Up-coming events, Spring 2018

KiSS Spring 2018 editHere is a provisional programme for the Spring term. Sessions will be updated as soon as possible.

All events take place at the Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston-upon-Thames. Seminars commence at 18.30 and conferences at 10.00. Check back for updates!


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Yanis Varoufakis: Shake the Superflux, March 19




Yanis Varoufakis has emerged not only as an embattled finance minister and iconoclastic economist, but a life-long lover of Shakespeare. He called the Greek debt crisis ‘a Shakespearean tragedy’, reported that observing the European Union is ‘like watching Othello’, and compared the world’s leaders to Shylock and Macbeth. Those who sold out were ‘like Richard III’, or Lady Macbeth saying ‘What’s done cannot be undone’. His books are enlivened by Shakespeare quotations, like Lear’s cry to ‘shake the superflux’ of wealth. But in this surprise new lecture, which promises to be a performance worthy of the Bard, he will also discuss the power of these 400-year-old plays ‘to show the heavens more just’.

Tickets are £20 and you can book them here.

Organised by the Rose Theatre, Kingston University and Kingston Shakespeare.

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Infinite Jest poster pic

Registration is now open for




Saturday March 10 2018: 09.30 – 18.00  

Richard Burt (University of Florida)
‘Posthumous Shakespeare: The Mourning After’

Paul Franssen (Utrecht University)
‘The King’s Man’

Susanne Greenhalgh (Roehampton University)
‘Revivifying Shakespeare in the Era of Digital Broadcasting’

Lisa Hopkins (Sheffield Hallam University)
‘DI Hamlet and DS Macbeth: Quoting Shakespeare in Murder Mysteries’

Patricia Novillo-Corvalan (University of Kent)
‘Borges’s Shakespeare’

Richard O’Brien (University of Birmingham)
‘Stress Positions: Poetics and Politics in Contemporary Verse Drama’

Register for this free event at the Rose Theatre Kingston

24-26 High Street, Kingston-upon-Thames, KT1 1HL

Box Office (10.00 – 18.00) 020 8174 0090 / rosetheatrekingston.org

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Claudia Olk: “‘Winter without Journey’: Still lives in Shakespeare and Beckett”, Feb 15

Beckett ShakespeareOn Thursday February 15, 2018 Claudia Olk (Freie Universität Berlin) returns to discuss Shakespeare with Beckett with a talk entitled ‘Winter without Journey’: Still lives in Shakespeare and Beckett. Listen also her previous KiSS talk Beckett’s Shakespearean Echoes given in March 2015. The talk begins at 6.30 pm in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre, Kingston. The seminar is free and open to everyone!

Claudia Olk 2Claudia Olk is chair of English and Comparative Literature at the Peter Szondi Institute of Freie Universität Berlin and the President of the German Shakespeare Society. Her main fields of research are Medieval and Renaissance Literature as well as Modernism. Her publications include a monograph on the development of Fiction in Late Medieval and Renaissance travel narratives, and one on Virginia Woolf’s Aesthetics of Vision. She has edited volumes on Interiority in Literature and Art, on The idea of perfection in Medieval and Early Modern Literature and on Neoplatonism and Aesthetics and published articles on Medieval Drama, Shakespeare, Joyce and Beckett. Her edition of one of Virginia Woolf’s hitherto unpublished manuscripts was published in 2013 by the British Library. She currently holds a research fellowship at Exeter College, University of Oxford, working on a monograph on Shakespeare and Beckett.

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Ildiko Solti: “The lever of form” – Performance and Philosophy in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Feb 8

KiSSiT Shakespeare purpleOn Thursday February 8, 2018 Ildiko Solti (Kingston) will be continuing the dialogue with her late mentor, Geza Kallay, on the intersection of performance and philosophy with a talk entitled ‘”The lever of form” – Performance and Philosophy in Shakespeare’s Hamlet’. The seminar convenes in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre, Kingston starting at 6.30 pm. As always this event is free and open to everyone!

