Kingston Shakespeare Spring 2017 schedule

The Spring (and Summer) term has a lot of activity in store: continued playreadings, work-in-progress presentations, book talks, conferences and symposia at Garrick’s Temple.

Here is the schedule as it currently stands (amendations will be made as soon as possible):

All events take place at 18.30 in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre, Kingston,
unless otherwise stated.

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Per Sivefors:’Come, for England’: Politics, Cultural Exchange and the First Swedish Hamlet (1787), Feb 23


Gustav III

We are happy to welcome back our good friend Per Sivefors (Linnæus University) to share his work on Swedish Shakespeare under Gustavus III in the 18th century. His talk is entitled “‘Come, for England’: Politics, Cultural Exchange and the First Swedish Hamlet (1787)”. We are convening in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre, Kingston starting at 6.30pm on Thursday Feb 23. See also the event page on Facebook. The talk is free and open to everyone.


Per Sivefors

Per Sivefors is Associate Professor of English at Linnaeus University, Sweden, and currently a visiting scholar at the University of Sussex. He works on representations of manliness in Elizabethan satire, dream narratives, city culture and authorship. His latest book publication is the edited volume Urban Encounters: Experience and Representation in the Early Modern City (Pisa, 2013).

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Gary Taylor’s Cardenio: the UK premiere

Our collaborator Gerald Baker has been busy with an interesting production: Cardenio. Don’t miss it!

For more information on the play and Richmond Shakespeare Society see their webpages.

cardenio_imageGary Taylor’s reconstruction of Fletcher and Shakespeare’s lost play, The History of Cardenio, receives its first full staging in the UK next month, in a week-long run from 18th to 25th March at the Mary Wallace Theatre in Twickenham.

Taylor has worked on the script for many years, constantly honing and refining it in the light of new scholarly research as well as feedback from practical experience in readings and productions. Unlike other attempts to reconstruct the play, Taylor does not merely extend Double Falsehood, he has fully and imaginatively engaged with deep questions of the styles, themes and dramaturgy of both the original writers. His reconstruction has been built within very strict parameters. The result is a play that is passionate, romantic, challenging and comic. It invites the same kind of attention and questioning as an early modern play. It is without doubt both the most credible vision of the lost play and a lively theatrical experience.

The History of Cardenio has had no exposure in the UK, apart from a reading in 2011 in Globe Education’s Read Not Dead project and publication of a version of the script in 2013. That changes in March when the Richmond Shakespeare Society in association with Cutpurse presents the latest iteration of Gary Taylor’s work, with revisions made specially for this production taking into account very recent work (to be published in the NOS Critical Reference Edition) on the play’s linguistic strata.

Richmond Shakespeare Society has mounted at least two Shakespeare productions every year for over eight decades, both indoors and open air. It is the only non-professional group specializing in Shakespeare to have its own venue, the Mary Wallace Theatre by the Thames in central Twickenham. The play’s director, Gerald Baker, has staged many productions and readings of Shakespeare and early modern plays as well as work by Brenton, Marber and other contemporary writers. As both director and independent scholar he has been in dialogue for the last five years with Gary Taylor on the Cardenio project.

In addition to the run of the play, Taylor will participate in two events associated with it. On Wednesday, 15th March he will give a talk “Why Does Cardenio Matter?” at the Mary Wallace: it will be free but ticketed. Details are in the News section of the RSS website, And after the performance on Sunday 19th he will be taking a Q and A session with the Sunday audience—-tickets for Sunday cover this session too.

All the booking information is also in this PDF flyer: thoc-flyer

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KiSSiT: Shakespearean Anachronism programme (Feb 18)

shakespeare-and-anachronism-banner-editSHAKESPEAREAN ANACHRONISM

Saturday February 18, 2017

Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames


10.15 Welcome: Ildiko Solti

10.30 Plenary: Dr Erik Roraback (Charles University):
‘An Anachronistic Figure of Redemption: Modernity, Rhetoric, and Self-Identity of Shakespeare’s King Richard II

11.30: Coffee break

12.00: Stefanie Bauerochse: ‘“400 Jahre sterben. (d)over. //”: Directing as Research in Performance’

