Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home ::

Gay Bard

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.488  Monday, 8 December 2014


[1] From:        David Basch < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         December 5, 2014 at 12:31:29 PM EST

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Gay Bard


[2] From:        Ira Zinlaw < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         December 5, 2014 at 10:06:17 PM EST

     Subject:    Gay Bard 


[3] From:        Robert Projansky < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         December 6, 2014 at 7:38:51 AM EST

     Subject:    Gay Bard 




From:        David Basch < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         December 5, 2014 at 12:31:29 PM EST

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Gay Bard


I was happy to read Brian Vickers’ take on an alleged “gay Shakespeare,” that he does not buy into this view. I fully agree with him. However, I would add much more to his case against this view.


I am astounded that scholars today are blind to the allegorical nature of the poet’s sonnets. It seems to me that the last two sonnets, which clearly present allegories, are the poet’s way of telling that the others of his sonnets are in this allegorical vein.


The allegory in the Sonnets is a familiar one, representing the two conflicting aspects of man’s soul, one godly, the other in the opposite direction. The godly soul is represented as an idealized form of the poet, the “lovely” young man. The woman represents man’s earthly nature. A better symbol for this aspect cannot be imagined since she embodies all the temptations of the lower soul. Sonnet 144 gives away the game since it tells who these aspects of soul are.


Since the poet in the Sonnets aspires to godliness, he loves his higher soul, the young man, more than his lower soul, the temptress. As is represented in the first 17 sonnets, the young poet had been infatuated with this higher aspect and, therefore, he must be tempted by the lower soul to regain a new balance. His chagrin at this kind of temptation makes for some of the comic aspects of these sonnets.


There is more to the sonnets than this. But, when this allegory is recognized, many of the remaining sonnets fall into place and the great poet is restored to an emotionally healthful state that his admirers all along have seen in his work.


David Basch



From:        Ira Zinlaw < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         December 5, 2014 at 10:06:17 PM EST

Subject:    Gay Bard   


I feel that I must weigh in on this “gay bard” topic, as my central focus for years has been on the Sonnets: Here is a quote from an Introduction I authored, and forgive my using it, but it is with sincerest credit due to Margreta de Garzia:


"As to whether a young man or woman is a central part of the Sonnets, the gender of the addressee in most of the Sonnets is in fact unspecified. Indeed, “Shakespeare is exceptional among the English sonneteers (Sidney, Spenser, and Daniel, for example) in leaving the beloved’s gender unspecified in so many of the sonnets: about five-sixths of them in the first 126 and just less than that in the collection entire.”   


The quoted section is from Margreta de Grazia, “The Scandal of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Shakespeare’s Sonnets, ed. James Schiffer, {2000}.


Margreta’s complete article on the “gender” issue, shows fine scholarship, and is worth a look by those intent on learning more on this topic.


Further, I must agree with Hardy in saying that current criticism [on the Sonnets] makes it clear that interpretations which have assumed biographical facts about the author have not succeed in making out a conclusive case. 


For those interested in seeing the complete Introduction from which the entire quote is taken, I would be happy to reply offline, or have a look at SHAKESPEARE’S SONNETS AND THE BIBLE, on the Amazon webpage where you can “peek” at it.


Best wishes,

Ira Zinman



From:        Robert Projansky < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         December 6, 2014 at 7:38:51 AM EST

