A Hamlet Puppet Show: Der Bestrafte Brudermord (Fratricide Punished)

If you are in Stratford-upon-Avon on Wednesday June 3rd, please join us at the Shakespeare Institute at 3:30 p.m. for a pre-show talk and at 5:30 to watch an English performance of Der Bestrafte Brudermord (Fratricide Punished), an early adaptation of Hamlet. This puppet show, presented by Hidden Room Theatre, runs just over an hour.

The company’s academic adviser Professor Tiffany Stern (Oxford University) will give the pre-show talk from 3:30-4:30 on how Shakespeare’s plays were adapted for puppet performance in Europe during the seventeenth century.

In 1710, this mysterious, thirteen-page, hilariously slapstick German Hamlet — its script partly derived from the first, ‘bad’ quarto — was found in the depths of a monastery. This play is one of the most vivid traces we have of the work of the English Players, companies who took English plays on tour around northern Europe in Shakespeare’s time.

In keeping with the marionette show traditions of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Brudermord employs onstage narrators (Judd Farris and Jason Newman) who perform all voices, music, and sound effects for the puppet cast — beautiful Sicilian rod marionettes made by Los Angeles’ Mystery Bird Puppet Show, styled and costumed by Jennifer Davis. This Hamlet varies from its English predecessor by incorporating additional comic characters and scenes.

The Hidden Room is an internationally acclaimed theatre company from Austin, Texas, which specializes in linking the past and the future of performance through early modern classics, and technologically forward thinking new works. Brudermord won Best Production of a Comedy, Best Ensemble, and Best Director at the B. Iden Payne Awards.

Admission to the play is £5 at the door.  Spaces are limited, and will be allocated on a first come basis, please therefore arrive in good time to avoid disappointment! No need to RSVP.

Watch the trailer here:

BritGrad 2015 Schedule

At long last, here is the agenda for BritGrad 2015! Download a copy here.



8.00-9.00- Registration, tea and coffee

9.00-9.25- Welcome and Opening remarks

9.30-10.30- Plenary: Dr Erin Sullivan (University of Birmingham): Shakespeare, Sadness and the History of Emotions

10.40-11.55- Session One of Delegates

Screen Adaptations (Chair: Kelsey Ridge)

Child Solicitor: Innocence and Interpersonal Ignorance in Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus (Hayley O’Malley)

Korol Lir: When the Political Becomes Metaphysical (Noelle Matteson)

‘O [No] Romeo, Romeo’: Shakespearean Film Adaptation Gone Amiss (Blake Barbiche)

Twelfth Night, Gender and Sexuality (Chair: Karen Harker)

Beyond the Binary: A gender fluid approach to sexuality in Twelfth Night (Mary Odbert)

Trans-Twelfth Night (2004 & 2014): Performing the Cross-gendered Body and Text (Boram Choi)

What you will? The politics of queering Shakespeare at the Irish national theatre (Emer McHugh)

Pictorial Representation (Chair: Elizabeth Jeffery)

The Vision of Queen Katherine: On the Nature of Performance Evidence (Emma de Beus)

Re-forming Richard: Shakespeare, Graphic Novels and the Body of Richard III (Megan Holman)

Popular Authenticity: Knight’s Pictorial Edition of Shakespeare’s Richard III (Ged Hodgson)

12.00-13.00: Plenary: Ben Naylor (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama): A Close Reading of Hamlet, Act 1 Scene 1, from a Performance Perspective

13.00-14.00- Lunch

14.00-15.15- Session Two of Delegates

Research and Creative Practice 1 (Chair: Richard O’Brien)

Improving Shakespeare? Examining my own practice as a female playwright, adapting and appropriating Shakespeare’s women. (Zoe Cooper)

Views from the Beargarden (Sam Meekings)

Reading Venus and Adonis through PaR (Stefanie Bauerochse)

Faith and Feigning (Chair: Marius Klimowicz)

Faith Awakened: Suspension of (Dis-)Belief in The Winter’s Tale (Jonas Kellerman)

Sensory Doubt and Aesthetic Faith: The Passage from Troilus to Leontes (Jonathan Gill)

Gender and Feigned Death in Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado about Nothing, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Winter’s Tale (Yi-Hsin Chen)

Choices and Interpretations (Chair: Charlotte Evans)

The Complexity of an Evil Choice in Macbeth (Fiona Dunne)

To be or not to be—what is the question? (Jessica Chiba)

