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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Richard Wilson on Cardenio at the RSS

The History of Cardenio

Richmond Shakespeare Society at the Mary Wallace Theatre, March 18 2017

Shakespeare and Cervantes both died on April 23 1616, and Borges was not the only other writer to fantasize that the dramatist and novelist were one and the same person… So, the scholar Gary Taylor has had the madcap conceit of reuniting the surviving bits of Shakespeare’s lost play Cardenio with Cervantes’s tale of Don Quixote, from which its plot is lifted. Putting the demented Knight of the Doleful Countenance into the play, as an academic driven bonkers by his theories, makes complete sense of its love-mad hero, and highlights the similarities with the stories of Falstaff, Hotspur, Hamlet and King Lear. In the manic new production by the Richmond Shakespeare Society, directed by Gerald Baker, this beguiling flight of fancy becomes a truly Quixotic extravaganza, where the performers are themselves so touched by their lunatic adventures that Cardenio can be indulged in his frenzy, the Don can be forgiven his delusion, and even Taylor’s scholarly hallucination can be humoured.

Richard Wilson
Sir Peter Hall Professor of Shakespeare Studies
Kingston University

Gerald Baker and Gary Taylor

Gerald Baker and Gary Taylor at the Mary Wallace Theatre. Taken by Richard Wilson at the opening night of The History of Cardenio, a Richmond Shakespeare Society production of Gary Taylor’s reconstruction of the 1612 play by Shakespeare and Fletcher directed by Gerald Baker.

Gerald Baker and the Bard

Gerald Baker pensively looking at the Bard.

The play is on until March 25. For booking see here. See also the KiSS excursion to the play on March 23.


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KiSS Cardenio Excursion, March 23

cardenio_imageInstead of the planned John Fletcher reading, Kingston Shakespeare will make an excursion to Cardenio, directed by our playreading collaborator Gerald Baker.

KiSS has arranged a special rate for members to attend Thursday’s (March 23) performance of The History of Cardenio, Gary Taylor’s reconstruction of the lost play by Shakespeare and Fletcher, the most authentic vision of the lost play. KiSS members can see the play for half price – £6 (including temporary membership of Richmond Shakespeare Society) – for that one night, cash on the door only. The venue is the Mary Wallace Theatre, The Embankment, Twickenham, TW1 3DU, and the play starts at 7.45pm. This opportunity replaces the advertised KiSS reading.

For more information on the play, see this earlier post.

See also Richard Wilson’s blurb for the play.

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Christian Smith on Shakespeare’s influence on Marx

Karl Marx SketchAs a primer to our forthcoming symposium on Shakespeare and Marx in June (also for the up-coming Shakespeare and Hegel event) have a look at the work of our friend Christian Smith. He has recently published an article on the Shakespearean influence on Marx: Verdammt Metall’: Marx’s use of Shakespeare in his Critique of Exchange-value. Furthermore, below are two of his interviews with David McLellan and Jonathan Bate about the same topic (also Freud).

Christian Smith is currently in Berlin writing his monograph on Shakespeare and Marx, where he has also set up a body work practice (with Annie Barker), the Shakespearingly named Forest of Arden Healing Arts. For more videos and info see his research page.

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Symposium: Futures of Political Theology, June 2

Futures of Political Theology

Nomos / Demos / Pseudos

Political theology

An International Symposium

2 June 2017 – Room PRJG0003 (Kingston University)

Speakers: Arthur Bradley [Lancaster] | Ward Blanton [Kent] | Howard Caygill [Kingston] | Antonio Cerella [Kingston] | Mick Dillon [Lancaster] | Dario Gentili [Rome 3] | Yvonne Sherwood [Kent] | Elettra Stimilli [SNS] | Richard Wilson [Kingston]

Symposium Description

Upon the occasion of some strange or deformed birth, it shall not be decided by Aristotle, or the philosophers, whether the same be a man or no, but by the laws.
–Thomas Hobbes, The Elements of Law Natural and Politic

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?  –W.B. Yeats, ‘The Second Coming’

What – strange, deformed, beastly – species of political order is struggling to be born today? To be sure, political praxis and theory has sought to narrate the history of the contemporary from the financial crash of 2008 to the election of Donald Trump in 2016 in many different and competing ways. In the early 21st century, we are said to be witnessing everything from the death of liberalism, globalization and internationalism to the birth of a new extreme populism, protectionism and isolationism – all presided over by a new kind of Demogorgon (people-monster).

Yet, what arguably makes our current crisis so difficult to name is that it is not merely a political crisis but a crisis of the political – of the particular triangulation between truth, authority and representation that has dominated politics since the early modern period. If we are experiencing a new set of constitutional crises in Europe, America and elsewhere – between executive, legislature and judiciary, between national and transnational sovereignty and more widely between representative and direct democracy – it is perhaps because they reflect a larger and more profound political dissensus about who or what – if anyone – has the authority to decide upon truth. In this sense, contemporary media controversies – ‘truthiness’, ‘fake news’, ‘alternative facts’ – are merely a symptom of a much deeper political ontological pathology where nomos, demos and pseudos meet and clash.