12.30: Dr Jessica Chiba (Royal Holloway):
‘“Eyes not yet created”: Shakespeare and the view from the future’

13.00: Sara Reimers (Royal Holloway):
‘“In time I may believe”: Gender politics, Anachronism, and Genre in contemporary stagings of The Taming of the Shrew

13.30: Lunch break

14.30: Prof Margaret Jones Davies (Sorbonne):
‘”0ne two three: time, time”: Anachronism in Cymbeline

15.00: Prof Per Sivefors (Linnæus University):
‘Anachronism as Aesthetic Device in Elizabethan Satire’

15.30: Prof Ken Pickering (Kent) and Dr Ildiko Solti (Kingston):
‘Stepping in the same river twice?:
Reproduction Elizabethan Playhouses: Gdansk and Staunton’

16:00: Pepe Pryke: ‘The Rose Playhouse, Bankside – The Past Present and Future’

16.30: Tea break

17.00 Plenary: Professor Tiffany Stern (Royal Holloway):
‘Performing at the Globe – in Shakespeare’s Time and Our Own’

18.00 – 18.30

Stefanie Bauerochse: V&A IX: as of today // working through the conference in real time

The whole day takes place in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre. No reservation required.

The conference is free and open to everyone!

Facebook event page

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Erik Roraback: The Philosophical Baroque, Feb 16


Our third guest for Spring 2017 is Dr Erik Roraback from Charles University, Prague. His talk is excitingly entitled ‘The Philosophical Baroque’ and it is based on his forthcoming book  The Philosophical Baroque: On Autopoietic Modernities.

Here is a description of his book (see also the publisher’s website or the book’s flyer [brill_-_the_philosophical_baroque_-_2016-10-14]):

In his pioneering study The Philosophical Baroque: On Autopoietic Modernities, Erik S. Roraback argues that modern culture, contemplated over its four-century history, resembles nothing so much as the pearl famously described, by periodizers of old, as irregular, barroco. Reframing modernity as a multi-century baroque, Roraback steeps texts by Shakespeare, Henry James, Joyce, and Pynchon in systems theory and the ideas of philosophers of language and culture from Leibniz to such dynamic contemporaries as Luhmann, Benjamin, Blanchot, Deleuze and Guattari, Lacan, and Žižek. The resulting brew, high in intellectual caffeine, will interest all who take an interest in cultural modernity—indeed, all who recognize that “modernity” was (and remains) a congeries of competing aesthetic, economic, historical, ideological, philosophical, and political energies.95366

As usual, we convene at the Gallery in the Rose Theatre, Kingston on Feb 16, starting at 6.30 pm. This session is free and open to anyone interested.

Erik S. Roraback was born in Seattle, USA, and teaches US literature and cinema, cultural-studies / Shakespeare, critical theory, and theoretical psychoanalysis in Charles University where he directs the program in U.S. Literature and Cultural-Studies; he also teaches international cinema in Prague’s Film and TV School, FAMU. Erik Roraback first taught in the University of Oxford, UK, where he earned a DPhil degree with Terry Eagleton (Oxford) and Maud Ellmann (Cambridge) as his thesis readers; he holds a BA degree from Pomona College, California, USA.

erik-roraback-profileErik Roraback has presented in fifteen countries, more than thirty stand-alone academic guest lectures, and an additional forty academic conference papers. He has published in five countries thirty-five scholarly articles and book chapters. Erik Roraback is also the author of a book, The Dialectics of Late Capital and Power: James, Balzac and Critical Theory (Cambridge Scholars, UK, 2007, 320 pp.) and of two forthcoming books (2017): The Philosophical Baroque: On Autopoietic Modernities (Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands, approx. 265 pp. + 3 illus.) and The Power of the Impossible: On Community and the Creative Life (IFF, Winchester, UK); currently, he is preparing a book project on movies for publication, Forms of Cinematic Capital: On Movement, Circulation, and Thought.