Casting, cutting, and costume: reflections on reviewing Shakespeare in performance (Caroline Heaton)

15.15-15.30- Tea and coffee

15.30-16.30- Plenary: Dr Paul Edmondson (Shakespeare Birthplace Trust) and Dr Paul Prescott (University of Warwick): Shakespeare on the Road

16.40-17.55- Session Three of Delegates

Approaches to Titus Andronicus (Chair: Rosie Fielding)

‘My Tongue is Out of Office’: Taming the Tongue in Titus Andronicus and The Revenger’s Tragedy (Richard Johnson)

A Study on Aaron’s Multiple Roles and His subversion of racial stereotypes in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus (Ping Ho)

‘Behold the child’: Young Lucius, The Bastard and the Burden of Futurity in Titus Andronicus (Gemma Miller)

Tragic Appropriations (Chair: Karen Harker)

The Accidental Racialization of Caste in Bollywood’s Appropriation of Othello (Saksham Sharda)

Appropriating trends: Shakespeare’s tragedies in modern drama (Mette Sjolin)

Naming Lady Macbeth: Searching for Scotland in the ‘Scottish Play’ (Eilís Smyth)

Metre Matters (Chair: Charlie Morton)

Irregular man’s ne’er constant, never certain’: Metre, Life, and Regularity in Shakespeare and Restoration Verse Drama (Richard O’Brien)

Why Shakespeare’s prosody matters (Robert Stagg)

The speaker’s confession in Shakespeare’s sonnets: The Love of Innocence and Experience (Ying-Chih Kao Cassandra)

19.15- Othello performance for those who have prepaid for tickets


FRIDAY 6th June

9.15-10.15- Plenary: Dr Chris Laoutaris (Shakespeare Institute): Early Modern Robotics in Shakespeare and Spenser

10.15-10.30- Tea and coffee

10.30-11.45- Session One of Delegates

Working with Texts (Chair: Richard O’Brien)

Q1 Hamlet at the National and the Globe Abstract (Scott Shepherd)

Lewis Theobald and Accusations of Plagarism: A Reconsideration of Shakespeare’s Involvement in Double Falsehood (Naseem Alotaibi)

‘Words, words, words’: The Author, his Characters and interpreting Intent (Sara Marie Westh)

Writing, Society and the Supernatural (Chair: Eilis Smyth)

‘And why on me?’: The Witch of Edmonton and collaborative authorship (Robbie Hand)

Shakespeare and the supernatural (Jan Tasker)

‘I’ll sue Mother Sawyer, and her own sow shall give in evidence’: Representations of Female Witnessing and Testimony in The Witch of Edmonton (Cheryl Birdseye)

Shakespeare in the World (Chair: Charlotte Evans)

Intercultural Intersections in a Noh-style Hamlet: (Re)presentations of the Exchanges between Shakespeare and the Japanese Stage (Eleine Ng)

Peter Brook’s King Lear: From Experimentation to Canonisation (Paulo Gregorio)

Shakespeare in Brazil: Cinema, Adaptation and Anthropophagy (Marcel Alvaro de Amorim)

12.00-13.00- Plenary: Dr Andy Kesson (University of Roehampton): Before Shakespeare

13.00-14.00- Lunch

14.00-15.15- Session Two of Delegates

Shakespeare and Cultural Liminality (Chair: Eilis Smyth)

Shakespeare: The Secret to Successful Criminal Rehabilitation (Laura Louise Nicklin)

‘Transformed, transfigured and transmuted’ bodies—Ugly Women in Cervantes, de Rojas and Shakespeare (Shani Bans)

Bodying Forth: Spenser and Shakespeare’s Disabled Reprobates (Kaye McLelland)

Medieval Inheritances (Chair: Richard O’Brien)

‘Set down your venerable burden’: piggybacking in Shakespeare’s As You Like it and the medieval outlaw tradition (Harry Ford)

Troilus- a disappearing hero (Joanne Brown)

‘For what we lack we laugh’: The Emotional Manipulation of Armour in The Two Noble Kinsmen (Suzy Lawrence)

Music and Noise (Chair: Charlotte Evans)

Verdi’s Macbeth: Shakespeare’s supernatural in adaptation (Karen Harker)

‘After so many hours, lives, speeches spent…’: making noise and doing nothing in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida (Laura Wright)

Vaine disports of minstrelsie’: musical crimes and culprits in early modern England (Jen Waghorn)

