My published work spans textual studies, theatre and book history, contemporary performance and film. A recurrent interest in my work is the lines drawn between “Shakespeare” and “not-Shakespeare” broadly defined – the mechanisms by which Shakespeare’s cultural authority is constructed and sustained in print and performance.
Shakespeare and the Idea of Apocrypha
My 2015 monograph, published by Cambridge University Press, offers the first book-length history and theorization of the concept of the “Shakespeare Apocrypha”, the group of plays often attributed to Shakespeare but rarely included in copies of the Complete Works.
The book sets out the historical processes and value judgements that led to the formation of the Shakespeare canon in its current form, introduces the core debates and methods that continue to reshape the canon, and argues for different models of organising the field that might allow the neglected but fascinating plays of the Apocrypha to return to the critical conversation.
Shakespeare in the Theatre: Cheek by Jowl
This 2019 monograph, published by Bloomsbury, is the first book-length scholarly study of the acclaimed work of Cheek by Jowl. Drawing on twelve detailed case studies of production, the book shows how Cheek by Jowl work with bodies, space, text and design to defamiliarize and recreate even the most regularly performed plays in the Shakespeare canon.
The book features extensive interviews with practitioners from four decades of Cheek by Jowl’s work across their Russian, French, and English-language productions.
Shakespeare and the Digital World
This 2014 collection from Cambridge University Press, co-edited with Christie Carson, offers a state-of-the-field overview of how Shakespeare Studies has been transformed by digital technologies across research, pedagogy, publication and practice. Contributors from scholarship and industry reflect, not just on high-end digital humanities projects, but on changes in working practices have impacted on day-to-day encounters with Shakespeare in the theatre, classroom and library.
Contributors include: Christie Carson, John Lavagnino, Bruce R. Smith, Farah Karim-Cooper, David McInnis, Peter Kirwan, Erin Sullivan, Sarah Grandage, Julie Sanders, Sheila T. Cavanaugh, Kevin A. Quarmby, Sharon O’Dair, Eleanor Collins, Katherine Rowe, Peter Holland, Sylvia Morris, Paul Edmondson, A. J. Leon, Ryan Nelson and Stephen Purcell.
This 2017 collection, co-edited with Emma Depledge and published by Cambridge University Press, extends significant work on the influence of the early modern book trade on Shakespeare’s legacy to the lesser-studied period from 1640 to 1740. Exploring how interregnum, Restoration and early eighteenth-century editor, printers, booksellers, illustrators and more remade the material form of Shakespeare’s books, Canonising Shakespeare argues for the significance of this period of Shakespeare’s afterlife to present-day readings of the works.
Contributors include: Emma Deplege, Peter Kirwan, Adam G. Hooks, Francis X. Connor, Lara Hansen, Eric Rasmussen, Anthony Brano, Faith Acker, Lukas Erne, Edmund G. C. King, Claire M. L. Bourne, Paul D. Cannan, Jonathan H. Holmes, Adam Rounce and Patrick Cheney.
Shakespeare in Lockdown
In collaboration with Erin Sullivan, this special reviews section of Shakespeare Bulletin (38.3, 2020) offered one of the first sets of critical responses to the Shakespeare productions put out during the early stages of the COVID-19 closure period. Contributors reflected on archival productions, new digital productions, and the embodied experience of watching theatre in isolation.
Contributors include: Peter Kirwan, Erin Sullivan, Paul Menzer, Rachael Nicholas, Stephen Purcell, Elizabeth E. Tavares, Benjamin Broadribb, Christie Carson, Henry Bell, Beth Sharrock, Emily R. Lathrop, Gemma Allred, Pascale Aebischer and Emma Greenfleaf.
The Arden Research Handbook of Shakespeare and Contemporary Performance
This state-of-the-field 2021 collection, co-edited with Kathryn Prince and published by Bloomsbury, surveys the broad field of Shakespeare Performance Studies. Research essays outline the methodologies and key questions concerning the field at the time of publication; interviews with practitioners offer provocations for researchers; and a closing section supports researchers with bibliographies, a chronology of key developments, and other resources to support research.