This international symposium gathers together a group of distinguished interdisciplinary scholars – including philosophers, political theorists, theologians and cultural critics – to explore not simply the future of political theology but the political theology of the future. What can the conceptual resources of political theology – the messianic, the apocalyptic, the eschatological and so on – contribute to a re-thinking of the future? How might political theology intervene in, and re-imagine, our contemporary crises of truth, authority, representation, economy, populism and so on? What might a political theology of the 21stcentury look like?


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Summer Workshop: Performing Restoration Shakespeare




The AHRC-funded project ‘Performing Restoration Shakespeare’ (2017-2020) invites applications from UK and EU researchers (including PhD students in their second year or beyond) to participate in a scholar-artist workshop at Shakespeare’s Globe in July 2017. For this collaborative and practice-based event, we seek to recruit 10 researchers drawn from the disciplines of theatre history, musicology and Shakespeare studies. Selected participants will receive accommodation in London for 3 nights, subsistence, and up to £120 for travel expenses.

The selected researchers will work with performing artists (actors, instrumentalists, singers) in a 4-day workshop on Restoration versions of The Tempest, to be held in the Globe’s rehearsal space and in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse from 10-13 July 2017. The sessions in the Wanamaker will be open to the public.

Through a combination of archival study and reflective creative practice, we will investigate how Restoration Shakespeare can be performed today in a way that understands the historical context of this distinctive performance genre and then uses that understanding to create meaningful performances for contemporary audiences. This workshop offers a unique opportunity for collaboration with researchers from cognate disciplines, performing artists in theatre and music, Globe staff, and the general public. Additionally, the workshop offers the potential for publication in an edited volume arising from the project as a whole.

‘Performing Restoration Shakespeare’ is jointly led by theatre historian Richard Schoch (Queen’s University Belfast) and musicologist Amanda Eubanks Winkler (Syracuse University). Our partners are Shakespeare’s Globe, the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

To apply for a place in the workshop, please email a brief CV (2-3pp) and a 500-word statement of interest to Dr Claude Fretz, Research Fellow (Queen’s University Belfast) by April 1st 2017. In your statement of interest please explain how you would contribute to the workshop and how participating in the workshop would benefit your research. For further information, please contact Dr Claude Fretz. We expect to notify all applicants of the outcome by April 15th 2017.

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Stuart Elden: Shakespeare and Philosophy, March 16

Big BackgroundWe are delighted to have Professor Stuart Elden give a talk at KiSS. His talk is on the central topic of Kingston Shakespeare, namely Shakespeare and philosophy, with a lecture entitled ‘Measuring Territories: The Techniques of Rule’. This session convenes on March 16, at our usual space in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre, Kingston. We begin at 6.30 pm. It is free and open to everyone. See also the Facebook event page!

Stuart Elden FBA is one of the foremost contemporary thinkers working at the intersection of politics, philosophy and geography. He is also an acute reader of Shakespeare, who brings brilliant analytic skills to the interpretation of the plays.

A Professor of Political Theory and Geography at the University of Warwick, in addition he holds an adjunct appointment as a Monash Warwick Professor in the Faculty of Arts at Monash University, Australia.

Stuart Elden profileIn 2014 Elden’s The Birth of Territory was awarded the Association of American Geographers Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work in Geography, and was joint winner of the inaugural Global Discourse book award. In 2011 he received the Royal Geographical Society Murchison Award for work judged to contribute most to geographical science in preceding years for ‘publications in political geography’. In 2010 his book Terror and Territory: The Spatial Extent of Sovereignty won the Association of American Geographers Globe Book Award for Public Understanding of Geography and the Political Geography Specialty Group Julian Minghi Outstanding Research Award. He has just published an extraordinary duo of volumes on Michel Foucault’s years at Collège de France: Foucault’s Last Decade and Foucault: The Birth of Power. He is now beginning work on the very early Foucault of the 1950s. You can read more about these books and Stuart Elden’s research on his blog Progressive Geographies and on

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Shakespeare and Hegel (Kingston Shakespeare at the Temple), Apr 1






10.00: Jennifer Bates (Duquesne University):
‘Hegel and Shakespeare on the Measure for Measure: The Hangman’s Mystery’

11.00: Coffee

11.30: Simon Haines (Hong Kong University):
‘Hegel and The Merchant of Venice

12.15: Howard Caygill (Kingston University):
‘Hegel, Macbeth and the Causality of Fate’

13.00: Lunch (Bell Inn, Hampton)

14.00: Paul Kottman (New School, New York):
‘Hegel and Shakespeare on the Pastness of Art’

14.45: Erik Roraback (Charles University, Prague):
‘Hegel, Shakespeare, and Forms of the World Spirit’

15.30: Tea

16.30: Ewan Fernie (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham):
‘Shakespeare, Hegel — and Garrick?’