15.15-15.30- Tea and coffee

15.30-16.30- Plenary: Dr Farah Karim Cooper (Shakespeare’s Globe): The Hand on the Shakespearean Stage

16.40-17.55- Session Three of Delegates

Shakespeare and Social Media (Chair: Kelsey Ridge)

Social Anxiety: The relationship between Social Media and Shakespearean Scholarship (Brittany LaPole)

To Be Schwarzenegger, Haider, Cumberbatch or You?: interactive Shakespeare and the evolution of Hamlet as hero(ine) (Thea Buckley)

‘Get thee to a puggery!’: Shakespeare and Pop Culture (Elizabeth Jeffery)

Philosophy and Theology (Chair: Marius Klimowicz)

To thank is to Think? A Heideggerian Reading to Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale (Chahra Beloufa)

‘Mortal flies’: dignity and distance in Shakespeare’s theatre of insects (Clio Doyle)

‘Let not your hearts be troubled’: Body and soul in John Donne’s Devotions (Lamanda Humphrey)

Playhouse Culture (Chair: Rosie Fielding)

Appropriating history in 1594: The alternative producers of the Elizabethan history play (Amy Lidster)

Early Modern Playbills go to Hollywood: and attempt at reconstruction (Adam Barker)

‘This unworthy scaffold’: Re-evaluating the Importance of the Curtain Playhouse in the Early Modern Theatre Industry (Lana Harper)

19.00-23.00- BritGrad Party



9.15-10.30- Session One of Delegates

Citizenship and Ownership (Chair: Richard O’Brien)

Citizenship and Community in The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Laura Beattie)

Shakespeare and Gentrification (Martin Young)

‘This island’s mine’: ownership of the island in The Tempest (Kelsey Ridge)

Figures of Tyranny (Chair: Eilis Smyth)

‘So barbarous and so beastly’: Animal Imagery, Tyranny and Dehumanisation in Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Titus Andronicus (Nicole Mennell)

The Shakespearean ‘Grand Mechanism’ as Nihilist Castigation of Leadership in Achebe’s Arrow of God (Olawale Taju Ajayi)

Prospero and Dumbledore: Trusted Tyrannny? (Polly Brown)

Popular Appropriations (Chair: Elizabeth Jeffery)

The Victorian Illustrated Shakespeare Archive (Michael John Goodman)

Under the Umbrella: Restoration Adaptations in Print (Emil Rybczak)

10.30-10.45- Tea and coffee

10.45-11.45- Performance Session

Research and Creative Practice 2 (Chair: Richard O’Brien)

The Shakespeare Ensemble: A Journey Through the Trials and Tribulations of Adapting Shakespeare (Marie Ryan, Molly Lambert, Octavia Finch)

‘This Blasted Heath’: A Critical-Creative Exploration of William Shakespeare, Samuel Beckett and Cormac McCarthy Through Dystopia​​ (Ronan Hatfull)

11.55-13.10- Session Two of Delegates

Locating Hamlet (Chair: Kelsey Ridge)

‘A document in madness’: Performing Ophelia and the stigma surrounding mental illness (Rachel Stewart)

Cinematic Glocalization of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in Korean Film, King and the Clown (Young Yun)

Hamlet is Everywhere, Even in Narnia (Sarah Waters)

Actors and Audiences (Chair: Rebecca Martin)

Joao Caetano – How a Shakespearean actor became the father of Brazilian theatre (Livia Segurado)

To Act or Not to Act? Performing the Emotions of Cuckoldry in the work of Philip Massinger (Kibrina Davey)

Exit pursued by a bear, a moratorium on duping the audience. The Brechtian enlightenment of stage illusion and empathy with Shakespeare’s characters in The Winter’s Tale (Sara-Kate Fletcher)

Adapting Early Modern Sources (Chair: Charlie Morton)

Northumberland: Family man, strong orator, leader of men, dangerous conspirator or well-loved   favourite (Susan Smith)

‘The more than honeyed sweetness of this poet’s style’: Reading Euripides with Erasmus (Carla Suthren)

Othello’s Poetic Geography: Around the World in Five Acts (Francesca Gattuso)

13.10-14.10- Lunch

14.10-15.10- Plenary: Professors Laurie Maguire and Felix Budelman (Oxford University): Audience Responses to Ambiguity in Othello, The Winter’s Tale, and Two Greek Tragedies

15.10-16.25- Session Three of Delegates

Global Receptions (Chair: Elizabeth Jeffery)

