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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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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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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KiRSE Playreadings Spring 2018

Playreading Spring 2018 editContinuing our ‘To Lose No Drop’ -theme from the Autumn we (KiRSE, that is) are reading later additions to the Shakespearean canon. The dates and plays are:

  • 1st February: Edward III, the ancestor of all the main characters in the later history plays, in love and war: also featuring the Black Prince, the battle of Crecy and the Six Burghers of Calais
  • 22nd February: Double Falsehood, the 18th century adaptation that has to be the starting point for any attempt to reconstruct the lost Cardenio coupled with the additions to the greatest hit of Elizabethan theatre, The Spanish Tragedy
  • 15th March: Arden of Faversham, Shakespeare has recently been identified as the junior collaborator, early in his career, of this play, a story of ’Orrid Murder down in Kent which would be fascinating even without the Shakespeare connection, with one of the greatest female roles in all Renaissance drama (also the largest female role).

All the readings are in the Gallery of the Rose in Kingston, and we start at 6pm. Mark your calendars and check back later for more details. (Note that only Edward III is in the Oxford Shakespeare 2nd ed. we used last term.)

Come along and choose a part, or just listen (reading’s more fun!). No previous experience is needed. Join us!

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Dr Paul Hamilton held at UK border and sent to Iceland

Paul outside Reykjavik

Dr Paul Hamilton

On November 14, 2017 Dr Paul Hamilton, a member of the Kingston Shakespeare Seminar, flew into Heathrow Airport from Arizona, to assist in the organisation of two conferences at Kingston’s Rose Theatre (‘Marlowe and Shakespeare’ and ‘Shakespeare and the Philosophical Turn’), to speak at the latter event, to temporarily participate in the seminar’s activities, and to take up an Honorary Fellowship at Kingston University. After being held for 45 minutes at the UK border, he was given entry into the UK, and the Visa page of his passport was endorsed with a certification that he had ‘Leave to enter for / until six months’, on the condition that he had ‘No work or recourse to public funds’. This condition was entirely consonant with his Honorary Fellowship status, and the fact that all his work for Kingston Shakespeare (like that of the other participants) would be on a voluntary basis, with no payment, salary, or remuneration of expenses whatever.

From Paul's passport

From Dr Hamilton’s passport


Paul at Thomas More reading

Dr Hamilton at the Sir Thomas More reading (fourth from the right) on November 30, 2017

Paul listening to Brian Vickers

Dr Hamilton listening to Sir Brian Vickers at the Marlowe and Shakespeare conference November 18, 2017

Following the ‘Marlowe and Shakespeare’ conference, Dr Hamilton learned that his friend and colleague Professor Martin Regal had died, and that the University of Iceland would be holding a memorial service in his honour in Reykjavik, on Saturday December 2, 2017. A group composed of Dr Hamilton, Anna Ilona Rajala, Timo Uotinen, Mark Wheeler and Professor Richard Wilson was formally invited by the University of Iceland to attend the memorial.  This party left from Gatwick on December 1, 2017, and spent the weekend in Reyjavik.

The group at the law stone

Paul, Anna, Richard and Timo by the Law Stone at Thingvellir, Iceland on December 3, 2017

Eating at the Thrir Frakkar

Dinner at the 3 Frakkar restaurant in Reykjavik, December 2, 2017

On returning to Gatwick, and just before 20.00 on Monday December 4, Dr Hamilton was detained at passport control, and shortly afterwards moved to a holding area. The border official who had checked his passport then proceeded to question him, before donning a security belt with handcuffs. Timo Uotinen and Anna Rajala, who had stayed behind to wait for Dr Hamilton, informed the official that they would answer any questions, or give a statement on his behalf, as he was resident with them at their home in Seaford, Sussex, during his short stay in the UK. At this point another official collected Dr Hamiltion and took him to the customs area upstairs, where the official proceeded to inspect his belongings in public, and in full view of other passengers. Dr Hamilton was then escorted back downstairs, pending a further in-depth interview. Ms Rajala then left the airport, due to teaching commitments the following day. Mr Uotinen, a PhD student at Royal Holloway University, London, continued to wait for Dr Hamilton’s release, and at this point began a live tweet about the dismaying treatment of his colleague.