Subject:    Gay Bard


Once upon a time, for a short time, I had a sweetheart who was a poet — a poetess, actually. It so happened that the confluence of our orbits in the launch of that short-lived incandescent harmony coincided with the publication of her first book of poems. I had not read her work before and I was stunned by them. I thought her poems wonderful, and although my enchantment with her did not last, my admiration for those poems is unabated. One particular poem touched on some things I knew of her family and her youth, but when I asked her about the events in it, she said, “Oh, that’s fiction. I just made it up.” I was hugely surprised. Dumb as it sounds, that had never occurred to me before, that a poet, just like any writer of novels or other fiction — really, like anyone who has ever told anything to anyone else — might have just made it all up. Well, I’m no longer quite as dumb as I look. Now I know that writers make stuff up, and that there is not the slightest reason to believe that what a writer, especially a poet, has written about ever actually happened, or happened to him, or happened as he describes it or alludes to it, not unless he actually says so, and even that’s not conclusive proof. Indeed, I don’t even have reason to believe she told me the truth when she said it was fiction. Humans just can’t always be relied upon that way. When I think about trying to puzzle out that not very important matter, about the vivid events in her poem and their congruence with other things I thought I knew about her life, I wonder how people can look at poetry written four hundred years ago and imagine they can know from those works what happened in Shakespeare's life outside that poetry. Nothing proffered about Shakespeare in this thread is really evidence of his sexual orientation, one way or the other (or others), much less proof. Hardy is absolutely right about what we know about that and all those other questions too: maybe, maybe not.


Best to all,

Bob Projansky


Shakespeare in India Controversy

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.487  Monday, 8 December 2014


From:        Hardy Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         December 5, 2014 at 11:35:58 AM EST

Subject:    Shakespeare Wades into Indian Freedom of Expression Row


December 5 2014

Shakespeare wades into Indian freedom of expression row


A recent adaptation of Hamlet caused outrage in India, flagging up just how deep the rift between artistic culture and so called “Indian values” runs.


When the trailer for Haider, Vishal Bhardwaj’s Kashmir-set film of Hamlet, came out in September there was speculation that it wouldn’t get past the Indian film censor board and might not even screen in India.


The film is set in 1995, at the height of the armed conflict between India, Pakistan and those who fight for a free Kashmir. It offers an unflinching and nuanced portrayal of the toll that the conflict had on the people there. As such, it could not help but be critical of human rights abuses perpetrated by the Indian army and Border Security Force, who have been present in the state since 1947 when the British colonisers left and the division of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan took place.


Reports by NGOs including Human Rights Watch have documented the disappearances, the torture of prisoners and extra-judicial killings, the culture of impunity the forces work under and the climate of fear people live in.


The Prince of Kashmir

Haider confronts all of these issues with an aghast, despairing sensibility. It also acknowledges the corresponding radicalisation of Kashmiri young men who leave their homes to cross the line of control into Pakistani territory to fight for an independent state. And the plight of the generations of “half-widows” left by the violence is laid bare: the hundreds who don’t know if their husbands, brothers or sons are alive or dead.


As in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Haider shows that no side is innocent. Sunni, Shi’a and Hindu Kashmiri Pandit communities are all depicted as capable of abuse, brutality and corruption. India, Pakistan and Britain are all marked as culpable.


The irony is thick: Haider (played by Shahid Kapoor), who is Muslim, is away at Aaligarh University when his father “disappears”. When Haider returns to Srinagar to find out what happened, he tells the Indian military at a checkpoint that he is studying “the revolutionary poets of British India”.


Hindu Indian ultra-nationalists are quick to take action against any cultural offering that offends their religious sensibility, criticises the Indian state or army or denigrates Indian “values”. Some went as far as to accuse Kashmiri journalist and Haider scriptwriter Basharat Peer of being funded by Islamic State.


More recently, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, a group named “Hindus for Justice” called for the film to be banned and filed court documents claiming that “the sovereignty and integrity of India has been attacked with impunity”, and “the unity of the nation has been undermined” by the film.


[ . . . ]


National monopoly on Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.486  Monday, 8 December 2014


From:        Hardy Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         December 5, 2014 at 11:32:31 AM EST

Subject:    It’s time to break the national monopoly on Shakespeare 


From The Guardian.


It’s time to break the national monopoly on Shakespeare

Innovative productions such as Vishal Bhardwaj’s Haider prove that Britain isn’t the best at the Bard, says Preti Taneja


I am sitting in a darkened cinema. On screen, a young blonde actress is being persuaded to perform a sex scene by her director. Her blue eyes are wide with worry as she protests that it’s too graphic and would undermine her self-respect. The director challenges her to “be professional”. She knows that her dark-skinned boyfriend, playing her cuckolded husband in the film, will be incandescent when he finds out. This is the director as Iago, winning and breaking Desdemona’s trust. It’s so uncomfortable I can barely watch. It’s a very long way from the traditions of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).


