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, http://www.dispositio.net, as well as the Before Shakespeare project, on the earliest years of the London playhouses, for which Holger is an advisor, BeforeShakespeare.com.
Like so many early modern performances, this film guest stars his very excited dog…
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.
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.
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’.
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.
Following the cancellation of their 2020 production of Ben Jonson’s The Silent Woman due to COVID-19, Edward’s Boys perform extracts from the play and reflect on their experiences of rehearsing and (almost) performing it.
Scripted and presented by Harry McCarthy
Recorded by Eddie
Edited by Peter Knowles
Edward’s Boys: Callum; Enrique; Ewan; Felix; Jamie M; Joe M; Johan; Myles; Nilay; Rhys; Ricky; Ritvick; Seb; Tom H; Tom L; Will; Yiannis.
Directed and produced by Perry Mills
Music Credits: “Shanty Shanty”, “Without Name”, “Synthwave”, “Elipsis” and “Exess-1” by Electronic Senses, licensed under a Creative Commons Licence.