Archive for March, 2011


Fluellen Theatre Company

March 29, 2011


Peter Richards, the Artistic Director of Fluellen Theatre Company, a professional company based in Swansea and formed in 2000, has been in contact with Cardiff Shakespeare to give us a taster of things to come:

“You may be interested to learn that we will be staging a production of Cymbeline in October (it visits the Gate in Cardiff on October 13th) and we will be producing Othello in early 2012 (dates to be arranged). We are also staging a new play called Taffy Shakespeare a one-man show designed for Swansea-based comedian Kevin Johns which takes a wholly fictional (and, hopefully) very funny view of Shakespeare’s “ghost writer”. It opens in the Swansea Grand in August and we are now finalising tour dates.”

Find out more about the Fluellen Theatre  Company here.



World Shakespeare Congress 2011

March 28, 2011

“The Ninth World Shakespeare Congress in Prague will mark the next phase in a journey through four continents. Beginning in Vancouver, this international conference has travelled every five years since 1971 to share Shakespearean scholarship, performance, and pedagogy at another great site: Washington D.C., Stratford-upon-Avon, Berlin, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Valencia and Brisbane. The culturally rich city of Prague, a new setting for the Congress in central Europe, offers a wonderful opportunity to engage in dialogue about Shakespearean reception both here and throughout the world.”

For details of the 9th World Shakespeare Congress, visit their website here.

Prof. Richard Wilson from Cardiff University will be co-organising a seminar on Global Shakespeare:

22. Global Shakespeare

Richard Wilson (University of Cardiff, UK)
José Manuel González (University of Alicante, Spain)

The 2011 World Shakespeare Congress in Prague provides an apt opportunity to reconsider the implications of the name Shakespeare gave his own theatre. The 400th anniversary of the first recorded performance of The Tempest also offers an appropriate occasion to examine the ways in which Shakespeare’s plays and poems engage with an emerging global economy. His wordplay on “the great globe itself” suggests that Shakespeare was fully conscious of the potential of “this under globe” as a model for this first global moment of international and multilateral exchange, and intended his own writing to “compass the globe”. Yet his texts are haunted by anxieties about “th’affrighted globe” and “this distracted globe” that hint at awareness of the limitations of a “globe of sinful continents”. So, to what extent was Shakespeare invoking a world culture when he called his playhouse the Globe? What were the assumptions “hid behind the globe” when Shakespeare named his stage? After 400 years of translation and reproduction in “states unborn, and accents” then unknown, what are the limits to Shakespearean universality? How does the process of transformation of local or regional phenomena into global ones and the reduction and removal of barriers between national borders affect the appropriations and adaptations of Shakespeare to the different cultures and spaces? And how do we read and see Shakespeare texts as they travel across time to different places, especially in relation to the seminar transnational focus?

“Global Shakespeare” will aim to revisit these questions in the light of Jacques Derrida’s comment that these works offer a virtual ideal for a global community: “Here the example of Shakespeare is magnificent. Who demonstrates better that texts loaded with history offer themselves so well in contexts very different from their time and place of origin, not only in the European twentieth century, but in Japanese or Chinese transpositions?” But Derrida then asked, “Is it possible to gather under a single roof the apparently disordered plurivocity” of the world’s Shakespeare reproductions: “Is it possible to find a rule of cohabitation, it being understood this house will always be haunted by the meaning of the original?” Between these theoretical parameters, “Global Shakespeare” will therefore also aim to reflect on the tension between historicist and reception-based criticism in contemporary Shakespeare studies, and the extent of what Robert Weimann has called Shakespeare’s “commodious thresholds”.

Possible themes to be explored therefore include universality, translation, toleration, hospitality, trans-national performance, multinational cinematic adaptations, protectionism, cultural taboos, religious fundamentalism, the global dispersal of the playwright’s work via the internet, the imaginative and intellectual construct of “the great globe itself”, and the collapse of the global and the local into the “glocal”.

“Global Shakespeare” invites participants to address these topics or other issues relating to Shakespeare and globalization. The seminar would be initially based upon circulated research papers, but which would also introduce significant texts to enable a full discussion of the ways in which ‘Global Shakespeare’ is experienced and produced.



