Archive for May, 2014


Hospitality at War in Shakespeare’s *Troilus and Cressida* at Derrida Today

May 29, 2014

Roderick Mead (June 25, 1900 – 1971): Trojan Horse, ca. 1940s-1950s – color engraving, aquatint and soft ground etching on paper (Smithsonian)

Sophie Battell (Cardiff University) will be speaking at the Derrida Today conference in New York tomorrow.


Her paper is entitled “Hospitality at War in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida“.


Find out more here.


Garrick and Shakespeare Conference

May 29, 2014

Garrick and Shakespeare

Melanie Bigold, Rob Gossedge, and Irene Morra from Cardiff University will be speaking at the Garrick and Shakespeare conference in June. Find out more below:

Wednesday 25 June – Friday 27 June 2014

Venue: Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 1HL

Price: £95 (concessions) – £155 (full rate)

Speaker: Simon Callow, Michael Dobson, Norma Clarke and Peter Holland

The conference will include a lecture by Simon Callow CBE, a trip to Garrick’s Temple in Hampton, a performance by the Hampton Players of ‘The Celebrated Mr Garrick’ and the British premier screening of Simon Callow’s new film Miss in her Teens, based on David Garrick’s 1747 play of the same name.

Speakers include:

  • Prof Michael Dobson (Shakespeare Institute)
  • Prof Norma Clarke (Kingston University)
  • Prof Peter Holland (University of Notre Dame)

David Garrick’s Kingston connections date from 1754, when he bought the house beside the Thames known ever after as Garrick’s Villa, and built his Shakespeare Temple, where he would be famously painted by Zoffany. So, as part of the 2014 Kingston Connections programme of events, Kingston University and the Rose Theatre will jointly host an academic conference to celebrate the great Shakespearean actor and director and commemorate his legacy to the Royal Borough.

Actor, manager, playwright, versifier, Garrick excelled in many parts, and was possibly both the most praised and vilified cultural celebrity of his generation. Authors whose plays he rejected and performers he did not employ were not sparing in their attacks. “Garrick and Shakespeare” seeks therefore to focus on his achievements as a Shakespearean interpreter and impresario, and to re-examine Garrick’s controversial reputation.

View the full programme (PDF).

Booking is essential to attend this event.


Find out more here.




‘Shadowplay: Shakespeare Illustration and the Digital Archive’

May 21, 2014

Michael John Goodman (a postgraduate researcher at Cardiff University) will be presenting a paper in Norway on May 26th.

His paper is entitled:

‘Shadowplay: Shakespeare Illustration and the Digital Archive’

  The University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway


Forthcoming Shakespeare Productions in Wales

May 20, 2014

Here are just a few forthcoming productions in Wales, Summer 2014

Illyria will be touring Macbeth around Wales in August:

Everyman will be performing The Taming of the Shrew in Cardiff, 26 July – 2 August:


And there are also going to be several Shakespeare productions and workshops at the Willow Globe:


Find out more about forthcoming productions in the UK at Touchstone.



Kit Marlowe and the Demon Legion: The Adventures of Christopher Marlowe (Book 1)

May 15, 2014

Kit Marlowe and the Demon Legion

Darren Freebury-Jones (a PhD student at Cardiff University) has recently co-authored a fiction book entitled:

Kit Marlowe and the Demon Legion.

Christopher ‘Kit’ Marlowe, poet and spy, is sent to investigate the villainous Barnaby Ithamore, who intends to raise an army of demons from hell in order to destroy the world. In this pulse-pounding action/adventure story, the swashbuckling hero, armed with his trusty rapier, undergoes a breathless voyage across Elizabethan England, Spain, Italy and Germania, concluding in an explosive climax off the coast of Portugal… James Bond’s world of espionage meets the dark age of William Shakespeare in this unforgettable first book in The Adventures of Christopher Marlowe series.

Download the kindle edition from amazon here.


Cinema: RSC Live: Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 1

May 14, 2014


Release date

14th May 2014                  (Cardiff, 19.00, Cineworld)

Running Time

180 minutes


Gregory Doran


Antony Sher, Alex Hassell, Jasper Britton

Antony Sher plays comic knight Falstaff in a new production of Shakespeare’s compelling tale of power politics, broadcast live from the Bard’s home town. Having deposed Richard, King Henry IV (Jasper Britton) now faces trouble at home and abroad. His son and heir, Prince Hal (Alex Hassell), meanwhile, has forsaken the Royal Court for the life of a barfly and wastrel in Eastcheap. Down among the drunks, whores and petty criminals, Hal falls in with corrupt and portly knight Sir John Falstaff (Antony Sher). A liar, glutton, cheat and braggart, Falstaff is also witty, warm and enormous fun. But when disquiet turns to open rebellion, led by the Earl of Northumberland’s son Hotspur, it’s time for Hal to start acting like a prince. RSC Associate Artist Antony Sher returns to the company for his partner and frequent collaborator Gregory Doran’s eagerly anticipated production of the second of Shakespeare’s historical plays.