In the everlasting shadow of William Shakespeare? Ben Jonson and Germany (Malte S Unterweg)

Evolution and revolution: Ernest Renan’s Caliban: suite de la Tempete (Charlotte Evans)

Sacred geometry and boybands: the fall of the Tokyo Globe (Rosie Fielding)

Shakespeare and Death (Chair: Kelsey Ridge)

Waking the Senseless: Getting to the Dirge in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline (Rebecca Ehrhardt)

‘I am more an antique Roman than a Dane’: Shakespeare and the Roman mythos of suicide (Louis Osborne)

Death, Mourning and Remembrance in Shakespeare’s Roman Plays (Hazel Stenner)

Fools and Clowns (Chair: Karen Harker)

Behind the Laughter: The Use of ‘Low Comedy’ in The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth (Rebecca Agar)

‘How mad a sight it was to see Dametas’: The Arcadia, Tarlton, and Sidney’s escaping clown (Kim Gilchrist)

‘Your all-licensed fool’: Will Sommers, Robert Armin, and King Lear’s Fool (Charlie Morton)

16.25-16.40- Tea and coffee

16.40-17.10- Closing remarks and prize giving

Time TBC- Closing reception at Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Plenary Profiles: Ben Naylor

BritGrad is thrilled to introduce plenary Ben Naylor, the Course Leader of MA Acting (Classical) at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama .

Naylor studied at Durham University, Magdalen College Oxford, and Royal Central School, where he began teaching in 2006. He also trained by acting at Drama Centre London and directing under John Caird at the Caird Company and Sir Peter Hall at the National Theatre. Naylor has taught acting in Israel, Germany, Greece, and the United States, and at Cambridge University, LAMDA, Shakespeare’s Globe, and numerous other institutions.

Naylor specializes in Renaissance theatre and contemporary acting techniques. He headed a research project on gestural codifications at Shakespeare’s Globe Gesture Lab and is interested in European expressionism, Stanislavski, the American Method, and modern movement psychology. He currently directs at Royal Central School. A few of his many directing credits include Julius Caesar (Menier Chocolate Factory), Tamburlaine (Rose Theatre, Southwark), and Macbeth (Cambridge Arts Theatre). Naylor also appeared in the Ian Curtis biopic Control.

In 2003, Naylor spoke on Marlovian performance at the International Marlowe Conference at Cambridge University. He has contributed a chapter on Greg Hicks to The Routledge Companion to Actors’ Shakespeare (2012), directed workshops and readings at Salon des Arts, Gatehouse, King’s Head, and the Old Vic, and helped found the Caird Company and the Young Vic Genesis programme.

On Thursday, Naylor will engage in a close reading of Hamlet, delving into acting choices by breaking down certain passages word by word.

Plenary Profiles: Paul Prescott and Paul Edmondson

We are pleased to introduce another dynamic duo: Dr Paul Prescott, Associate Professor at the University of Warwick, and Dr Paul Edmondson, Head of Research and Knowledge at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Dr Prescott received his MA and PhD from the Shakespeare Institute. He is a Trustee of the British Shakespeare Association and the Associate Director of the postgraduate program Global Shakespeare. He has taught and acted across the globe, and, in 2010, Warwick awarded him a Commendation for Teaching Excellence. Prescott has edited for the Shakespeare Bulletin and Internet Shakespeare Editions, served as Academic Associate on Teaching Shakespeare: Online Professional Development, and co-organised ‘Acting Against the Grain: Non-Traditional Shakespeare’ in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Prescott has written numerous reviews, essays, and books, including Reviewing Shakespeare: Journalism and Performance from the Eighteenth Century to the Present (Cambridge, 2013). He and plenaries Erin Sullivan and Paul Edmondson spearheaded A Year of Shakespeare: Reliving the World Shakespeare Festival (Bloomsbury, 2013), and he wrote a chapter for the forthcoming Shakespeare on the Global Stage: Performance and Festivity in the Olympic Year (Bloomsbury/Arden, 2015), which he also edited with Sullivan.

Dr Edmondson earned his MA and PhD at the University of Birmingham and is currently an Honorary Fellow at both the Shakespeare Institute and the Society for Teachers of Speech and Drama. He co-edits Penguin Shakespeare and Palgrave Macmillan’s Shakespeare Handbooks. On top of directing the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival, Edmondson is Chair of the Hosking Houses Trust, a Trustee of the Rose Theatre Trust, and an Associate Minister in the Church of England. He has given lectures on Shakespeare around the world.