Abstract: Geza Kallay conceived of plays in performance as “mobile philosophy”, in a metaphor that aimed to capture the existential core of drama as well as the possibility of reflection in and through action, or movement. Performance Theory supports this view. However, philosophy and performance operate in different media (discursive and psychophysical), with a further, even more significant differentiation of “daily” and “extra-daily” organisation (to use Eugenio Barba’s term). This means that, in order to understand the relationship between philosophy and performance productively and with relevance, the difference of their processes and organisation (which Kiernan Ryan terms “the lever of form”) needs to be observed. Exploring this existentially expressive “lever of form” is the purpose of this seminar.

Ildiko Solti is an Honorary Shakespeare Research Fellow at Kingston University as well as an actor-director, researcher and lecturer. She trained in Dramatic Arts at Macalester College, St Paul, MN, USA. Having returned to Hungary, she obtained her MA at Eotvos Lorand University, and was Artistic Director of an English language theatre company, The Phoenix, in Budapest. In 1999 she moved to London where she has been teaching and conducting research and experiment in performance, focusing on Elizabethan/Jacobean working theatre reconstructions through the method of research through practice in performance (PaR). She holds a PhD from Middlesex University. Ildiko is currently working on a book on the catalytic role of the Globe Theatre project in performance theory, acting and Shakespeare Studies.

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Jean Howard: Playing History at the Rose

Jean Howard w KitWillJean Howard (Columbia University) gives the third plenary lecture at the Marlowe and Shakespeare conference that is titled Playing History at the Rose. The session is introduced and chaired by Alison Findlay.

This paper addresses what constitutes historical drama in the 1590s, as played at the Rose, and considers the theatrical conditions of possibility for its creation and stage effectiveness.

Jean HowardBio:
B.A. Brown (1970); M.Phil., University of London (Marshall Fellow 1972); Ph.D., Yale (Danforth Fellow 1975). Professor Howard began teaching at Syracuse in 1975, where she received the first University-wide Wasserstrom Prize for excellence as teacher and mentor of graduate students; she has also received Guggenheim, NEH, Mellon, Folger, Huntington, and Newberry Library  Fellowships. In 2010 she gave the Columbia University Schoff Memorial Lectures on ‘Staging History: Imagining the Nation’ on playwrights William Shakespeare, Tony Kushner, and Caryl Churchill. Prof. Howard is on the editorial board of Shakespeare Studies and Renaissance Drama. She has published essays on Shakespeare, Pope, Ford, Heywood, Dekker, Marston, and Jonson, as well as on aspects of contemporary critical theory including new historicism, Marxism, and issues in feminism. Her books include Shakespeare’s Art of Orchestration (1984); Shakespeare Reproduced: The Text in History and Ideology, edited with Marion O’Connor (1987); The Stage and Struggle in Early Modern England (1994); with Phyllis Rackin, Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare’s English Histories (1997); Marxist Shakespeares, edited with Scott Shershow (2000); and four generically organized Companions to Shakespeare, edited with Richard Dutton (2001). She is a co-editor of The Norton Shakespeare (2nd ed. 2007) and General Editor of the Bedford Contextual Editions of Shakespeare. A recent book, Theater of a City: The Places of London Comedy 1598-1642 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007), won the Barnard Hewitt award for Outstanding Theater History for 2008. She has just published, with Crystal Bartolovich, a monograph on Shakespeare and Marx in the Great Shakespeareans series for Continuum Press (2012) and is currently completing a book entitled Staging History that uses Shakespeare’s history plays as a starting point for considering Tony Kushner and Caryl Churchill’s use of history in framing debates about current political issues. A book on early modern tragedy is in the works. From 1996 to 1999 Professor Howard directed the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Columbia; in 1999-2000 she was President of the Shakespeare Association of America; from 2004-2007 she served as Columbia’s first Vice Provost for Diversity Initiatives; and from 2008-2011 she was Chair of the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Currently, as a Trustee Emerita of Brown University, she chairs the Brown University President’s Diversity Advisory Council and serves on the Advisory Board of the Pembroke Center; she is also a Senator of Phi Beta Kappa.

