Archive for April, 2013


‘[Theatre], thy name is woman’: Theatrical Value and Power in Shakespeare

April 24, 2013

Johann Gregory (Cardiff University) will be giving a paper entitled “‘[Theatre], thy name is woman’: Theatrical Value and Power in Shakespeare” at the Deutsche Shakespeare-Gesellschaft Annual Conference, Munich, 26 – 28 April 2013.

Find out more about the conference here.

“The Deutsche Shakespeare-Gesellschaft (German Shakespeare Society) was founded in 1864. It is one of the oldest literary associations in Europe, if not the world, and has about 2,000 members. It promotes the investigation with William Shakespeare’s works, particularly in the German-speaking countires. In doing so, it co-operates closely with scholars, teachers and artists.”

Paper Abstract

Freud suggested that in The Merchant of Venice the caskets are “symbols of the essential of femininity, hence of woman herself”. Quoting this passage, Bourdieu noticed how in Flaubert’s A Sentimental Education a silver casket is transferred between three women: in the novel, he argues, the significance of the casket “involves a homologous social scheme as well, to wit, the opposition between art and money”. According to Bourdieu, the three women come to be associated with different literary fields. Thus, Mme Arnoux might represent high art, while “mercenary art, […] represented by bourgeois theatre [is] associated with the figure of Mme Dambreuse, and minor mercenary art, represented by vaudeville, cabaret or the serial novel, [is] evoked by Rosanette”. Flaubert’s novel invites its readers to reflect on artistic fields. Shakespeare’s work can also be seen in a similar light, and a comparable technique seems to be noticeable when women are associated with performance in the plays.

The character of the Fool is often read as a symbol of the theatre, but this paper briefly explores the theatrical symbolism of Portia in The Merchant of Venice, Cressida in Troilus and Cressida and Cordelia in King Lear. It argues that Shakespeare’s characterisation of these three women can be seen to foreground issues of theatrical value and currency: Portia’s characterisation invites the audience to reflect on the power of a (financed) theatre; the characterisation of Cressida negotiates the theme of the theatre as prostitution; and, in Cordelia, King Lear seems to bewail the apparent failure of theatre to communicate its value. The paper thus responds to critical thinking on the making of theatrical value (Paul Yachnin), fictions of cultural production (Patrick Cheney), and the question of Shakespeare’s autonomy (Stephen Greenblatt / Richard Wilson).

Portia in Film 1992


Laura Marlin Composes New Shakespeare Score

April 24, 2013


She has already won a Brit award and been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize twice. But singer-songwriter Laura Marling’s latest project marks a change of direction. She has composed the music for a new production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, which opens at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon on Wednesday evening.

“I got the real fear about doing this,” she told the BBC.

She said she was “daunted” when the Royal Shakespeare Company first approached her.

“I have no knowledge of theatre and I’d say not a huge knowledge of Shakespeare either.”

Find out more here.



Theatre Review Published: Troilus and Cressida, Co-presented by The Wooster Group and The Royal Shakespeare Company

April 21, 2013

A theatre review by Johann Gregory (Cardiff University) has been published in the current issue of Shakespeare Bulletin.

The theatre review covers the co-production of Troilus and Cressida performed in Stratford-Upon-Avon last summer.

If your institution subscribes to the journal, you can access it here.

Shakespeare Bulletin, a peer-reviewed journal of performance criticism and scholarship, provides commentary on Shakespeare and Renaissance drama through feature articles, theatre and film reviews, and book reviews. Begun in 1982 as the organ of the New York Shakespeare Society, in 1992 it incorporated Shakespeare on Film Newsletter, which began publication in 1976. Shakespeare Bulletin‘s theatre coverage serves as a record of production in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and throughout the world.


KiSS: Farah Karim-Cooper on The Taming of the Shrew

April 20, 2013

APRIL 25: 5.30pm: Rose Theatre





Find out more here.


To Live, To Love, To Be: @ShermanCymru in Cardiff, 17-20 April #Shakespeare

April 16, 2013

Shakespeare was a great wordsmith, with a voice both lyrical and penetrating. But he was also an incomparable observer, a man whose eyes and ears never missed a trick. So what were the voices he heard, the sights he saw? And how did they become the words and images we love so much?

This unique performance by a company drawn from across the community explores what thoughts, memories and imaginings may have shaped the man and his words. How different might those perceptions be when viewed through the lens of youth, success or death?

The company have created a work which blends beautiful imagery with down-to-earth storytelling and poetic humour.

Find out more here.


Macbeth Performance in Cardiff this Thursday (18th)

April 15, 2013

Macbeth Act OneMacbeth performance in Cardiff this week by Act One. The performance will be in Solus (Cardiff University’s Students’ Union) for one night only.


Shakespearean London Theatres at the V&A

April 12, 2013

  • What:
    Special Events
  • When:
    Tue 23 April 2013 – Sun 25 August 2013
  • Where:
    The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre

SPECIAL EVENT: Join us for a season of expert lectures on the rich theatrical culture of Shakespearean playhouses that spread across Tudor and Stuart London from 1567–1642.

Discover playhouses from the Theatre at Shoreditch and Bankside’s Rose to the spectacular rise of venues like the Globe, Fortune and Blackfriars.

Presented by Shakespearean London Theatres (ShaLT)

Launch event: Tuesday 23 April, 14.00-16.30
Sunday lectures: 28 April- 25 August, 15.00–16.30

£5 per lecture, booking essential
Book all 11 and receive a 20% discount

Book online or call 020 7942 2211

Click on the programme link for the complete list of events.

Find out more here.

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