Edmondson has written on a variety of topics, such as Christopher Marlowe and the Brontës. His books on Shakespeare include Shakespeare Beyond Doubt: Evidence, Argument, Controversy (edited with Stanley Wells, Cambridge, 2013), Twelfth Night: A Guide to the Text and Its Theatrical Life (Palgrave, 2005), and Shakespeare’s Sonnets (with Wells, Oxford, 2004). Shakespeare (Profile Books, 2015), The Shakespeare Circle: An Alternative Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2016), and several poetic commissions are forthcoming.

Paul and Paul will be discussing their epic project Shakespeare on the Road. They celebrated Shakespeare’s 450th birthday by visiting more than a dozen Shakespeare festivals across the United States and Canada.

Plenary Profiles: Andy Kesson

Meet Dr Andy Kesson, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Roehampton and a former BritGrad chair!

Dr Kesson received his MA from Manchester and his PhD from Kent. He has organized conferences and collaborative workshops about language, acting, and the definition of ‘early modern’. He reviews theatre and literature for journals such as The Bulletin of the Society for Renaissance Studies, Early Theatre, The Journal of British Studies, and Cahiers Élisabéthains.

Kesson’s piece ‘”They that treat in a maze”: movement as emotion in the work of John Lyly’ will be published in The Renaissance of Emotion (Manchester, June 2015), an essay collection edited by Richard Meek and BritGrad plenary Erin Sullivan. Kesson wrote the book John Lyly and Early Modern Authorship (Manchester, 2014) and co-edited The Elizabethan Top Ten: Defining Print Popularity in Early Modern England (Ashgate, 2013), which examines early modern ‘bestsellers’.

Check out an interview with Kesson for Shakespeare London Theatres about Elizabethan writer John Lyly, the Earl of Oxford, elite boy companies, and more:

Kesson’s research interests include book history, the literary canon, and educational practices, as well as gender, queer, and disability studies.

Plenary Profiles: Farah Karim-Cooper

And now for yet another fabulous plenary: we are thrilled to announce that Dr Farah Karim-Cooper, Head of Higher Education and Research at Shakespeare’s Globe, will be speaking at this year’s BritGrad.

Dr Karim-Cooper received her MA and PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she taught for several years as a Visiting Lecturer. She designed an MA module for Contemporary Performance at Birkbeck College, and is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London. As leader of scholarship and research at Shakespeare’s Globe, she spearheads the Globe and King’s joint Shakespeare Studies MA programme and has developed the Globe’s higher education programme to include doctoral studies.

Karim-Cooper also serves as Chair of the Globe Architecture Research Group. Listen to her discuss some of the work that was done on the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse below (she begins speaking at around 1:40):

(You can watch the rest of the series Building of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse on Shakespeare’s Globe’s YouTube channel.)

Karim-Cooper has written and edited several books, including Moving Shakespeare Indoors (Cambridge, 2014), Shakespeare’s Theatres and the Effects of Performance (Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2013), Shakespeare’s Globe: A Theatrical Experiment (Cambridge, 2008), and Cosmetics in Shakespearean and Renaissance Drama (Edinburgh, 2006). Her monograph Shakespeare and the Hand will be published later this year.

She advocates a broader view of life in academia, which involves collaborations between universities and the art organisations, accessible scholarship, and participation in the community.

Fun fact: Karim-Cooper cites her favourite Shakespeare play as Titus Andronicus, which she calls “exciting, horrible and deeply moving.”

Plenary Profiles: Laurie Maguire and Felix Budelmann

Oxford professors Laurie Maguire and Felix Budelmann will bring their joint expertise to BritGrad on Saturday, 6 June. Professor Maguire earned her Master’s from the Shakespeare Institute and her doctorate from London University, King’s College. Before teaching at Oxford, she held a post-doctorate position at the University of Toronto and taught at the University of Ottawa. Maguire is interested in Shakespearean interiority, early modern medicine, Elizabethan performance, and the influence of the classics on Renaissance writing. She also hosts a fortnightly seminar on Literature and Medicine.

Maguire has published numerous articles and books, including Othello: Language and Writing (Arden/Bloomsbury, 2014) and Helen of Troy: From Homer to Hollywood (Oxford, 2009). She co-authored Thirty Great Myths About Shakespeare (Oxford, 2013) with Emma Smith, with whom she also wrote “What is a source? Or, how Shakespeare read his Marlowe” (Shakespeare Survey, forthcoming 2015). The essay won the Hoffman Prize for a Distinguished Publication on Christopher Marlowe.