This and other instances of Shakespeare on screen are also available at Cardiff’s Chapter Cinema:


CFP: Subjecting Shakespeare to the Risks of Philosophy

May 12, 2014

“Hast any philosophy in thee?”: Subjecting Shakespeare to the Risks of Philosophy


Université de Poitiers, France  –  17-18 March 2016

Deadline for propoals: 15 June 2015

International Conference (in French and English languages):
Thursday 17th-Friday 18th MARCH 2016 – 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s Death
Co-organised by Pr. Pascale DROUET (Department of English Studies, University of Poitiers) and Pr. Philippe GROSOS (Department of Philosophy, University of Poitiers), under the auspices of research laboratories:
– FoReLL (Team B1 : « Poetics of Representation »), dir. Pr. Michel BRIAND
–  MAPP (« German metaphysics and practical philosophy »), dir. Pr. Bernard MABILLE
– With the participation of the Students from the Poitiers Conservatory of Drama, dir. Agnès DELUME: Voicing Shakespeare’s texts translated into French by Yves Bonnefoy,
– With the participation of French poet, essayist and translator Yves BONNEFOY: conference and roundtable.
– With the participation of Paul A. KOTTMAN, editor of Philosophers on Shakespeare : conference.Scientific Committee: William C. CARROLL (University of Boston), Hélène CIXOUS (CIPH – Collège international de philosophie – et CCEFEG – Centre d’Etudes Féminines et d’Etudes de Genre, Université de Paris 8), Pascale DROUET (Université de Poitiers), Philippe GROSOS (Université de Poitiers), Paul A. KOTTMAN (The New School, New York), Marie-Madeleine MARTINET (Université de Paris Sorbonne – Paris IV)

Although Shakespeare wasn’t a philosopher and in his work he showed little explicit interest in philosophy, whether ancient philosophy or in the thinkers of his time, his status in the philosophical world is decidedly different. Indeed, even if the reception of his work by philosophers wasn’t immediate, since the 19th century Shakespeare has attracted considerable attention, notably among major German philosophers such as Hegel, Nietzsche and Schelling. This fascination has continued into our age, to the extent that Jacques Derrida’s interest in the author of Hamlet has led to rich exchanges of ideas.
What do all these philosophers find in Shakespeare’s work, if not philosophy itself? It could certainly be argued, first of all, that behind all these important thinkers (and a great poet and playwright is an important thinker) lies an implicit philosophy. In this respect, to consider Shakespeare philosophically would involve a reappraisal of his philosophical assumptions regarding fundamental concepts, and an examination of his sense of modernity in the transition from the 16th to the 17th century.
Secondly, a philosophical approach to Shakespeare also takes seriously the description that he gave in his own work of the human condition, which embraces all of philosophical anthropology. In this regard, it involves not only studying Shakespeare in his time, but also in all time, in the hypothetical timelessness that he postulates.
Thus the role of the conference is threefold:

– a philosophical examination of Shakespeare’s thought as an example of the birth of modernity, in his critical and conflicting relation with an ancient world from which he irreversibly distances himself.
– an exploration of the reception of Shakespeare’s work within the philosophical tradition. Indeed, this tradition is so rich that one is obliged to acknowledge that philosophers recognized him as a thinker with whom they could engage. This reception has its own history, depending on whether philosophers have read Shakespeare’s work as poetry or drama – they have not found the same realities.
– a consideration of the fundamental concepts in Shakespeare’s work, notably the questions which, over the centuries, have exerted an ongoing fascination for philosophers.
Lastly, subjecting Shakespeare to the risks of philosophy involves rigorous conceptual interpretations, including, perhaps, reading more into his work than he would have intended. But isn’t that also a sign of the greatest thinkers, to be credited for more than they actually wrote? In the end, philosophizing about Shakespeare will also lead to a consideration of philosophy itself, with its pretention of putting into words and taking the risk to see what is always elusive and ever to be questioned. This is the dual requirement – the double risk – of this conference.



Early Modern Memory Conference

May 8, 2014

Rivetingly plausible … Greg Hicks as Leontes in The Winter’s Tale at the RSC Photograph: Tristram Kenton

Sophie Battell (Cardiff University) will be speaking at the Early Modern Memory Conference, Worcester University, 8-9 May.

Her paper is entitled:

“‘Flowers of Winter’: The dramatic animation of memory in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale

Find out more about the conference here.




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