[Video to be added]

Recorded on November 17, 2017 at the Rose Theatre, Kingston. Audio recording by Anna Ilona Rajala and editing by Timo Uotinen.
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Frank Whately: Edward Alleyn and the Rose + Conference Introduction

Wilson O'Dowd Whately on stage

Richard WIlson and Robert O’Dowd listening to Frank Whately.

Robert O’Dowd opens the Marlowe and Shakespeare -conference held at the Rose Theatre, Kingston. He is followed by Richard Wilson introducing Frank Whately (Kingston) who is giving the opening plenary with a lecture entitled Edward Alleyn and the Rose.

The actor Edward Alleyn is associated always with Christopher Marlowe and with the Rose Theatre. Lauded though he was in his lifetime, it has been said he had a style characterised by “ranting” and “strutting”, even that he would “tear a passion to tatters.” Edward Alleyn and the Rose Theatre will consider Alleyn’s shifting reputation. How does the discovery in 1989 of the original Rose and the subsequent building of the Rose Theatre, Kingston, contribute to an understanding of Alleyn and performances in his theatre in the 1590s?

Frank WhatelyBio:
Frank Whately is currently the President of the Rose Theatre Council and was formerly the Founding Director of the Kingston Theatre Trust, Founding Head of School, Performance and Screen Studies, Kingston University as well as an Associate Writer and Director, National Youth Music Theatre. His publications include Actors’ Conversations at the Rose Theatres, Cahiers Élisabéthains, Volume 88 (SAGE, 2015), The Ragged Child (Josef Weinberger, 1987), and Pendragon (Josef Weinberger, 1997). He has also directed plays around world including The Ragged Child, Pendragon, and The Revenger’s Tragedy with were performed at the Rose Theatre, Kingston.

[Video to be added]

Recorded on November 17, 2017 at the Rose Theatre, Kingston. Audio recording and editing by Timo Uotinen.
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Edward Paleit, ‘Tamburlaine’s Succession’, Jan 25

Tamburlaine collage Edit.jpgThe first session of the KiSS 2018 Spring series features Edward Paleit (City, University of London) with a talk entitled ‘Tamburlaine’s Succession’. The seminar convenes on Thursday January 25 at the Gallery of Rose Theatre, Kingston starting at 6 pm. The talk is free and open to everyone!

This talk focuses on the tensions and contradictions in Marlowe’s dramatization of the death of Tamburlaine, and the succession of his son Amyras, at the end of Tamburlaine Part Two. It argues that Marlowe’s treatment reflects and illuminates problems in late sixteenth-century succession theory, but also exposes the faultlines in his own imagining of political authority in the Tamburlaine plays. That imagining is often held to be uniquely radical, but in fact similar faultlines can be found in analogous scenes of regal divestiture and transference in Dido Queen of Carthage and Edward II: they are fundamental aspects of Marlowe’s political imagination. The talk concludes by asking whether Marlowe genuinely possessed a ‘political metaphysics’; and if he did not, what the implications are for those who wish to compare him to Shakespeare or situate him in relation to contemporary and modern political ideologies.

Dr. Edward Paleit works on early modern English and European literature and political culture. His first book, War, Liberty and Caesar (2013) described the politics of the English reception of the Latin poet Lucan between c. 1580 and 1650; he is currently completing a monograph on Christopher Marlowe’s political imagination. He has recently joined City, University of London as director of their recently established BA English programme.

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John Barton, 1928 – 2018

John Barton directing RII in 1973

John Barton directing Richard II in 1973.

Kingston Shakespeare Seminar mourns John Barton, co-founder with Peter Hall of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and an inspiration to all at the Rose. John was given a standing ovation when he attended Trevor Nunn’s 2015 Rose production of The Wars of the Roses: the adaptation of Shakespeare’s first history cycle which he created with Peter at Stratford in 1963. Last year Kingston Shakespeare was honoured to be asked to present him with the lifetime achievement award of the British Shakespeare Association. The actor Andrew Jarvis received the award on his behalf, and spoke movingly about John Barton during the ceremony at the Rose on April 27:

Here you can find images of John Barton receiving his award. On hearing of the passing of this giant, Andrew Jarvis was reminded of the great line in Antony and Cleopatra:

The breaking of so great a thing should make a greater crack.