Hammudi al-Rahmoun Font’s Catalan film Otel.lo takes its cues from Shakespeare’s Othello, but is unafraid to engage on its own terms with the play. Font uses it to expose prejudices and assumptions about gender, race and the male gaze in Spain and on screen. Weeks later, I am still questioning Font’s choices and my own responses. Otel.lo is genuinely far more entertaining, political and provocative than many contemporary productions of Shakespeare in the UK.


It is also very far from the concept of Shakespeare as a cultural export. Shakespeare is clearly viewed as a tool to encourage tourism by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which recently awarded £1.5m to the RSC to translate all of Shakespeare into Mandarin Chinese. A further £300,000 will be provided to tour the translations to China. The culture secretary Sajid Javid said the move is aimed at “improving economic links with China and encouraging more tourists to visit the home of Shakespeare”.


But China has long embraced Shakespeare, and translations of Shakespeare already exist there, including Tian Qinxin’s production of Romeo and Juliet, performed in Hong Kong and Beijing in Mandarin with Standard Chinese and English subtitles. Speaking to the South China Morning Post, the director said that she used the play to challenge the tradition of arranged marriage, and that the lack of stories “advocating unconditional love in Chinese culture is one of the reasons there are so many family problems” in China today.


Font and Qinxin’s productions have little in common with the Globe theatre’s “Globe-to-Globe” Hamlet, which is currently on the South American leg of a two-year world tour, and offers an interpretation, in English, of a play whose central character embodies the emergence of a Western, Renaissance sensibility: Shakespeare as it “should” be done. This journey from “us” to “them” uncomfortably evokes one of the root causes of Shakespeare’s presence in different parts of the world: colonialism. In India and countries in Africa, Shakespeare’s works were made compulsory in schools, as they were seen as a mark of civilisation.


But translators and dramatists were quick to start “speaking back” to the master, via the master’s colonising text. Now, more complex adaptations are emerging: Vishal Bhardwaj’s film Haider, a Kashmir-set Hamlet, was released worldwide last month. Bhardwaj uses Hamlet to consider Britain’s responsibility and legacy in the ongoing India-Pakistan conflict that has claimed hundreds of lives and left generations of widows. Written by the Kashmiri journalist Basharat Peer, the film is intensely dramatic yet deeply engaged with the complex politics of the region. It did not pass the censor in Pakistan because it was considered too controversial, and has divided opinions in India along political lines. Like Otel.lo, Haider is uncomfortable but absolutely compelling cinema that reminds us of our own culpability in how violence, gendered or communal, occurs.


Dissenting voices cling fast to the idea that the English text is sacred, and too much of Shakespeare’s genius must get lost in translation. Then there are the politics of translation itself – in countries with many languages, such as China, and where language is a deeply contentious issue, for example in India, should one translation speak above others?


It is difficult to argue against the rationale of promoting Shakespeare to boost the UK’s economy. But doing so deafens the ears to how and why Shakespeare’s plays have taken root in “worlds elsewhere”. It leaves only one voice (and why do I imagine Etonian vowels?) shouting louder than any others that Shakespeare is the best, and that he is “ours”.


From South Africa to South Korea, India to Germany, there are provocative, moving Shakespeare productions performed in English and in translation, as well as adaptations into film, novels and poetry. It’s time to ditch the idea that the best Shakespeare comes from the UK, and the world should experience it courtesy of us. I’d rather watch Font, Bhardwaj and Qinxin, whose approaches are as far from each other’s as China is from Spain. These productions remind us what global Shakespeare really is: different the world over.

Richard III’s DNA

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.485  Monday, 8 December 2014


From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         Monday, December 8, 2014

Subject:    Richard III’s DNA


This is from the BBC News.


2 December 2014 Last updated at 11:11 ET

Richard III’s DNA throws up infidelity surprise

By Paul Rincon

Science editor, BBC News website


Analysis of DNA from Richard III has thrown up a surprise: evidence of infidelity in his family tree.


Scientists who studied genetic material from remains found in a Leicester car park say the finding might have profound historical implications.


