The Bardathon

Christmas at the (Snow)Globe, Shakespeare’s Globe, 2019
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The new home of The Bardathon

This is the new home of The Bardathon, Peter Kirwan’s review blog of contemporary film and stage productions of early modern drama. The blog began in April 2006, as part of a project to chronicle responses to all fifty-four productions in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works Festival. Since then, the blog has continued as Peter’s record of all of the stage and screen productions of early modern plays, as well as adaptations and responses, that he has seen.

The blog aims to combine the rapid-response turnaround of theatre journalism with the reflection and insight of scholarly criticism, as part of Peter’s ongoing practice-based research into methods of writing about the contemporary performance of early modern drama. The blog is inevitably partial, with the primary focus on UK productions between 2006 and 2022, and acts as a form of diary of one reviewer’s experience over years of theatregoing.

The blog is used as a resource by researchers and teachers around the Globe, and was hosted by the University of Warwick (2006-2011) and the University of Nottingham (2011-2022) in previous iterations. Please feel free to comment on the reviews, and to get in touch with thoughts and feedback!


Shakespeare: All’s Well that Ends Well, Antony and Cleopatra, As You Like It, The Comedy of Errors, Coriolanus, Cymbeline, Hamlet, 1 Henry IV, 2 Henry IV, Henry V, 1 Henry VI, 2 Henry VI, 3 Henry VI, Henry VIII, King John, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado about Nothing, Othello, Pericles, Richard II, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, Sir Thomas More, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Timon of Athens, Titus Andronicus, Troilus and Cressida, Twelfth Night, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Two Noble Kinsmen, The Winter’s Tale

Other authors: Beaumont, Chapman, Chettle, Dekker, Fletcher, Ford, Greene, Heywood, Jonson, Kyd, Lyly, Marlowe, Marston, Massinger, Middleton, Peele, Rowley, Shirley, Webster.

Latest Posts

Othello (National Theatre) @ The Lyttleton Theatre

One of the many issues that Othello presents to a company is the structural imbalance around direct address which sees Iago given a relatively huge proportion of stage time to address the audience directly and develop – willing or unwitting – complicity between himself and the theatre audience. The much-discussed issue this generates is the…

Henry V (Shakespeare’s Globe/Headlong) @ The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

There have been anti-heroic Henry Vs before, but rarely does one commit quite so thoroughly to the bit as did Holly Race Roughan’s production for Shakespeare’s Globe. A collaboration with Headlong, Roughan’s production conflated anti-heroism with anti-theatricalism, or at least with a deconstructed approach to the performance event that formally punctured rhetorical acts of performance.…

The Tempest (Round House and Folger Theatre) @ The Round House

Early in Aaron Posner and Teller’s production of The Tempest – the acclaimed production that premiered in Vegas in 2014 – Ferdinand (Ro Boddie) wandered confusedly across the stage towards where Ariel (Nate Dendy) stood over a bowl of water in which he had submerged a paper boat. Ariel took the befuddled Ferdinand and plunged…

Galatea (Treehouse Shakespeare Ensemble) @ The Wharf Studio

Much of John Lyly’s Galatea riffs on individuals learning who they are while being forced to present themselves as something they are not: nymphs who’ve been magically made to fall in love, girls dressed as boys to avoid a ritual sacrifice of virgins, boys temporarily becoming apprentices to unsuitable masters. Self-identification, throughout the play, becomes…


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