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Douglas Lanier: ‘Serialization, Social Media, Shakespeare’, Feb 9

The second session of 2017 features a distinguished guest from the US: professor Douglas Lanier (University of New Hampshire). In our seminar he will be giving a talk entitled ‘Vlogging the Bard:  Serialization, Social Media, Shakespeare’. We will convene at 6.30 pm on Thursday Feb 9, at the Gallery of the Rose Theatre, Kingston. As always the session is free and open to everyone interested.

douglas-lanier-profileDouglas Lanier is professor of English at the University of New Hampshire. His work focuses both on early modern English drama and poetry and on modern performances and adaptations of Shakespeare’s and other early modern dramatists’ works. His book, Shakespeare and Modern Popular Culture, was published by Oxford University Press in 2002. His articles have appeared in such journals as Shakespeare Quarterly, Shakespeare Survey, ELR, Studies in English Literature, Criticism, and Shakespeare Studies, and in such collections as The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Popular Culture, The Cambridge Companion to Literature on Screen, The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare, The Oxford Handbook of Thomas Middleton, Spectacular Shakespeare, Weyward Macbeth, Shakespeare and Genre, Shakespeare Beyond Doubt, and The Routledge Companion to Directors’ Shakespeare, among many others. He served as a trustee of the Shakespeare Association of America and currently serves on several editorial boards. His current projects include a book-length study of film adaptations of Othello, and a book on The Merchant of Venice in the Arden Shakespeare’s Language and Writing series.

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ESRA2017: Preliminary congress announcement

Shakespeare and European Theatrical Cultures: AnAtomizing Text and Stage

27 – 30 July 2017 at the University of Gdańsk and The Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre, Poland

This conference will convene Shakespeare scholars at a theatre that proudly stands in the place where English players regularly performed 400 years ago. This makes us ponder with renewed interest the relation between theatre and Shakespeare. The urge to do so may sound like a commonplace, but it comes to us enhanced by the fact that in the popular and learned imagination alike Shakespeare is inseparable from theatre while the theatre, for four centuries now, first in England, then on the continent (Europe) and eventually in the world, has been more and more strongly defined and shaped by Shakespeare. Shakespeare has become the theatrical icon, a constant point of reference, the litmus paper for the formal, technological and ideological development of the theatre, and for the impact of adaptation and appropriation on theatrical cultures. Shakespeare has served as one of the major sources for the development of European culture, both high and low. His presence permeates the fine shades and fissures of a multifarious European identity. His work has informed educational traditions, and, through forms of textual transmit such as translation and appropriation, has actively contributed to the process of building national distinctiveness. Shakespeare has been one of the master keys and, at the same time, a picklock granting easier access to the complex and challenging space of European and universal values.

Continue reading

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George Peele: Old Wives Tale (KiSS Playreading)

old-wives-tale-folioKiSS play readings this term feature Shakespeare’s writing partners. There’s wide acceptance that he sometimes wrote with other playmakers, but those partners’ work is often unknown land as far as theatregoers and readers are concerned.

On 26 th January KiSS reads The Old Wives Tale by George Peele. He was a collaborator in Shakespeare’s early years, and this solo work is from the same time. It’s a folk tale come to life (literally), with questing brothers, an abducted sister, a magic well, a ghost, and all manner of incredible happenings.

Do come and be part of this rare experience, in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre in Kingston, this Thursday at 6.30pm. Like all KiSS readings, this will be a cold table reading, with parts chosen or allocated on the night. You don’t need any previous knowledge or experience to join in.

Here is a link to a convenient modernized reading script: old-wives-tale-kiss-reading.


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KiSS: Derrida Reads Shakespeare with Chiara Alfano, Dec 8

The final Booktalk for this term is with Chiara Alfano (Kingston) where she will be discussing material from her upcoming book, under contract with Edinburgh University Press for their Critical Studies in Shakespeare and Philosophy series. The talk, and the book, is currently titled Derrida Reads Shakespeare. We will convene at our usual place in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre, Kingston on Dec 8 starting at 6.30pm. As always, it is free and open to everyone!


Here is an abstract for the session:

Derrida’s work on Shakespeare has attracted much criticism, even derision. Some critics wondered about the whereabouts of historical context, whilst others lamented that there was something “bloodless” about Derrida’s way of cutting up the bard’s words. Through an examination of “Aphorism Countertime,” amongst other of Derrida’s engagements with the plays, I will seek to vindicate his “contretemporal” approach and his seemingly irreverent dealings with Shakespeare’s words. I will also argue that Derrida’s singular understanding of “the body” or “blood” of a text represents a powerful and incisive criticism of a certain privileging of not merely “the human” but “humanity” which underlies many previous philosophical approaches to Shakespeare.