Depending on where in the family tree it occurred, it could cast doubt on the Tudor claim to the English throne or, indeed, on Richard's.


The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.


But it remains unknown when the break, or breaks, in the family lineage occurred.


In 2012, scientists extracted genetic material from the remains discovered on the former site of Greyfriars Abbey, where Richard was interred after his death in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.


'Overwhelming evidence' 

Their analysis shows that DNA passed down on the maternal side matches that of living relatives, but genetic information passed down on the male side does not.


However, given the wealth of other details linking the body to Richard III, the scientists conclude that infidelity is the most likely explanation.


[ . . . ]


The instance of female infidelity, or cuckolding, could have occurred anywhere in the numerous generations that separate Richard III from the 5th Duke of Beaufort (1744-1803), whose living descendants provided samples of male-line DNA to be compared against that of the Plantagenet king.


"We may have solved one historical puzzle, but in so doing, we opened up a whole new one," Prof Kevin Schurer, who was the genealogy specialist on the paper, told BBC News.


Investigation of the male genealogy focused on the Y chromosome, a package of DNA that is passed down from father to son, much like a surname. Most living male heirs of the 5th Duke of Beaufort were found to carry a relatively common Y chromosome type, which is different from the rare lineage found in the car park remains.


Richard III and his royal rival, Henry Tudor (later Henry VII), were both descendants of King Edward III. The infidelity could, in theory, have occurred either on the branch leading back from Henry to Edward or on the branch leading from Richard to Edward.


Henry's ancestor John of Gaunt was plagued by rumours of illegitimacy throughout his life, apparently prompted by the absence of Edward III at his birth. He was reportedly enraged by gossip suggesting he was the son of a Flemish butcher.


"Hypothetically speaking, if John of Gaunt wasn't Edward III's son, it would have meant that (his son) Henry IV had no legitimate claim to the throne, nor Henry V, nor Henry VI," said Prof Schurer.


Asked whether a break in the branch of the tree leading to the Tudors could have implications for the legitimacy of the present-day royal family, Prof Schurer replied: "Royal succession isn't straightforward inheritance from fathers to sons, and/or daughters. History has taken a series of twists and turns."


The breakage was statistically more likely to have occurred in the part of the family tree which does not affect Royal succession - the most recent stretch - simply because more links in the chain exist there.


And Dr Anna Whitelock, a reader in early modern history at Royal Holloway - University of London, told BBC News: "It's important to note that Henry VII claimed the throne "by right of conquest" not blood or marriage - his claim was extremely tenuous.


"Henry VII was descended from Edward III from the Beaufort line - the Beauforts were legitimised by half-brother Henry IV but not in succession. Royal succession has been based on many things in the past: ability to lead troops, religion, connections - not always seniority by royal blood."


[ . . . ]

Propelling Edward III

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.484  Monday, 8 December 2014


From:        Caro MacKay < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         December 8, 2014 at 9:27:22 AM EST

Subject:    Propelling Edward III


Dear Hardy,


As we have just had a  ‘yes’ from our last speaker I wanted to let you know more about the Symposium on Shakespeare’s Edward III on January 30th and 31st 2015 in conjunction with UAL at Wimbledon College of Arts. 


The event is a part of our preparation for presenting Total Rose Rage and I have attached the press release.


The speakers are Paul Allen (Night Waves presenter), James Brabazon (war reporter, film maker & author), Lucy Cullingford (early / modern movement, Warwick University), Professor Jean Howard (English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University), Dr Peter Kirwan (poetic renaissance texts, Nottingham University), Professor David Lindley (Renaissance Literature, Leeds University) 


The strap line for ourselves for these two days is “why do Edward III?”


We will open with Edward Hall (our director) rehearsing the first scene of the play with the actors, Michael Pavelka (our designer) and Roger Warren (our text editor).


Then we will intersperse speakers with scene rehearsals with Edward taking points from a speaker’s paper that he thinks pertinent and useful.


I gather from the academics that they are tremendously excited to see live rehearsals and to enjoy the interplay. I think it is going to be a really interesting marriage.


