Hamlet Globe to Globe

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.516  Monday, 2 November 2015


From:        Al Magary <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         October 29, 2015 at 8:53:41 PM EDT

Subject:    Hamlet Globe to Globe


Jasper Rees has an entertaining writeup of the Shakespeare’s Globe’s two-year “Hamlet Globe to Globe” tour in the latest issue of The Economist’s Intelligent Life (http://intelligentlifemagazine.com/features/all-the-worlds-a-stage).  Suitably exotic selections below.  BTW they used Dominic Dromgoole’s 90-minute adaptation of Hamlet Q1 (“rather than the lapidary First Folio text”), performed in English with native-language intros and outros.


...Emeruwa posts a snap of every venue on Instagram. His album includes many formal theatres, but also spanking new cultural centres (Kazakhstan, Egypt), amphitheatres, cathedrals (outside one in Mexico, inside in Tunisia), school halls, a castle (Czech Republic), a field (Benin), a library (the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC) and outdoor arenas. In Khartoum they played to an audience of 3,000, with another 2,000 locked out. In Wittenberg, Hamlet’s university town, no more than 40 turned up for what the company is united in regarding as the tour’s dampest squib. They have performed at sea level, looking out on the Pacific Ocean in Antofagasta and the Indian Ocean in Djibouti, and at extreme altitude: in La Paz oxygen was on tap backstage. They have often felt the dread weight of recent history: in Sarajevo, in Eritrea, in Kiev where Petro Poroshenko was in the house the night before he was elected Ukraine’s new president. In Somaliland no play at all had been performed for more than 20 years. Leong talks of the responsibility of “going to so many places where people’s idea of what it’s like to see a play rests entirely on that one performance”. Above all the company speak about an epiphany at the National University of Rwanda in Butare. After two scenes, the power failed and the audience waited while stage managers and cast rapidly shifted the set outside. The heat was intense, but so was the spell cast by the occasion. “Part of the high”, says Paratene, “was the knowledge that we were performing on a campus where murder had been committed.”...


After the cast [in Kasane, Zimbabwe] have performed their rousing musical outro and taken the hearty applause, I talk to two polite 16-year-old girls in green uniform whose school party has come from Kachikau, 60km away. Both are seeing Shakespeare live for the first time. Their own drama classes, they say, focus on child abuse, teenage pregnancy, alcohol abuse, and they warm to a story about ghosts and vengeance. “Speaking fast it’s hard for us Africans to learn their language,” says Likezo, whose first language is Subiya. “Some words I understand, others not. But at the end I understood what is their message.” The message taken by Annastacia (first language: Kalanga) has an African slant: “In our culture,” she says, “when somebody marries his brother’s wife this is dangerous because children end up doing mistakes in life. Our parents should not do that because it affects our life. When Hamlet tried to talk to his mother his mother didn’t listen to him and this ended up causing him to kill himself.”


Thus the tragedy of Hamlet, unfathomable as all the globe’s oceans, yields up yet another story.



Al Magary




Francis Yates CFP: A Celebration of Her Life and Work

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.515  Monday, 2 November 2015


From:        Paul Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         October 30, 2015 at 2:25:19 PM EDT

Subject:    Francis Yates CFP: A Celebration of Her Life and Work










The great Renaissance and Shakespeare scholar Frances Yates lived for over half a century at Claygate, near Kingston-upon-Thames, and to mark the 50th anniversary of her book The Art of Memory, Kingston Shakespeare Seminar will host a one-day conference on her life and work at the Rose: a playhouse inspired by her theory of the ‘theatre of the world’. Close to where Yates wrote her books, participants will be asked to evaluate their current significance, and to reflect on her ideas about Europe, empire, occult philosophy, academies, architecture, memory, performance, intellectual history, and the place of a scholarly community in the modern world.


Proposals are invited for 25-minute papers that address these or other aspects of the life and career of Frances Yates. Submissions should be made by February 1 2016 to:


Professor Richard Wilson,

The Rose Theatre, 

24-6 High Street, 

Kingston-upon-Thames, KT1 1HL




Blackfriars Conference

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.514  Monday, 2 November 2015


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

Date:         Monday, November 2, 2015

Subject:    Blackfriars Conference


I’m back from the Eighth Blackfriars Conference in honor of the indefatigable Barbara A. Mowat:

  • Director of Research Emerita at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 
  • Consulting Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly
  • Editor with Paul Werstine of the Folger Shakespeare Library editions of Shakespeare’s works, 
  • Author of The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare’s Romances
  • Former Chair of the Folger Institute, 
  • Former Hollifield Professor of English Literature at Auburn University, 
  • Dean of Washington College, 
  • Former President of the Shakespeare Association of America, 
  • President of the Southeast Renaissance Conference, 
  • Chair of the MLA committee on the New Variorum Shakespeare, and 
  • Member of the Advisory Board of the International Shakespeare Conference (Stratford-upon-Avon)

Barbara holds an M.A. degree in English literature from the University of Virginia, a Ph.D. in English literature from Auburn University, and doctorates of humane letters from Amherst College, St. Johns University, and Washington College. 


I invite attendees to comment on their experiences.


My favorite plays were Winter’s Tale and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. My favorite introduction was Ralph Cohen’s rousing, say “AMEN”, to Tim Carroll, whose “Confessions of an Iambic Fundamentalist” was my favorite keynote speech.


The five days of the Conference were filled interesting and informative papers in the lovely town of Staunton (pronounced STAN-ton), Virginia, in the lower Shenandoah Valley. The thunder sheet when off regularly, but the bear only made two appearances by my count (but then I did not attend every sessions).


“The most convenient place that I can think of for such receipt of learning is Blackfriars.” –Henry 8: 2.2.139.






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