17.30: Round Table Discussion

19.30: Chamber Concert: ‘The Music of the World Spirit’

The registration fee is £20, which covers a sandwich lunch at the Bell Inn, plus coffee and tea. The charge for the concert will be an additional £12. All proceeds go to support the Temple. See here for directions to the Temple. Places are limited. See also Facebook page.

Book tickets here at Eventbrite!

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Stanley Wells: Genius of Shakespeare, April 27



Thursday April 27: 19.00 Rose Theatre Gallery




Sir Stanley Wells is Britain’s preeminent Shakespeare scholar and one of the world’s leading experts on the Elizabethan stage. His many bestselling books on the Bard include Shakespeare, Sex and Love, Shakespeare & Co. and Shakespeare For All Time. He is the General Editor of both the Oxford and the Penguin Shakespeare editions, and President of Stratford’s Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Sir Stanley is also one of the best-loved lecturers on TV and radio and at literary festivals, and his 2017 Rose Theatre Birthday Lecture is certain to be a spell-binding display of all his talents as a Shakespeare interpreter, raconteur and performer.


This event is free and open to all, but seats are limited.

Register at:

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KiSSiT WiP: Verse Drama with Irene Morra, Peter Oswald & Richard O’Brien

chandos-editThe first KiSSiT Work-in-Progress session of this Spring features three great speakers – Irene Morra, Peter Oswald and Richard O’Brien – who will be discussing Shakespeare and Verse Drama. The session will be held on March 9 in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre, Kingston. We will begin at 6.30 pm. The seminar is free and open to everyone!

Irene Morra is currently Reader in English Literature at Cardiff University. She is co-editor of The New Elizabethan Age: Culture, Society and National Identity after World War II (2016) and author of Twentieth-Century British Authors and the Rise of Opera in Britain (2007); Britishness, Popular Music and National Identity: The Making of Modern Britain (2014)and Verse Drama in England, 1900-2015: Art, Modernity, and the National Stage (2016).

Peter Oswald is a poet, playwright and performer. He was Writer in Residence at Shakespeare’s Globe from 1998 to 2009. His plays, in verse, have been performed there, at the National Theatre, the Almeida, Birmingham Rep, in the West End, on Broadway and around the world. THE GOLDEN ASS, at the Globe (2002) starring Mark Rylance, formed part of the season that won the Evening Standard Award for Best Season. Phyllida Lloyd’s production of his version of Schiller’s MARY STUART won the South Bank Award. His plays are published by Oberon Books. They also publish his long poem WEYLAND, which he has performed at the Ledbury Festival. Peter received a Society of Authors travelling scholarship in 2016, and lives with his wife Alice and three children in Devon.

Richard O’Brien is a third-year PhD candidate at the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute, working towards a thesis on Shakespeare and the development of verse drama which incorporates elements of creative practice. He is the co-author, with Hester Bradley, of a chapter in the forthcoming Arden Shakespeare volume New Places: Shakespeare and Civic Creativity, and a winner of the Ben Jonson Journal’s 2016 ‘Discoveries’ award for an article on fictional representations of Jonson. In 2015, he chaired the British Graduate Shakespeare Conference. His verse play, Free for All, debuted in 2015 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and went on to tour the Midlands. His first play for children, an adaptation of The Selfish Giant, was performed at the Arcola Theatre in 2016.

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Thomas Middleton: A Trick To Catch The Old One (KiSS Playreading)

tcoo2Shakespeare’s Writing Partners: A Trick To Catch The Old One is the second in this series. It’s from the very varied and successful work of Thomas Middleton, who’s been dubbed ‘our other Shakespeare.’ It’s a comedy, but not of the romantic kind: rather, a sharp-edged brittle comedy pitting young against old, a cash-strapped nephew against a money-laden uncle while at the same time young Witgood is trying to find his former lover a proper place in the world. There’s disguise, there’s fraud, there’s chasing, all in the coolly-observed streets and taverns of London at the beginning of the 1600s.

Middleton is now recognized as Shakespeare’s partner in writing Timon of Athens, and Trick shows why he was brought on board. There’s the same light, fluent, rapid satire of the urban moneyed that you get with Timon’s creditors and false friends. A Trick To Catch The Old One is one of our greatest playmakers emerging into his full strength.

As always, the reading is a cold table reading. You just turn up, choose a role or have one handed to you, and then we read through from start to finish. You don’t need any experience or prior knowledge.

Here’s a link to a prepared reading script: a-trick-to-catch-the-old-one

If you can’t print it yourself, there will be a few copies at the reading.

If you have an e-reader you might like to read the play in the Delphi Classics Middleton e-book—–all 32 of his plays in one package for £2.41. There are a couple of good selections of his work in Oxford World’s Classics (Trick is in A Mad World My Masters and Other Plays) and Penguin includes Trick in Five Plays by Middleton. And if you go on a real Middleton jag, the Oxford Collected Works remarkable for content, presentation and level of support it gives someone beginning Middleton.

The KiSS reading of A Trick To Catch The Old One is on Thursday, 2nd March at 6.30pm in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre at Kingston.

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