakespeare’s remarkable language to the disco beat!

Tickets £7 and £5 concessions.
Tickets for both venues are available from the St David’s Hall box office – 029 2087 8444.


A Year in Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor

February 5, 2015


“This is an odd play to come upon at this point, only three texts into my grand project to read all the works of Shakespeare in a year. In truth, it’s the closest Shakespeare ever came to writing the Renaissance equivalent of a spin-off TV show. The story goes that Queen Elizabeth I was so delighted with Shakespeare’s greatest comic creation, Sir John Falstaff, that when he stomped off the stage at the close of Henry IV Part 2, she demanded the playwright write a sequel, bringing the fat knight to England in the modern day and giving him a love story. In some accounts, she was so impatient she only gave him a fortnight to write the play. Wisely, Shakespeare did as the Queen bid him, but – perhaps wary of the possibility of having to write new episodes of The Falstaff Show until Kingdom Come – promptly killed Falstaff off at the beginning of Henry V. But all of that is a long way in the future – somewhere in June, when I’m out of the comedies and midway through the histories.

In search of an interesting edition to read the play in, I turned to the bookshelves in the postgraduate office, ever an interesting guide to people’s interests and research topics…”


Read more from Thomas Tyrrell (Cardiff University) here.



Act One’s Much Ado in Cardiff this week

February 2, 2015


Much Ado About Nothing

YMCA Theatre, Roath – Wed 04 Feb 2015 19:30 – Sat 07 Feb 2015 22:00

Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps!

Harvest time on a post- World War II farming estate sees the return of Don Pedro and his regiment to pick up the remnants left by their requisition posting. Home to Leonato, his beautiful daughter Hero and feisty niece Beatrice, the estate becomes the setting for one of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays.

Bursting at the seams with comedy, romance and even conflict, this stylish adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing brings the genius of Shakespeare to the run-down glamour and precarious patriarchy of the late 1940s. Amid laughter and tears, we find hope and despair.

Much Ado About Nothing: a surprisingly modern tale of women fighting for their place in a man’s world.

To purchase tickets follow this link:http://bit.ly/1bqxKxc

Please note non students should create a temporary guest account to purchase tickets.


Find out more here



Cardiff libraries: a Council dispossesses its people

January 28, 2015

Important blog post by Andrew Green on libraries in Cardiff:


“Cardiff is a thriving place. Big new developments are announced almost monthly. Recent ones include the new BBC Cymru Wales building near the station, the electrification of the Valleys railway lines and the massive Embankment complex. But while the Council pours resources into stimulating and supporting commercial growth, it leaves some of its basic public services to rot.

On Saturday 7 February, National Libraries Day, hundreds of people plan to converge on the Central Library in Cardiff for a ‘read in’, to protest against the Council’s intention to cease funding seven of the city’s libraries and further degrade the Central Library.

The branch libraries could close or be handed over to ‘the community’. They include some that are used by hundreds of people a week, like Whitchurch, a building I visited a couple of weeks ago (it was closed: Cardiff assumes people don’t read on Wednesdays). Cathays Library, one of the finest Carnegie library buildings in Britain, is to be handed over, to anyone, ‘community’ or private, who will take it, as a ‘café library’, presumably a standard Starbucks with a couple of bookshelves…”

Read the rest here.


CFP Shakespeare BritGrad 2015

January 21, 2015

britgrad_black4-6 June 2015

The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham

“We invite graduate students with interests in Shakespeare, Renaissance, and Early Modern Studies to join us in June for the Seventeenth Annual British Graduate Shakespeare Conference.

This interdisciplinary conference, celebrating its seventeenth anniversary in 2015, provides a friendly and stimulating academic forum in which graduate students from all over the world can present their research on Shakespeare, the Early Modern period, or the Renaissance. In accordance with the Shakespeare Institute’s emerging reputation as a place for creative criticism, we also encourage creative responses.  The conference takes place in an active centre of Shakespeare and Early Modern scholarship in Shakespeare’s home town, Stratford-upon-Avon. Undergraduate students in their final two years of study are also invited to attend the conference as auditors.

Plenary speakers include Chris Laoutaris (University of Birmingham), Laurie Maguire (University of Oxford), and Andy Kesson (University of Roehampton). See our blog for information on plenary speakers as they are confirmed. Delegates will also have the opportunity to attend the RSC production of Othello, directed by Iqbal Khan (Much Ado ’12), and starring Hugh Quarshie (Faust, Julius Caesar ’96) and Lucian Msamati (Pericles ’06) at a group-booking price. Lunch will be provided on each day, and we will be hosting a party and a reception for the delegates.

We invite abstracts of up to 200 words for papers twenty minutes in length on subjects relating to Shakespeare, Early Modern, and/or Renaissance studies. More creative forms of criticism, including original writing, may be submitted, also requiring a 200 word abstract.  We welcome papers from a wide variety of disciplines, from literature to art history and beyond.  Delegates wishing to give papers must register by 23 April 2015.  (Abstracts cannot be considered until the delegate has registered.)  Auditors are encouraged to register by 21 May 2015 for early-bird pricing. Due to the growing success of this annual conference, we strongly encourage early registration to ensure a place on the conference programme.

For more information, find us on Facebook, on Twitter, and at britgrad.wordpress.com, or email britgrad.conference@gmail.com.

[Download this CFP here.]”

Call for Papers.


A Year in Shakespeare: Two Gentlemen of Verona

January 20, 2015


“After reading The Tempest in the RSC’s modern edition of the First Folio, I decided to do something different with Two Gentlemen of Verona and read it in the oldest edition Cardiff University Library still kept on loan. After a few minutes browsing the dustiest and least regarded avenues of Shakespeare Criticism, I found myself holding a 122 year-old edition published in 1893 as part of the original Cambridge Shakespeare series.” – Thomas Tyrrell


Read more here:

A Year in Shakespeare: Two Gentlemen of Verona


Kingston Shakespeare Seminar (KiSS)

Kingston Shakespeare Seminar (KiSS)

Shakespeare in the City

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Pre-modern Perspectives

A blog about medieval and renaissance literature and modern culture.


I'm maintaining this blog in my time as Head of English, University of Exeter. It will reflect on matters relevant to colleagues and academics elsewhere, representing in part a continuation of my associate dean's blog (http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/adesblog/). All views are my own and not necessarily those of my employer, nor my department - Andrew McRae (http://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/english/staff/mcrae/; @McRaeAndrew).


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