Contributors include: Peter Kirwan, Kathryn Prince, Rob Conkie, Margaret Jane Kidnie, Paul Prescott, Sarah Dustagheer, Stephen Purcell, Susan Bennett, Sonia Massai, Alexa Alice Joubin, Eoin Price, Andrew James Hartley, Kaja Dunn, Christopher Berry, Erin Julian, Kim Solga, Roberta Barker, Courtney Lehmann, Nora J. Williams, Cassie Ash, Anne G. Morgan, Jatinder Verma, Judith Greenwood, Dan Bray, Colleen MacIsaac, Midgalia Cruz, Lisa Wolpe, Julia Nish-Lapidus, James Wallis, Ravi Jain, Emma Whipday, Wole Oguntokun, Vishal Bhardwaj, Adam Cunis, James Loehlin, Denice Hicks, @Shakespeare, Yang Jung-ung, James C. Bulman, Brid Phillips and Karin Brown.
This 2021 collection, co-edited with Matteo Pangallo and published by Routledge, responds to developments in audience studies and surveys the influence of audiences – both as imagined intended recipients and as active participants in the moment of performance – on the reception of Shakespeare. Viewing audiences as co-creators, the collection showcases fascinating case studies of performance communities across history and geography, suggesting new areas for research.
Contributors include: Matteo Pangallo, Peter Kirwan, Stephanie Shirilan, Joe Falocco, Jennifer A. Low, Romola Nuttall, Miles Drawdry, Koel Chatterjee, Pascale Aebischer, Edel Lamb, Adam Sheaffer, Louise Geddes, Valerie M. Fazel, Rachael Nicholas and Emily Lathrop.
Arden of Faversham: A Critical Reader
Co-edited with Duncan Salkeld, this forthcoming 2023 collection is the first book of essays devoted to Arden of Faversham, one of the most fascinating and regularly revived anonymous dramas of the period. The book offers surveys of the play’s critical and stage history, new research essays proposing fresh directions for study, and a chapter on resources for teaching the play.
Contributors include: Peter Kirwan, Duncan Salkeld, Jane Kingsley-Smith, Kath Bradley, Catherine Richardson, Emma Whipday, Chloe Preedy, Brandi K. Adams, Lisa Hopkins and Kirsten N. Mendoza.
William Shakespeare & Others: Collaborative Plays
This 2013 Royal Shakespeare Company volume (published by Palgrave Macmillan) aimed to update the so-called ‘Shakespeare Apocrypha’. Edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen with Jan Sewell and Will Sharpe, the book includes modern-spelling editions of ten plays which have enjoyed a doubtful association with Shakespeare but which are rarely if ever found in Complete Works volumes.
As Associate Editor, I contributed ‘Key Facts’ statistics for each of the plays, and an appendix of interviews with actors and directors involved in contemporary productions of plays. Interview subjects include: Terry Hands, James Wallace, Caroline Faber, David Rintoul, Michael Boyd, Robert Delamere, Nigel Cooke, Stephen Unwin, Alex Hassell and Gregory Doran.
The Routledge Anthology of Early Modern Drama (Routledge, 2020) is an attempt to create an alternative canon of non-Shakespearean drama that makes available edited texts of some rarely staged or even published plays alongside staples of the stage and classroom.
My edition of the A-text of Doctor Faustus is included in this anthology, including an introduction exploring the idea of unreliable reading in the play, and a text which, among other things, offers a proposed new organisation of the scenes of the A-text, mirroring that in the B-text to juxtapose plot and subplot.
Learning and Teaching Resources
From Alison Findlay and Liz Oakley-Brown’s Twelfth Night: A Critical Reader (Bloomsbury, 2013). This chapter surveys the available resources – including critical editions, useful anthologies, and accessible productions – that the teacher of Twelfth Night can draw upon, along with suggestions for approaches in the classroom.
From Andy Kesson and Emma Smith’s The Elizabethan Top Ten (Ashgate, 2013). This book redefines print popularity in early modern England through theoretical essays and case studies. My chapter, on the most reprinted play of the early modern professional stage, considers the stigma attached to ‘popularity’ by exploring the early print history and subsequent reputation of the anonymous Mucedorus.
“From the table of my memory”: Blogging Shakespeare in/out of the Classroom
From my co-edited collection with Christie Carson, Shakespeare and the Digital World (Cambridge University Press, 2014). This chapter, taken from the section on pedagogy, discusses my use of blogs and wikis in the classroom as a way of developing student ownership and knowledge.