Dr Chiara Alfano is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Kingston University working on the representation of infancy in philosophical, psychoanalytical and literary texts in Britain since 1945. Previously, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) at the University of Edinburgh and a PhD student at Sussex, where she wrote her thesis on the way Stanley Cavell and Jacques Derrida read Shakespeare. She has published four peer-reviewed articles, three of them on Derrida, and is the co-editor, together with Professor Simon Morgan Wortham, of Desire in Ashes: Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, Philosophy (Bloomsbury, 2015). She is also reviews editor at The Oxford Literary Review.
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KiSSiT: Shakespeare and Anachronism CFP, Feb 18 2017

shakespeare-and-anachronism-banner-editKiSSiT: Shakespeare and Anachronism

The fourth KiSSiT one-day conference is entitled Shakespeare and Anachronism. It will be held at the Rose Theatre, Kingston on February 18, 2017.

Disclosing the potential for revolutionary transformation latent in divisive and oppressive realities by travelling imaginatively forwards in time and adopting a universal human standpoint is a fundamental strategy of Shakespeare’s plays and poetry. (Kiernan Ryan, Shakespeare’s Universality: Here’s Fine Revolution)

Performance and criticism of Shakespeare’s plays, and even the plays themselves, have always been anachronistic on a fundamental level. Since performance is always in the present, its creation of an impression of past events, or even of events in general, “as if for the first time,” can only be an illusion. Criticism, in contrast, by default after the event, and predominantly from an audience point of view, is a rationalisation of this illusion. Perhaps the arch-anachronist can be said to be Shakespeare himself – not only through his cheerful bending of history to his purposes but, more importantly, through using time in its many guises, as historical setting, internal structure and rhythm, to bend our perceptions to proposing counterintuitive possibilities.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Professor Tiffany Stern, Royal Holloway, University of London, renowned for having researched and written widely about the theatrical documents relating to Shakespeare and his contemporaries (and the 18th century), such as actors’ parts and plots, acting methods and playhouse architecture.
  • Dr Erik Roraback, Charles University in Prague, whose main interests include Shakespeare, critical theory (Spinoza/Leibniz/Benjamin/Adorno), theoretical psychoanalysis (Freud/Lacan/Zizek), Modernity and the philosophical aspects of the Baroque.

We look forward to paper proposals discussing various  aspects of Shakespearean drama, performance or theorisation, characterised by anachronistic aspects such as:
  1. Theorisation: Presentism vs ‘the levers of form’ (Kiernan Ryan)
  2. ‘The Globe phenomenon’: aspects of anachronism of Elizabethan/Jacobean working theatre reconstructions and their use – their cultural, institutional, artistic, etc.
  3. Theatre production: ‘updating’ vs ‘meshing’ of time periods (modernising today vs the Elizabethan use of ‘modern dress’); costume, set and possible performance/interpretative effects
  4. Thematic: purposeful anachronism as creative tool of playwrights’ composition
  5. Methodologies of reflection and analysis: ad hoc vs post hoc – practice-as-research in performance (PaR) vs discursive forms of criticism
  6. The relationship of the plays to their historical time as e.g. political interventions/anachronistic theatricalisation of politics and culture in Early Modern times (such as HenryVIII’s jousting)

Please submit abstracts and brief CVs by emailing the organizers at before January 30, 2017.

Organised by Ildiko Solti, Paul Hamilton, and Timo Uotinen.

For more information contact us via email ( or on Twitter and Facebook.

Shakespeare Seminar in Theory (KiSSiT) –  an offshoot of Kingston Shakespeare Seminar (KiSS), part of the London Graduate School, Kingston – is  a series of seminars and conferences for postgraduate students and early career scholars with an interest in Shakespeare, philosophy and theory. The program is committed to thinking through Shakespeare about urgent contemporary issues in dialogue with the work of past and present philosophers – from Aristotle to Žižek.
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