The last session on Saturday afternoon will largely concentrate on a debate between the delegates, Edward, the actors et al. Professor Carol Rutter and Dr Andy Kesson will lead this.


The sessions last from 10am to 7.30 on the Friday and from 10am to 4.15 on the Saturday. The Dean will be hosting Drinks for the delegates, speakers and the company. The tickets are £200 each which includes lunches, coffees and teas. 


If you have any queries, or would like to book to come along, please do not hesitate to contact me.


With best wishes,



Caro MacKay

Executive Producer, Propeller

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Highfield, Manor Barns, Snowshill, Broadway, Worcs., WR12 7JR

+44 (0)1386 853206


November 2014

Press Release


Propeller Theatre Company and Wimbledon College of Arts announce Edward III Symposium


‘Propelling Edward III’: Research in Action will take place across two days in January 2015 at the Wimbledon College of Arts Sessions will be led by Artistic Director Edward Hall, with Propeller designers Michael Pavelka and Ben Omerod, text editor Roger Warren and Professor Carol Rutter with further guest speakers Propeller will offer Edward III workshops, rehearsed reading and masterclasses following the symposium


Propeller Theatre Company have today announced plans for a unique two-day symposium in collaboration with Wimbledon College of Arts, exploring the text of Edward III through theatre practice and debate. The event will bring these two internationally-renowned organisations together for the first time through their common pursuit of interrogating Shakespeare in performance, and their commitment to the integration of professional practice, research and education.


This one-off research and development event will involve ten Propeller actors, artistic director Edward Hall, designer Michael Pavelka, lighting designer Ben Omerod and text editor Roger Warren who will, along with leading scholars and invited delegates, investigate the text through rehearsal and discussion. Additional speakers will include Professor Jean Howard (Columbia University, NY), Peter Kirwan (Nottingham University), Lucy Cullingford (University of Warwick), David Lindley (Leeds University) and Paul Allen (presenter of “Night Waves”).


Following the symposium, Propeller will be offering workshops, masterclasses and rehearsed readings of the text to schools, colleges and universities.


For further information, ticketing enquiries or to book a workshop for your institution please contact Executive Producer Caro MacKay on 01386 853206 or email   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it




In 2013/14 the company toured worldwide with a double bill of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Comedy of Errors. This was followed by a tour of Pocket Dream, a sixty-minute version of their full-length production which has toured to schools and theatres around the country. Pocket Comedy follows in January 2015.


For more information please visit


PROPELLER seeks to find a more engaging way of expressing Shakespeare and to more completely explore the relationship between text and performance. Mixing a rigorous approach to the text with a modern physical aesthetic, they have been influenced by mask work, animation and classic and modern film and music from all ages. Productions are directed by Edward Hall and designed  by Michael Pavelka. Propeller has toured internationally to Australia, Bangladesh, China, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sri Lanka, Turkey and the USA.


WIMBLEDON COLLEGE OF ARTS is a constituent college of the University of the Arts London, along with Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London College of Communication and London College of Fashion. It has the largest theatre design department in Europe.


For more information please visit




Propeller Theatre Company and Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL


‘Propelling Edward III’: Research in Action


Friday 30th and Saturday 31st January 2015 WCA Theatre Space

Limited delegate tickets available to purchase. Please contact Caro MacKay   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it





Edward Hall – Artistic Director


Edward is Artistic Director of Propeller Theatre Company and Hampstead Theatre.