“We ring this round with our invoking spells”: Magic as Embedded Authorship in The Merry Devil of Edmonton
From Lisa Hopkins and Helen Ostovich’s Magical Transformations on the Early Modern English Stage (Ashgate, 2014). This chapter, from a book interested in the performance of stage magic, focuses on the role played by Peter Fabell in the anonymous The Merry Devil of Edmonton. Unlike Faustus or Friar Bacon, Fabell’s magic manifests not as spectacle, but instead as the authorial privilege of determining the plot.
A Tale of Two Londons: Locating Shakespeare and Dickens in 2012
Co-written with Charlotte Mathieson, from Paul Prescott and Erin Sullivan’s Shakespeare on the Global Stage (Bloomsbury, 2015). This chapter contrasts the 2012 World Shakespeare Festival – based primarily in London – with the international Dickens Festival of the same year, looking at how the two festivals offered competing strategies for aligning the cultural capital of the authors and the city in which they worked.
“Complete” Works: The Folio and All of Shakespeare
From Emma Smith’s The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare’s First Folio (Cambridge University Press, 2016). This chapter explores the Folio’s claims to completeness, interrogating this iconic book’s role in establishing an idea of Shakespeare which would both define and complicate the constitution of the canon for the next four centuries.
“May I subscribe a name?”: Terms of Collaboration in 2016
From Tian Yuan Tan, Paul Edmondson and Shih-pe Wang’s 1616: Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu’s China (Bloomsbury, 2016). My contribution to this innovative volume, pairing scholarly discussions of English and Chinese theatrical cultures in 2016, focuses on print representations of authorship in the year 1616, with particular attention to Jonson’s Folio and the B-text of Doctor Faustus.
Framing the Theatrical: Shakespeare Film in the UK
From Jill L. Levenson and Robert Ormsby’s The Shakespearean World (Routledge, 2017). This essay is part of a cluster of essays surveying Shakespeare film. Drawing on work from Frank Benson’s silent Richard III to Gnomeo and Juliet, this chapter argues for the investment of UK Shakespeare film in British theatrical traditions as a badge of authenticity and legitimisation.
Not-Shakespeare and the Shakespearean Ghost
From James C. Bulman’s landmark The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Performance (Oxford University Press, 2017). This is one of my most important book chapters, setting out the ways in which a perceived Shakespearean aesthetic generates a counter-aesthetic of ‘not-Shakespeare’, leading to ideological divisions between the works of Shakespeare and those of his contemporaries on the modern stage.
Cheek by Jowl: Reframing Complicity in Web-Streams of Measure for Measure
From Pascale Aebischer, Susanne Greenhalgh and Laurie E. Osborne, Shakespeare and the ‘Live’ Theatre Broadcast Experience (Bloomsbury, 2018). This chapter compares the original livestream of Cheek by Jowl’s production of Measure for Measure with a re-edited version subsequently released, arguing for how framing choices affect the production’s representation of complicity in the play’s acts.
Marlowe’s Early Books: The Contention and a “Marlowe Effect”
From Kirk Melnikoff and Roslyn L. Knutson’s Christopher Marlowe, Theatrical Commerce, and the Book Trade (Cambridge UP, 2018). This chapter contributes to the volume’s interest in Marlowe’s early print history by asking, if he was a co-author of The First Part of the Contention, what that might tell us. I argue that the quarto of The Contention utilises performative typography through speech prefixes, interruptions and sequential stage directions to create a distinctively Marlovian effect.
Mis/Quotation in Constrained Writing
From Julie Maxwell and Kate Rumbold’s Shakespeare and Quotation (Cambridge UP, 2018). This chapter explores two Oulipian reworkings of Shakespeare: Paul Griffiths’s novella let me tell you, which is made up entirely of words spoken by Ophelia in Hamlet, and Ben Power’s A Tender Thing, a reorganisation of Romeo and Juliet, to explore how both texts use recognisable quotations to playfully position themselves in relation to Shakespeare.
