Callan Davies

ABL #57,  6 July, 2020

Last month, archaeologist Stephen White of University College London announced the discovery of the Red Lion site, an often-forgotten Elizabethan playhouse that is the earliest we know of. Theatre historian Holger Syme discusses the implications of this discovery, especially the way that archaeological discoveries of the past thirty-five years seem to be cumulatively disproving the idea of the thrust stage.

For more on the earliest years of the London playhouses, see Holger’s theatre history posts on his website,, as well as the Before Shakespeare project, on the earliest years of the London playhouses, for which Holger is an advisor,

Like so many early modern performances, this film guest stars his very excited dog…

ABL #40,  28 May, 2020

Callan Davies talks to filmmaker Ellen Evans about truth and storytelling in documentary, collaboration, how we all watch trash on TV and the inevitable “What is Literature?’ question ahead of the launch of the film Motherland. Visit for more about Ellen’s work.

ABL #19,  21 April, 2020

In our new series on things, objects, and cultural history, Callan Davies looks at Shakespearean theatre history from the starting point of some food waste… A whistlestop tour of “Shakespearean” playhouses via the perspective of some +400-year-old apple seeds, exploring the relationship between fruit and special effects, playgoing experience, seasonality, and playhouse structure.

Fruit seeds and nutshells image: Fruit seeds and nutshells from the Rose Theatre. Copyright: Museum of London.