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

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 […]

The Duchess of Malfi (Treehouse Shakespeare Ensemble) @ The Wharf Loft

‘I account this world a tedious theatre’ spat the Duchess (Rachel Louis). If Shakespeare’s Jacques imagines the whole world as a stage where people can play their parts, then Webster’s Duchess is tired of performing. In Treehouse Shakespeare Ensemble’s Duchess of Malfi, directed by Chase Fowler,the metaphor was literalized as an abandoned theatre came to […]

The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Treehouse Shakespeare Ensemble) @ The Wharf Loft

Perhaps there’s no such thing as Free Love. Treehouse Shakespeare Ensemble’s small-scale production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona sought to tackle the contradictions in the play by setting it in Italy’s turbulent 1970s, where the rustic old world met the cosmopolitan fashion scene, and the hippie movement bumped up against the influence of the […]

Much Ado about Nothing (Shakespeare Theatre Company) @ Sidney Harman Hall

This review is of a preview performance. The conceit for Simon Godwin’s new Much Ado about Nothing for Shakespeare Theatre Company (his second of the year, after this summer’s production at the National in London) was ripped straight from the beloved 2005 Shakespeare Re-Told BBC adaptation. Like that film, this production was set in a […]


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