Dr Hamilton remained in contact with Mr Uotinen via text messages. At 21.38 Dr Hamilton relayed the form he had received from officials, which informed him that he was held for questioning and liable to be detained. Shortly after sending this message, Dr Hamilton ceased communicating, and Mr Uotinen asked officers about his whereabouts. They had no knowledge of Dr Hamilton’s place of detention, but requested that Mr Uotinen move to the general Arrivals area, to await information and any request to corroborate Dr Hamilton’s statements. Mr Uotinen then informed the US Embassy about Dr Hamilton’s situation. Embassy officials were able to confirm that he was still at the airport and being retained in a holding area. Around 24.00, some four hours after Dr Hamilton’s initial detention at passport control, he was able to call Mr Uotinen to supply the phone number of outside his holding cell, his own mobile phone having been confiscated.

At this stage, Dr Hamilton did not know when he was to be ‘interviewed in-depth’. He was left to wait with other detainees in a room furnished with mattresses on the floor. At about 03.00 Dr Hamilton was taken into a scripted interrogation, where the officer consistently chose to disregard his advice that Mr Uotinen and others were standing by to be called to corroborate his statements. Instead, the officer continued to follow the scripted questions with which he had been provided. Despite repeatedly requesting the official to contact his friends for corroboration, Dr Hamilton was informed that the UK border and immigration officers considered him to be lying and untruthful. The officers had apparent problems understanding Dr Hamilton’s need to publish and attend academic events to further his professional career, and difficulty in accepting his reasons for travelling to Iceland. In a further form they stated that he had failed to satisfy the Authority with his answers about the memorial service of Professor Regal. The “interview”, or interrogation, was conducted by Immigration Officer 16223.

Around 06.00 on Tuesday December 5, 2017 Dr Hamilton was informed that he would be deported on the 10.35 WOW Air flight from Gatwick to Keflavik. On learning of this decision, Mr Uotinen contacted the Border and Immigration officials, and was referred to Ben (badge number 6668) on the telephone. Officer Ben confirmed that a decision had been made to send Dr Hamilton back to Iceland, and that this decision was irreversible. He did offer to request the officer in charge to call Mr Uotinen by phone. Shortly afterwards, an individual who identified himself as Mr Bentley called Mr Uotinen. This person was insistent that Dr Hamilton had not been targeted because he was an academic, but he refused to answer the question why officers had not contacted Dr Hamilton’s friends and colleagues for corroboration. He further disregarded the fact that Dr Hamilton was scheduled to present his research at the ‘Shakespeare and the Philosophical Turn’ conference on December 9. Before ending the call, Mr Bentley stated that Dr Hamilton was being deported to Iceland due to ‘a personal reason’, known to Dr Hamilton, and which he could not divulge.

Dr Hamilton has said that the ‘personal reason’ to which Mr Bentley was referring was the fact that he had been unable to use his American bank card in a UK cash machine. This had been because he had planned not to use that card while staying with friends in the UK, and consequently had not activated his overseas withdrawal facility with his US bank. The officers disregarded Dr Hamilton’s attempt to confirm to them his current American bank balance electronically. Neither were they prepared to view the credit in his UK bank account, and were unwilling to take account of his two credit cards, each with a large sum available. The only evidence they deemed significant was his lack of access to a cash machine. When Dr Hamilton requested to use his credit card to buy a return ticket to the United States, as an alternative to being returned to Iceland, the supervisor sincerely asked Mr Uotinen how he could pay for a flight to the US if he had no money. This suggested the officer’s inability to comprehend the most basic aspects of Dr Hamilton’s financial arrangements.

The UK border officers further claimed that Dr Hamilton had made “frequent and successive” attempts to visit the UK. This claim was in clear contradiction of the evidence that Dr Hamilton had made no journey outside the USA until November 14, since he had been deported to the USA following his notorious detention in January 2016; and that his return from Iceland was only his second entry into the UK in two years. Moreover, Dr Hamilton expressly assured the officials that he would be staying in the UK for only a further two weeks, as he had a return ticket to Arizona dated December 18, 2017.

Paul at Roy Eriksen's talk

Dr Ildiko Solti, Paul and Professor Kenneth Pickering listening to Professor Roy Eriksen on November 16, 2017 at the Rose Theatre

Dr Hamilton was flown back to Iceland (courtesy of the UK tax payers) on WOW air flight 811. Professor Astradur Eysteinsson and other and colleagues of the late Professor Regal at the University of Iceland have generously assisted his arrival Reykjavik, and have arranged for his accommodation on the university campus in an official guest apartment.