Classics scholar Professor Felix Budelmann received his doctorate from Cambridge and taught at the Open University and the University of Manchester before joining the faculty at Magdalen College, Oxford. He specializes in tragic and lyric Greek literature. Budelmann is also intrigued by cognitive science and its relationship to literature, which led him and Maguire to embark on an interdisciplinary collaboration with evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar.

Budelmann recently co-edited Choruses, Ancient and Modern (Oxford, 2013) and co-wrote “Timotheus’ poetics of blending: a cognitive approach to the language of the New Music” in the journal Classical Philology (2014). Check out a video of him discussing the enduring influence of Oedipus Rex:

Maguire and Budelmann will present on audience responses to ambiguity in Othello, The Winter’s Tale, and two Greek tragedies.

Plenary Profiles: Erin Sullivan

We recently saw Dr Erin Sullivan on BBC’s Shakespeare’s Mother: The Secret Life of a Tudor Woman, which is still available to watch on iPlayer.

Sullivan completed her MA at the Shakespeare Institute, where she currently serves as lecturer and fellow, and received her PhD from University College London. Her expertise as a literary scholar and cultural historian includes the history of medicine, particularly psychology and emotion. She contributes to and advises medical-themed journals and arts groups and edits the journal Cultural History.

Always interested in fostering public participation in academia, Sullivan has made advances in integrating media and distance learning into teaching. She also spearheaded ‘A Year of Shakespeare’ in 2012, a project which examined the relationship between Shakespeare and the London Olympics. Yearofshakespeare.com covered more than 80 events across the world, including the World Shakespeare Festival and the Globe to Globe Festival.

Sullivan has written and edited dozens of articles and books, such as A Year of Shakespeare: Re-living the World Shakespeare Festival, edited with BritGrad plenaries Paul Prescott and Paul Edmondson, and Shakespeare on the Global Stage: Performance and Festivity in the Olympic Year (ed. with Prescott, 2015).

Forthcoming works include The Renaissance of Emotion: Understanding Affect in Early Modern Literature and Culture (ed. with Richard Meek, 2015) and Beyond Melancholy: Sadness and Selfhood in Renaissance England, in which Sullivan delves into intertwining issues of identity, religion, medicine, and sadness in contemporary literary writings.

Sullivan has twice appeared on Melvyn Bragg’s program ‘In Our Time.’ Listen to this fascinating discussion on The Tempest here and to her talk about Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy here.

Speaker Erin Sullivan on BBC Four

Yet another plenary appeared on television last week. Historian Michael Wood consulted Dr Erin Sullivan, a lecturer and fellow with the Shakespeare Institute, for her expertise on BBC Four’s documentary Shakespeare’s Mother: The Secret Life of a Tudor Woman. The program follows William Shakespeare’s mother Mary Arden through personal and financial loss during an era of religious upheaval and the rise of a new kind of middle class.

The program is available to watch on BBC iPlayer for three more weeks. Go to 32:13 to hear Dr Sullivan discuss how Mary Arden might have dealt with grief after the deaths of her oldest children. Also check out the episode to see shots of the lovely Stratford-upon-Avon, where the BritGrad Conference will be held.

Speaker Chris Laoutaris on The One Show

Last month, we profiled BritGrad plenary Chris Laoutaris, a lecturer and fellow at the Shakespeare Institute. Last week, he appeared on BBC’s The One Show in a segment about Lady Elizabeth Russell, the subject of his book Shakespeare and the Countess: The Battle that Gave Birth to the Globe. Gyles Brandreth interviewed Dr Laoutaris in Playhouse Yard, a location central to the struggle between the “bard and the battle-axe.”

Russell, a strict Puritan, raised a petition against building a theatre in the upscale neighborhood of Blackfriars, London. Early modern NIMBYs who signed the petition included Lord Hunston, William Shakespeare’s patron, and Richard Field, his former publisher and boyhood friend.

Russell succeeded in pushing Shakespeare across the river where he wrote plays for the world-renowned Globe, only to return to Blackfriars after her death. Laoutaris actually suggests Shakespeare’s grudging admiration for his nemesis is evidenced by his creation of the Countess of Rousillon in All’s Well That End’s Well.

Shakespeare and the Countess (Penguin) will be available on paperback on 5 March.

This episode aired on 12 February. If still available, Laoutaris’s segment begins at 23:35.