Theatre  includes  Sunny  Afternoon,  Chariots  Of  Fire,  No  Naughty  Bits,  Loyalty,  Enlightenment (Hampstead Theatre); The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, Richard III, The Comedy of Errors, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Propeller, UK and international tour), Two Men of Florence with Edward Herrmann (Huntington Theatre, Boston), The Deep BlueSea with Greta Scaatchi (Vaudeville Theatre), For Services Rendered (Watermill Theatre Newbury), The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night (Propeller, RSC, Old Vic & world tour – Drama Desk Award nomination in New York), Mark Ravenhill’s Dick Whittington (Barbican), Once In A Lifetime with David Suchet (National Theatre), A Streetcar Named Desire with Natasha Richardson & John C Reilly (Roundabout Theatre, New York), The Winter’s Tale (Propeller, National & World Tour), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (National Theatre – Olivier Award Nomination for Outstanding Musical Production), Calico (Duke of York’s), Edmond with Kenneth Branagh (National Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Propeller, Comedy Theatre; Watermill Theatre Newbury; UK Tour - TMA Award for Best Touring Production), The Hinge of the World (Guildford), Macbeth with Sean Bean & Samantha Bond (Albery Theatre), Rose Rage adapted with Roger Warren from Henry VI parts I, II and III (Propeller, Haymarket Theatre, Watermill Theatre, UK/International Tour and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre; Duke’s Theatre, New York – Olivier Award Nomination for Best Director and TMA Award for Best Touring Production), The Constant Wife (Apollo), Putting It Together (Chichester), Julius Caesar (RSC), Tantalus (Denver Centre and UK Tour), Henry V (RSC – The South Bank Show Award for Theatre  for The Histories), Twelfth Night (Propeller, Watermill Theatre Newbury– Winner of the TMA/Barclays Theatre Best Director Award), Sacred Heart (Royal Court Theatre Upstairs), Celaine (Hampstead Theatre), The Two Gentleman of Verona (RSC), The Comedy of Errors and Henry V (Propeller, Watermill Theatre, Newbury; Pleasance Theatre London; RSC - The Other Place, Stratford and International Tour), That Good Night (Yvonne Arnaud Tour), Othello (Propeller, Watermill Theatre Newbury and the Tokyo Globe), Richard III (Tokyo Globe), Cain (Minerva  Studio, Chichester).


His production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Propeller which played in London at the Comedy Theatre in 2003, went on to play at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York in early 2004, where both he and the production were nominated for Drama Desk Awards.


His American production of Rose Rage, which he directed for the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre in 2003, transferred to the Duke’s Theatre in New York in September 2004, where it won four Jeff Awards including Best Play, Best Director and Best Ensemble Cast.


Television: Downton Abbey, Restless by William Boyd, Strike Back, Spooks,(US title MI5) was nominated for the BAFTA Best Drama Series award in 2009. Kingdom, Trial and Retribution XI, Miss Marple – Sleeping Murder starring Geraldine McEwan, Cutting Edge: Safari Strife, and Richard III (NHK in Japan).


In January 2010, Edward was made Artistic Director of Hampstead Theatre. He is also an Associate at the National Theatre, the Old Vic and the Watermill Theatre.


Ben Omerod – Lighting Designer


Previous productions for Propeller include Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew, Henry V, The Winter’s Tale, Richard III, The Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Rose Rage (also New York/Chicago).


Theatre credits include The Tempest (Dundee Rep); Titus (Macrobert/Tour); The Girl in the Yellow Dress (Theatre 503); The Heresy of Love (RSC); Fit and Proper People (Soho Theatre); Loyalty  (Hampstead); The  Crucible  (Lyric Belfast);  The  Welsh  Boy,  Deadkidsongs,  The  Double, The Phoenix of Madrid, Iphigenia (Theatre Royal Bath/Ustinov Season); Onassis (West End/Derby); Zorro! (West End/UK tour/Paris/Japan/Holland); Serious Money, Last Easter (Birmingham Rep); Dimetos (Donmar); Two Men of Florence (Boston); Treasure Island (Rose Theatre); The  Sanctuary  Lamp  (B*spoke); Macbeth, Legal  Fictions  (West End); Translations,  The Last Days of the Reluctant Tyrant (Abbey, Dublin – nominated for ‘Best Lighting’, Irish Times Theatre  Awards);  The  Changeling,  Hedda  Gabler,  The  Doll’s  House,  John  Gabriel  Borkmann,  The Masterbuilder,  The  Seagull,  Macbeth,  Hamlet,  A  Midsummer  Night’s  Dream  (ETT); Carmen  –  The Musical (Pimlico); The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Druid, Galway/Royal Court/Broadway); Macbeth,  The  Revenger’s  Tragedy,  Henry  V,  Julius  Caesar,  The  Spanish  Golden  Age  Season(RSC); Bent, Uncle Vanya,  The Winter’s Tale,  In Remembrance of  Things Past  (National).


