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"Draw New Mischief": an exhibition at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (2017)

I'm currently organizing an exhibition with the Royal Shakespeare Company entitled "Draw New Mischief: 250 years of Shakespeare and Political cartoons". The exhibition will be free and will run from 25th February to September 2017 in the PACCAR Room at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. It will feature cartoons from the eighteenth century to the present day by the likes of James Gillray, John Tenniel, David Low, Nicholas Garland, Steve Bell, Martin Rowson, and Peter Shrank - all of which parody Shakespeare's plays. In conjunction with the RSC's season of Shakespeare's Roman plays, we'll be commissioning a number of cartoonists to respond to current affairs using Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Titus Andronicus, and Coriolanus.

Media coverage of the exhibition

  • I discussed the exhibition of BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking (21/2/17) with cartoonists Lorna Miller and Kevin "KAL" Kallaugher and MP Jess Phillips. You can listen to this episode here.


"Restoring the Repertoire" at the Theatre Royal, Bury St. Edmunds (2010)

In 2010 I worked with the Theatre Royal, Bury St. Edmunds as part of their 'Restoring the Repertoire' project. The Theatre Royal, designed by William Wilkins (architect of the National Gallery), is the only working Regency playhouse in the country and was restored to its Georgian glory with the aid of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Reopening in 2007, the Theatre and its artistic director Colin Blumenau were committed to "restoring" the forgotten plays of the Georgian period through an exciting programme of rehearsed readings and full-scale productions.

During my time working with the Theatre Royal as a research consultant, I advised the company on its production of John O'Keeffe's comic opera The Poor Soldier (1783) and rehearsed readings of John Poole's Hamlet Travestie (1812), Hannah Cowley's A Day in Turkey (1791), and Elizabeth Inchbald's All on a Summer's Day (1787). I also assisted in the programming of rehearsed readings, gave a series of public talks, wrote programme notes, and helped to devise an interactive, part-scripted historical tour of the Theatre.

I shares the insights I acquired over the course of this collaboration in my article "Discoveries and Recoveries in the Laboratory of Georgian Theatre", New Theatre Quarterly 27.3 (2011): 229-243.