Paul and Timo in Iceland 2

Paul and Timo in Iceland on December 3, 2017

Important questions remain: What were the circumstances that changed between November 14 and December 4 for the border and immigration officials to deny Dr Hamilton re-entry into the UK? Why did his permission to ‘leave to enter for/until six months’ not actually count as having leave to enter the UK from a memorial service in Iceland? As Paul’s work and economic situation are identical to those of the majority of early career academics who graduate from British universities, is the UK Border Authority effectively imposing a ban on all precariously employed early career academics – in practice denying them the opportunity to advance their careers?

These questions are urgent considering that Kingston Shakespeare regularly hosts junior academics in situations comparable to that of Dr Hamilton; and a student / ECA is in fact coming from America for our conference this Saturday. Can he expect to be denied entry or forcibly deported? Finally, is there no oversight on the arbitrary actions of UK Border and Immigration officers?


Statement by Timo Uotinen with assistance from Anna Ilona Rajala

See also: Dr Hamilton’s arrest in 2016 and Dr Hamilton’s own account on that.

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KiSSiT: Shakespeare and the Philosophical Turn, Dec 9

Shakespeare and the Philosophical Turn

December 9, 2017

Rose Theatre Kingston-upon-Thames

10.30: Opening remarks:
Timo Uotinen

10.45 Panel:

Christian Smith (Independent Scholar):
“The point is to change it”: Marx’s use of Shakespeare in his move
from philosopher to activist

Paul Hamilton (Kingston):
Shakespeare, Kantorowiz, and the new Political Theology of the American Presidency

Chair: Anna Ilona Rajala

12.00 Lunch

13.00 Plenary:

Craig Bourne (Hertfordshire) and Emily Caddick Bourne (Hertfordshire):
Demonstrating Love in Shakespeare’s Sonnets

Chair: Timo Uotinen

14.00 Break

14.15 Panel:

Kit Slover (Emory):
What’s Rotten in the State of Denmark: Hamlet and the Advent of Consciousness in Fichte’s Science of Knowledge

Joel White (KCL):
Benjamin’s Hamlet

Chair: Stefanie Bauerochse

15.15 Break

15.30 Géza Kállay memorial:

Ildiko Solti (Kingston):
  ‘Seeming, Being and Becoming’
– the theatre as ‘mobile philosophy’ in Géza Kállay’s work

Chair: Sam Hall

16.15 Break

16.30 Plenary:

Sam Gilchrist Hall (Károli Gáspár University):
Fail Better: On sitting Down to Read King Lear Once Again

Chair: Anna Ilona Rajala

17.30 Concluding Remarks: Richard Wilson

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Peter J. Smith: ‘What country, friends, is this?’: Tim Supple’s Trans-Cultural Twelfth Night and the Influence of Trevor Nunn, Dec 9

Peter Smith Twelth Night Talk editOn Thursday December 7, 2017 Kingston Shakespeare features Peter J. Smith (Nottingham Trent) delivering a talk entitled ‘‘What country, friends, is this?’: Tim Supple’s Trans-Cultural Twelfth Night and the Influence of Trevor Nunn’. The talk is an examination of the trans-cultural features of Tim Supple’s Twelfth Night (2003) made for Channel Four.  The adaptation is assessed in the light of Trevor Nunn’s earlier film version (1996).  Peter J. Smith argues that while Supple’s take on the play leads his film away from the sentimentality of Nunn’s version, there are, nonetheless, significant allusions to the earlier film which constitute important intertextual readings. Tim Supple will also be in attendance. The seminar convenes at 6pm in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre, Kingston. The talk is free and open to everyone!

Peter J Smith is reader in Renaissance literature at Nottingham Trent University. He is the author of Social Shakespeare (1995) and Between Two Stools: Scatology and its Representations in English Literature, Chaucer to Swift (2012, 2015).  His essays and reviews have appeared in Critical QuarterlyRenaissance QuarterlyShakespeareShakespeare BulletinShakespeare SurveyTimes Higher Education. He is co-editor-in-chief of Cahiers Elisabethains and his Arden Early Modern Drama Guide (co-edited with Deborah Cartmell) on Much Ado About Nothing is currently in press.

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