Recent Opera credits include Götterdämmerung for Longborough Festival Opera and La Traviata for Danish National Opera. Other Opera and Ballet credits include work for Scottish Opera, ENO, Buxton Opera Festival, Academia Santa Cecilia Rome, Ceder Lake Contemporary Ballet and Ballet Gulbenkian.


Ben also designed the lighting for the Calico Museum of Textiles’ Ahmedabad, directed Athol Fugard’s Dimetos (Gate, London) and adapted four films from Kieslowski’s Dekalog for E15.



Michael Pavelka – Designer and Symposium Director


Michael trained at Wimbledon College of Art, where he now leads the MA Theatre Design ( He is one of the founder members of Propeller and has designed all but one of their productions. He also designed Rose Rage (based on Propeller’s 2001 production) at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater that transferred to 42nd Street, New York, for which he was nominated Best Costume Design at Chicago’s Jeff Awards.


His other designs, among over 150 productions, include two plays with Lindsey Anderson: The Fishing Trip and Holiday (Old Vic Theatre). At the Library Theatre, Manchester, his designs for Brecht and Shakespeare include; The Life of Galileo (Best Design Manchester Evening News Theatre  Awards),  The  Resistible  Rise  of  Arturo  Ui,  The  Caucasian  Chalk  Circle,  Measure  for Measure, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Best Production MEN Awards), Oliver Twist, Great Expectations  and, more recently, The  Good  Soul  of  Szechuan.


Michael co-produced a Young People’s Shakespeare Festival in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, and designed the first African language Mother Courage and Her Children in Kampala, the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC and Grahamstown Festival, RSA.


He designed Revelations and Off the Wall with Liam Steel and Stan Won’t Dance at the QEH on London’s South Bank. His designs represented the UK at the Prague Quadrennial 2011 and designs for Propeller's Richard III at World Stage Design 2013.


Michael’s many West End productions include: Twelve Angry Men, Absurd Person Singular, The Constant   Wife, How  the  Other  Half   Loves,  Leonardo  the  Musical,   Other  People’s  Money,   Blues   in the Night (also Dublin, New York, Tokyo), Macbeth,   A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Rose Rage (both Propeller); and A Few Good Men (Theatre Royal Haymarket), directed by David Esbjornson. Other productions with David include; Twelfth Night (Seattle Repertory Theater) and Death of a Salesman (Gate, Dublin).

He recently designed Frank McGuinness' new play The Hanging Gardens for the National Theatre in Dublin, the acclaimed chamber opera, The Go Between (nominated for TMA Best Musical) and Hay Fever (Gate, Dublin and Charleston NC).


Designs for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford and at the Barbican include: The   Odyssey, The  Two  Gentlemen  of  Verona,  Henry  V  and Julius  Caesar; and for the National Theatre in the Olivier, Edmond, starring Kenneth Branagh.


Michael won the TMA’s Best Set Design 2009 for Propeller’s The Merchant of Venice.Professor Carol Rutter – Academic Coordinator


Carol Chillington Rutter is Professor of Shakespeare and Performance Studies at the University of Warwick.   Her most recent books are Enter the Body: Women and Representation on   Shakespeare's  Stage  and  Shakespeare  and  Child's  Play:  Performing  Lost  Boys  on  Stage  and  Screen. She reviews the annual work of Shakespeare performed in England for Shakespeare Survey and regularly records with Digital Theatre. Her current project is a biography of Henry Wotton, England's ambassador to the Venetian Republic 1604-1610. She is a National Teaching Fellow.


Roger Warren – Text Editor


Roger Warren’s numerous publications include five editions for the Oxford Shakespeare series; he has also prepared many performing editions, especially for Propeller and the Peter Hall Company. He has collaborated with Edward Hall on eleven Shakespeare productions in the last decade, and is also collaborating with him in preparing a series of Propeller Shakespeare texts published by Oberon Books.


<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Next > End >>

Page 5 of 9

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.