“High astounding terms”: Tamburlaine and Tamburlaine on Stage
From David McInnis’s Tamburlaine: A Critical Reader (Bloomsbury, 2020). This chapter offers the first major performance history of Tamburlaine, exploring how the play’s excesses have been both formally and interpretatively central to responses. The complex and problematic engagement of productions with racialisation and Islamophobia are a key part of this survey.
The Environments of Tragedy on Screen: Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth
From Russell Jackson’s The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Screen (Cambridge UP, 2020). This chapter surveys films of these three tragedies from the silent era to the present day, with a focus on the filmmakers’ use of natural, built, and abstract landscapes that stress the boundaries of space.
The Shakespeare Canon from the Sixteenth to the Twenty-First Century
From Lukas Erne’s The Arden Research Handbook of Shakespeare and Textual Studies (Bloomsbury, 2021). This chapter, drawing on my work on the Shakespeare Apocrypha, offers a history of the formation of the Shakespeare canon framed as a tension between inclusion and exclusion, and arguing for the need to recognise the ideological underpinnings of any ‘Complete Works’.
The Turn of the Shrew: Cross-Gender Casting in the Twenty-First Century
From Jennifer Flaherty and Heather C. Easterling’s The Taming of the Shrew: The State of Play (Bloomsbury, 2021). This chapter interrogates the trend for ‘women on top’ productions of Shrew featuring women as the tamers, focusing on productions at the Globe and RSC, and questioning how far gender-reversals resolve the play’s difficulties.
“Eke out our performance with your minds”: The Impact of the RSC’s Complete Works Festival on Audience Expectations and Involvement
This 2007 article in Cahiers Élisabéthains 71 (special issue on the RSC Complete Works Festival) synthesises my MA research into the Festival, arguing for the unique value of the Festival for Stratford audiences in its challenges to playing space, language, and interpretation.
“What’s past is prologue”: Negotiating the Authority of Tense in Reviewing Shakespeare
This 2010 article from Shakespeare (vol. 6, no. 3) was part of a round-table exploring reviewing practice. My contribution argues for the use of the past tense in positioning the reviewer correctly in relation to the performance event, distinguishing performance from production.
The First Collected “Shakespeare Apocrypha”
This short article in Shakespeare Quarterly 62.4 (2011) corrects an error that had crept into scholarship concerning a bound volume in the Royal Library marked ‘Shakespeare, vol. 1’. Rather than belonging to the library of Charles II, it in fact dates to the 1630s and the library of Charles I, making it the first collection of Shakespeare dubitanda.
The Shakespeare Apocrypha and Canonical Expansion in the Marketplace
This 2012 article, from a special issue of Philological Quarterly on ‘Shakespeare For Sale’ (91.2), sets out the role played by disputed Shakespeare plays in the print canonisation of Shakespeare in the early eighteenth century, particularly during the ‘Shakespeare war’ between rival stationers Tonson and Walker.
Canonising the Shakespeare Apocrypha: Shakespeare, Middleton, and Co-Existent Canons
This 2012 article, published in Literature Compass 9.8, uses the overlapping plays in the Shakespeare and Middleton canon as a jumping-off point for questioning the value of complete works projects premised on authorial exclusivity.
“You have no voice!”: Constructing Reputation Through Contemporaries in the Shakespeare Biopic
This 2014 piece, in a special issue of Shakespeare Bulletin on ‘not-Shakespeare’ on screen (32.1), exorcises my fascination with Roland Emmerich’s Anonymous. The film examines the portrayal of Marlowe, Dekker, Jonson and Nashe in that film and John Madden’s Shakespeare in Love, arguing that Shakespeare’s contemporaries are deployed to advance a particular representation of Shakespeare.
The Roared-At Boys?: Repertory Casting and Gender Politics in the RSC’s 2014 Swan Season
In a special issue (11.3) devoted to the RSC’s summer season of 2014, this 2015 article looks at the pattern of doubling across productions of The Roaring Girl, Arden of Faversham and The White Devil, arguing that these avowedly feminist productions created patterns of male entitlement and supremacy that linked the three plays and the productions’ calls for resistance.
Consuming the Royal Body: Stillness, Scopophilia, and Aura in Lear and Macbeth on Screen
In a special issue of Shakespeare Bulletin devoted to royal bodies on screen (39.1; 2021), this article traces the fetishised, abject body of kings across Ran, Peter Brook’s King Lear, and Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth. Exploring the relationship of the body to both landscape and the camera, I argue for the importance of the male body’s to-be-looked-at-ness.