March 25, 2011


IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE BRITISH SHAKESPEARE ASSOCIATION KNOWN AND IMAGINED COMMUNITIES IN THE RENAISSANCE Saturday, July 16, 2011. AT UNIVERSITY OF STIRLING CALL FOR PAPERS I’th’ commonwealth I would by contraries Execute all things. For no kind of traffic Would I admit, no name of magistrate; Letters should not be known; riches, poverty And use of service, none; contract, succession, Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none; No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil; No occupation, all men idle, all; And women too – but innocent and pure; No sovereignty – ( The Tempest , 2.1.147-157) The debate about different kinds of society, both real and fictional, was intense and wide-ranging during the 16th century and into the 17th century. In addition to the two basic types of social formation that actually existed – absolute monarchy and republic – there were, from Sir Thomas More’s Utopia onwards, accounts of ‘fictional’ communities of the kind envisaged by Shakespeare’s Gonzalo in The Tempest. This symposium aims to address the various kinds of representation of actually existing communities, covering descriptions in texts such as Sir Thomas Smith’s De Republica Anglorum, Jean Bodin’s Six Books of the Commonwealth, or Fulk Greville’s A Treatise on Monarchy, and representations in Shakespeare’s Roman plays, and those of Jonson, and other early 17th century contemporaries, of the various stages and kinds of political formation from tyranny to empire; or in Shakespeare’s two Venetian plays, The Merchant of Venice and Othello, and Jonson’s Volpone, of republicanism. Questions such as: what binds a community together; how are its values formulated and transmitted; to what extent are these ties dependent upon ‘language’ and upon an ‘imagined’ collectivity of the kind proposed by commentators such as Benedict Anderson, will form part of the discussion. But the symposium will also consider ‘imagined’ communities in the fully fictional sense of the term and as exemplified in texts such as More’s Utopia but extended to early 17 th century writers of utopian fiction. For the purposes of the symposium the terminus ad quem will be the writings of Milton and Thomas Hobbes. Papers are invited for a one-day symposium on ‘Known and Imagined Communities in the Renaissance’, and proposals should be submitted to the following address by Monday 30 May, 2011; papers should be no longer than 15 mins. duration (10pp. double-spaced typed A4):

Professor J. Drakakis

Department of English Studies

University of Stirling

Stirling FK9 4LA





Paris conference: Shakespeare et les arts de la table

March 15, 2011

Johann Gregory (Cardiff University) will be heading to Paris tomorrow for the Congrès 2011 de la Société Française Shakespeare. The conference is focused on Shakespeare and the arts of the table.

Johann’s paper is entitled:

Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida:

viewing expectations as a matter of taste

W.R. Elton explains that Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida has “been estimated [to contain] twice as many images of food, cooking and related matters as in any other of its author’s works”. This may seem surprising, until we realise that the play utilises the language of food to create a poetics of expectation and taste. In the second act, Agamemnon says of Achilles:

all his virtues […]
Do in our eyes begin to lose their gloss,
Yea, like fair fruit in an unwholesome dish,
Are like to rot untasted.

The simile is part of a poetics that visualises spectatorship and expectation in culinary terms. Although Thersites’s performances are figured as a “cheese” to aid Achilles’ “digestion” that should be “served in to [his] table”, on the whole the drama is actually not consumed immediately by the audience. Rather, in a confusion of the senses, food becomes a visual metaphor for thinking an audience’s appetite for a play and other matters of taste. The audience is invited to watch Troilus and Cressida as a monster that eats up, in its mastic jaws, the notion of chivalry and “glorious deeds” that past versions of the story – in epic and romance – had been so keen to emphasise; it is these past traditions, the prologue promises, which “may be digested in a play”. The paper seeks to discover whether the play leaves us with “fragments, scraps, the bits, and greasy relics” of past literature, or if Shakespeare was cooking up something else.


Find out more about the conference here.



March 14, 2011

Roy Eriksen

(University of Agder at Kristiansand, Norway)


‘The Poem as Chapel:

The Phoenix and the Turtle

and the Shakespearean Baroque’


This Thursday at 5.15pm. Find out more here.


Shakespeare Workshop: hospitality and matters of taste

March 14, 2011

The Bean Eater, Annibale Carracci (1560-1609)

Coming Soon

Celtic Leaners Network (open day April 9th)

St David’s Hall, May 21st 2011, 10am-2pm

A workshop on Shakespeare: hospitality and matters of taste

“Come on, gentle my lord”, says Lady Macbeth to her husband, “Sleek o’er your rugged looks, be bright and jovial / Among your guests”. Like many of the bard’s works, Shakespeare’s Scottish play alerts us to the performative nature of hospitality, its ideals and potential dangers.

