1 2 3

ABL #60,  9 July, 2020

Aaron Pratt on enabling publc audiences, students and academics to understand and interpret early books and manuscripts and specialist collections. Aaron also discusses the methods of book history as a discipline and speaks a bit about his own research on English playbooks.

ABL #59,  8 July, 2020

Andy, Callan and Emma look back on 3 months of A Bit Lit, and explore why they’re ‘joyfully angry’ about the crises in theatre and education, and how conversations and community-making offer hope.

ABL #58,  7 July, 2020

Julia Ftacek tells us about her work on trans literature in the eighteenth century and beyond, including ‘a surprisingly trans-feminine’ Gulliver’s Travels. She emphasises this period as the moment of transition between the idea of gender as having no biological destiny and the rise of scientific rationality and the idea of sexual anatomy dictating gender.

ABL #56,  3 July, 2020

John Heywood played, wrote and worked for Henry Tudor and each of his three legitimate children. Greg Walker has written the first full literary biography of Heywood, and shows us how he engaged directly with the politics of his period. We also hear about Heywood’s later celebrity reputation and the importance of using performance to explore early Tudor plays.

ABL #55,  2 July, 2020

David McInnis and Matt Steggle tell us about their work on the lost plays of Shakespeare’s period, when plays are much more likely to be lost than to survive. They share insights into the wealth of information we have on lost plays and the theatrical culture they were part of.

ABL #54,  1 July, 2020

Happy Canada Day! In celebration, Canada’s finest and wisest queer poetics professor tells us about his new book, Shakespeare and Queer Representation and literature as an art of construction and decoration, an ‘aesthetically-ambitious art made out of words’.



ABL #53,  30 June, 2020

The Virtual Parish: History, Forms of Communication, and Conversation at a Distance

ABL #52,  29 June, 2020

Chris Goode explores theatre as a live art based in community, encounters and conversation, a frame saying “now pay attention to this”. He talks us through his work, especially his online anthology of spoken word, What Words, and asks when, where and why we need language to work really hard as a container for the things we want to say.

ABL #51,  25 June, 2020

Megan Cook and Sarah Werner tell us about Geoffrey Chaucer’s early modern reception, and especially his place in Reformation politics, and ask us to think about the history of books as objects rather than as texts.


ABL #50,  23 June, 2020

Sally Barnden talks Photography, Shakespeare, and the Royal Collection.

ABL #49,  18 June, 2020

Kate Morrison tells us about her novel A Book of Secrets, and the challenges and joys of moving between creative and research-based writing. We hear about the real and reimagined experiences of black people in sixteenth-century England, print, gender and much more.

ABL #48,  17 June, 2020

Poet Tim Atkins talks us through the importance of play and doubt in his creative practice.

ABL #47,  16 June, 2020

Harry Newman tells us about the idea of fictional character as a kind of ‘virtual human’ or ‘models of humanity’. We hear about spacious fictional worlds on TV and in the early modern playhouse, and Harry asks if the early modern period had the concepts of the paywall and reboot, and considers literature and performance as an ‘ongoing experiment in world-building’.

ABL #46,  15 June, 2020

Ambereen Dadabhoy tells us about the early modern Mediterranean, the English playhouse and the history of race. We hear about the lack of racial literacy in early modern studies, the way ‘a white way of knowing’ has dominated scholarship, and how to ‘follow the lead of those who have championed racial literacy’.

ABL #45,  11 June, 2020

Director Kimberley Sykes describes her work in the rehearsal room as focused on generosity, conversation and ‘absolute presence’, and tells us about her work for the Royal Shakespeare Company on Shakespeare’s As You Like It and Marlowe and Nashe’s Dido, Queen of Carthage. She emphasises collective authorship, conversation and collaboration in the rehearsal room, and explores the idea of real and psychological space in her work. She also tells us about her current list of lockdown reading.

ABL #44,  9 June, 2020

Theatremaker Emma Frankland talks us through contemporary, devised and classical performance, taking in Ghostbusters, Don Quixote and John Lyly’s Galatea, and ranging from Jerwood Arts, Shakespeare’s Globe, Roehampton University, Cornish beaches and Stratford, Ontario.

1 2 3