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New Year Message

Richard WIlson

Richard Wilson


Dear Colleagues.

I am writing with New Year greetings, and to thank you for your generous contributions to the Kingston Shakespeare Seminar in 2017. This was our fifth year of events at Garrick’s Temple and the Rose Theatre, and the most successful yet. With 6 international conferences, 18 seminars, and no less than 106 presentations, it has certainly been our busiest twelve months, and whether you have presented or chaired, the KiSS team is grateful to you all. We hope you will agree that, between the Theatre and the Temple, or performance and philosophy, the seminar has consolidated its reputation as a project that is distinct from anything offered elsewhere.

All KiSS events are open to the public, and most are free. So, it has been encouraging to see that the programme continues to attract enthusiastic attenders from across generations, and all walks of life. The series of readings of the Shakespeare Apocrypha has been a notable success. One of the highlights of 2017 was the Rose Shakespeare Birthday Lecture, given by Sir Stanley Wells with tremendous energy and panache. Many of the ideas he explored in his lecture on ‘The Genius of Shakespeare’ he debated with Sir Brian Vickers, Gary Taylor, Jean Howard, and others from across the globe, at our historic conference on ‘Marlowe and Shakespeare’. From this conference has sprung a new Association of Replica Theatres (ARTS), which the Rose will be convening in the spring. Our summer symposia on Shakespeare and Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche, with themed concerts, confirmed Garrick’s Temple as the ideal forum for the discussion of Shakespeare and modern philosophy; and Kingston Shakespeare in Theory – KiSSiT – has
continued to provide a vital platform for early career researchers, with conferences on
‘Shakespearean Anachronism’ and ‘Shakespeare and the Philosophical Turn’.

The year culminated in the appointment by Kingston University of five Shakespeare Fellows, who will form the nucleus of a permanent KiSS programme of publication and research. Gerald Baker, Sam Hall, Paul Hamilton, Christian Smith and Ildiko Solti constitute a formidable team of researchers, and they will join our Webmaster, Timo Uotinen, and Music Director, Chantal Schutz, in planning future events. We are looking forward to a packed programme of Thursday evening seminars in the Rose Gallery, and to spring conferences on ‘Infinite Jest: Shakespearean Afterlives’, Much Ado About Nothing (coinciding with a Rose production, and co-hosted with the British Shakespeare Association), and Richard II (with a studio performance, and co-hosted with Global Shakespeare / Queen Mary University). The Rose production of Don Carlos will be marked with a conference in the autumn on ‘Schiller and Shakespeare’. And we are thrilled to announce that the 2018 Rose Shakespeare Birthday Lecture will be given by the former Greek Finance Minister and life-long Shakespeare enthusiast Yanis Varoufakis.

2017 was also a year of sad farewells to Shakespeareans who, whether personally or indirectly, shaped the thinking of the Kingston Seminar. Michael Bogdanov was our keen supporter and an inspiring presenter. Five of us participated in the memorial service at Reykjavik University last month of our regular collaborator Martin Regal; and ‘The Philosophical Turn’ conference was dedicated to the memory of Géza Kállay, who influenced our performance theory. At this event we also marked the passing of Alan Sinfield. And, of course, we have been honoured to play our part in celebrating the founder of the Rose Theatre, and Chancellor of Kingston University, Sir Peter Hall, who we will be commemorating in the autumn, with an international conference on his life and legacy.

Thank you, once again, for taking part in this unfolding story. For making Kingston Shakespeare viable, particular thanks must go to our partners, Robert O’Dowd and Lesley Rowden, at the Rose, Rupert Nichol, at the Temple, and Lucy Williams, at Kingston University. We are looking forward to your future contributions, and to welcoming you back to the Temple and the Theatre.

With all good wishes for 2018,

Richard Wilson
Sir Peter Hall Professor of Shakespeare Studies
Kingston University

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