In this workshop we will examine the (troubled) art of hospitality in plays such as Macbeth, Twelfth Night and Troilus and Cressida, and the way that the early-modern printed book often played on the idea of the reader as a tasteful consumer.

Details to follow…


Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in Cardiff March 15-19th

March 11, 2011

More information here


CFP Shakespeare Inside-out: Depth/Surface/Meaning

March 10, 2011

5th Biennial British Shakespeare Association Conference



On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the BSA Events Committee, we are delighted to announce that the 5th Biennial British Shakespeare Association conference will take place at Lancaster University on 24th-26th February 2012. Building on the success of our previous conferences at King’s College, Warwick, Newcastle and De Monfort, this conference will provide an opportunity for Shakespeareans from a variety of backgrounds to come together and discuss their work. By moving the conference date to February, we are also able to celebrate the BSA’s 10th birthday. We very much look forward to working with Professor Alison Findlay and her team at the University of Lancaster on this major event for the British Shakespeare Association.


The title of the conference is Shakespeare Inside-out: Depth/Surface/Meaning. Shakespeare’s texts produce meaning by turning insides out. We are drawn into the plays and poems from the outside through surfaces: books, screens, words, objects, costumes, the surfaces of actors’ faces and bodies, retellings or adaptations, teaching spaces and theatres, and via our experiences of immediate effects like music, laughter, tears, movement. The texts, meanwhile, turn deep human questions, emotions, subjectivities outwards by projecting them as words and performance. This conference will ask how the relationship between surface and depth operates in Shakespeare’s work. How does it function in different types of performance practice from live theatre to film? In the traces of the past that have come down to us? And in our practices as teachers and critics? The conference will explore ‘the deep value of surfaces’ (Shusterman), the dynamic relationship between surface and depth across a range of practices: reading, watching, editing, teaching, performing.

The conference programme includes lectures, workshops, seminars and performances of Much Ado About Nothing at Lancaster Castle (and Love’s Labours’ Lost by Northern Broadsides). Speakers include Barrie Rutter (Northern Broadsides), Professor Jean E. Howard (Columbia University); and Professor R. S. White (Centre for Excellence for the Study of History of the Emotions, University of Western Australia).

Proposals for panels, papers, workshops or presentations on any aspect of the topic are welcomed from across the membership of the BSA by 1 October 2011 and can be emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
How do rituals and ceremonies in Shakespeare work as superficial orderings of emotion and violence?

Do Shakespeare’s texts offer ‘deeper’ rewritings of source texts or do the inter-textual relationships themselves deserve more in-depth study than they have received to date?

How do adaptations or retellings of Shakespeare act as gateways to and from the texts?

Does music in Shakespearean performances add depth or is it the ‘icing on the cake’?

How much deeper can we dig behind the fairly sparse documentation of early modern theatre practices – playing and watching?

Does learning about Shakespeare happen on an immediately-measurable level or at more intangible cognitive, affective and spiritual levels or both at once?

Is it possible (or even desirable) to quantify what goes on as the result of a performance, a film, a teaching session?


View the BSA website here.


Shakespeare Research Paper at UWIC

March 8, 2011

Johann Gregory (Cardiff University) will deliver a research paper tomorrow at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. The paper is entitled:

Being and Performing in Troilus and Cressida: “In faith, I lie”

This paper shies away from the overt promises the characters make in order to focus on the expression “in faith”, used most by Cressida in the play. It examines the way that this quasi-oath suggests both a subject who promises, and, at the same time, a figure who performs. It considers the way in which the strategy of having characters that promise suggests an interior psychology and intentions, before going on to suggest that this performance is caught awkwardly in the language of theatricality which is seemingly akin to feigning, falseness or protesting too much. In a second part it explores how promises on the stage and “in real life” are always caught to a degree in a language of performance which often represses the theatricality of the promise so that characters or people can mean what they say. Using Sartre’s notion of bad faith, this part explores the performative dimension of being and promises, showing how performing ourselves can be intrinsic to who we are, while at the same time, this performance is always in danger of being just an act.




Shakespeare: Sources and Adaptation

March 7, 2011

The conference programme is now available on their website:


9th – 11th September 2011 Cambridge University

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