Artist Development and Collective Therapy in the Repertory: The Case of After Edward
This upcoming article in Early Theatre 25.2 (2022) focuses on Tom Stuart’s After Edward, performed at the Globe in repertory with a production of Edward II. It argues for the value of new writing within a repertory system to develop a praxis of artist development through ensemble building.
Teaching Shakespeare at the Live Cinema Broadcast
This forthcoming essay, for a cluster in CEA Forum, offers pedagogic strategies for integrating trips to event cinema productions into the Shakespearean classroom.
“If the law could forgive as soon as I”: A Yorkshire Tragedy at the White Bear Theatre Pub
This long-form review in Law and Humanities 4.1 (2010) considers the White Bear’s production of A Yorkshire Tragedy with particular attention to the legal questions raised by the play and in performance.
Chasing Windmills? An Identity Crisis in Double Falsehood at the Union Theatre, Southwark
This long-form review in Shakespeare 7.3 (2011) reflects on the flawed attempts by the Union Theatre’s production of Double Falsehood to capitalise on a recent Shakespeare claim.
Theobald Restor’d: Double Falsehood at the Union Theatre, Southwark
From David Carnegie and Gary Taylor’s The Quest for Cardenio (Oxford UP, 2012). This long-form review reflects on another staging of Double Falsehood, by the company Mokitagrit, at the Union Theatre.
The World Shakespeare Festival
From Paul Edmondson, Paul Prescott, and Erin Sullivan’s A Year of Shakespeare (Bloomsbury, 2013). To this expansive project to document all of the productions that took place in the 2012 World Shakespeare Festival, I contributed pieces on Habima’s The Merchant of Venice, the RSC’s A Tender Thing, the Isango Ensemble’s Venus and Adonis, and Dmitry Krymov’s Laboratory’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (As You Like It).
Ending Well: Reconciliation and Remembrance in Arpana’s All’s Well that Ends Well
From Susan Bennett and Christie Carson’s Shakespeare Beyond English (Cambridge UP, 2013). This book collates scholarly and practitioner responses to all productions in the Globe’s 2012 Globe to Globe Festival. I contributed a long-form account of Arpana’s All’s Well That Ends Well.
Situating Ben Jonson: The Cambridge Edition of the Works
This long review essay for Early Theatre 17.1 (2014) surveys the work done by the team behind The Cambridge Works of Ben Jonson, and the value of this landmark project for scholarship.
Editions and Textual Studies reviews
I served as the editions and textual studies reviewer for Shakespeare Survey volumes 68 (2015) to 73 (2020). In this role, I covered several major developments in Shakespeare textual studies including the New Oxford Shakespeare, many new and revised critical editions, the Arden Performance Editions, and a large range of monographs and collections. Links here to the 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 reviews.
English Shakespeare productions reviews
I served as the author of the annual essay on Shakespeare productions in England (outside London) for Shakespeare Survey volumes 74 (2021) to 76 (2023), before emigrating to the US. This period coincided with the COVID-19 lockdown, thus allowing the essays to reflect on the response of theatres to strained conditions. Links here to the 2021, 2022 (forthcoming) and 2023 (forthcoming) reviews.
During my doctoral studies, I wrote nine performance histories for volumes in the RSC Shakespeare series, edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen.
Miscellaneous Online Writing
“Cardenio” (2011), entry for the Lost Plays Database.
“Prefacing The Dutch Courtesan” (2013), a short essay for The Dutch Courtesan Project.
“Collaborations and (Mis)Attributions” (2016), a curated section of the Folger Shakespeare Library exhibition Shakespeare Documented.
“Forgotten Shakespeare” (2016), blog for CUP’s fifteeneightyfour.
“Mucedorus Was the Play That Never Looked Back” (2017), blog for Shakespeare’s Globe.
“The Hollow Crown: An Introductory Essay” (2018) for Drama Online.
“Offence and Content Warnings” (2020), a short article for Teaching Shakespeare issue 19.
“Streaming Shakespeare: The Theatre Industry in Lockdown” (2020), blog for the University of Nottingham Institute for Policy and Engagement.