In the last ten to fifteen years, popular centre has seen a wave of narratives – from Shakespeare in Love to Wolf Hall to Upstart Crow – which take as their setting a reconstructed version of early modern England. This panel session brings together two academics – both also creative writers – and an acclaimed historical novelist to discuss the kinds of choices authors make in presenting Shakespeare’s era to a modern audience, and the questions these projects raise about the cultural image, and the uses, of Renaissance history.
The KiSSiT Work-in-Progress seminar features Richard O’Brien leading a discussion with Hermione Eyre and Emma Whipday. We convene in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames, on Thursday October 12, 2017 starting at 6pm. This event is free and open to everyone!
About the speakers:
Hermione Eyre is a journalist (The Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, ES Magazine, Prospect, The Spectator, British Vogue) and former columnist for The Independent on Sunday. She read English Literature at Hertford College, Oxford, where her interest in the English Renaissance began. In 2014 Jonathan Cape published her historical novel Viper Wine, about the crypto-Catholic polymath Sir Kenelm Digby, and reconstructing the last months in the life of his wife Venetia Stanley, who was painted on her deathbed by Sir Antony Van Dyck on May 1st, 1632.
Emma Whipday is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at UCL, working on brothers and sisters on the early modern stage, and a Globe Education Lecturer at Shakespeare’s Globe. She is also a playwright: her play, Shakespeare’s Sister, is published by Samuel French, and was performed as part of the 2017 Actors’ Renaissance Season at the American Shakespeare Center. Her adaptation of Sense and Sensibility is on tour with the ASC and forthcoming from Samuel French. She’s an Associate Writer for Oxford theatre company Reverend Productions, and is currently working on a play on the Jacobean ‘Belvoir Castle witches’.
Richard O’Brien is a Teaching Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham, where he recently completed his PhD on Shakespeare and the development of verse drama – a project incorporating elements of creative practice. His article on fictional representations of Ben Jonson won the 2016 Ben Jonson Journal Discoveries Award, and he has presented conference papers on Renaissance fictions including the Broadway musical Something Rotten, the film Bill and the TV series Upstart Crow.