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Dr Ronan Hatfull

  • I am a fourth year PhD Candidate in English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick.
  • My thesis title is 'The Other RSC: The History and Legacy of the Reduced Shakespeare Company'.
  • I graduated with a BA in English and Theatre Studies from The University of Warwick (2010-13).
  • This was followed by an MA with Distinction in Shakespeare and Creativity from The Shakespeare Institute, The University of Birmingham (2013-14), where I was part of the first ever cohort on the Institute's newest course.
  • My thesis examines the history and evolution of the Reduced Shakespeare Company, a Californian three-man comedy troupe which, since its foundation in 1981, has created ten stage shows encompassing abridged, fast-paced versions of such weighty, serious topics as American history, Western Civilisation and the Bible. This thesis focuses on the company’s inaugural source of adaptation, as indicated by its name, and the subject matter to which it has regularly returned throughout its 35-year history.
  • I will trace this artistic relationship with Shakespeare from the first play, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (1987), through a six-part radio series The Reduced Shakespeare Company Radio Show (1992) to the most recent work, William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged) (2016). I have met and interviewed the company on a number of occasions, taking research trips to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2016, where the new play had its US and UK premieres.
  • You can listen to me speaking about my research in April 2016 on the Reduced Shakespeare Company podcast: Episode 488: Studying Reduced Shakespeare. 
  • I made a second appearance in August 2016 to discuss Walk You Will an interdisciplinary project in which myself and my photographer father, David Hatfull, walked the Shakespeare Way to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, raising over £1000 for the Liz Ketterer Trust: Episode 505: Retracing Shakespeare's Steps.
  • My other research interests include Shakespearean adaptation in 21st century culture, with specific interests in the work of pedagogic rapper The Sonnet Man, with whom I am currently collaborating, American television's appropriation of Shakespeare and the playwright's influence on the work of the novelist Cormac McCarthy.
Conferences (selection): 
  • 14th - 17th June 2018: 'Reduced to Death: Spymonkey and the Reduced Shakespeare Company's Shakespearean Miniaturisations' at British Shakespeare Association Conference 2018: Shakespeare Studies Today, Queens University Belfast.
  • 31st May - 2nd June 2018: 'Bill Begins: The Rise of the Shakespeare 'Origin Story" at The British Shakespeare Graduate Conference 2018, The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham.
  • 28th April 2018: "Shakespeare in the Park?': The Other RSC and the MCU' at Shakespeare and Science Fiction, The Anglia Ruskin Centre for Science Fiction and Fantasy (CSFF), Anglia Ruskin University
  • 14th April 2018: "You Mean to Make A Puppet of Me': Shakespeare Made Miniature' at Shakespeare in Practice, University of Central Lancashire.
  • 24th March 2018: 'Hollow Crowns and Thrones: The Postmodern Celebrity Richard' at KiSS: Colloquium on Richard II, Kingston University London.
  • 23rd - 24th February 2018: "After All This Fooling': Shakespeare's Globe and the Other RSC at London Shakespeare Centre and Shakespeare's Globe Graduate Conference, King's College London / Shakespeare's Globe.
  • 1st - 3rd June 2017: "Look How Our Partner's Rapt': Staging Shakespearean Afterlives' at The British Shakespeare Graduate Conference 2017, The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham.
  • 1st - 3rd June 2017: "Bounded in a Nutshell': Reducing Shakespeare' at The British Shakespeare Graduate Conference 2017, The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham.
  • 25th May 2017: 'Reducing Shakespeare' at 13th Annual Postgraduate Symposium - Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, The University of Warwick.
  • 23rd - 24th May 2017: 'Fracking Shakespeare' at Offensive Shakespeare, Northumbria University.
  • 8th - 11th September 2016: "I'll Teach You How To Flow': The Sonnet Man's Shakespearean Hip-Hop Translations' at British Shakespeare Association Conference 2016: Shakespearean Transformations, University of Hull.
  • 31st July - 6th August 2016: "The Future in the Instant": Absent Parents and Children in the Power Couples of Macbeth and House of Cards' at World Shakespeare Congress 2016 - Creating and Recreating Shakespeare (International Shakespeare Association), The Shakespeare Institute / The Royal Shakespeare Company / King's College London / Shakespeare's Globe.
  • 26th - 27th May 2016: "After All This Fooling: The Other RSC' at 12th Annual Postgraduate Symposium - Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, The University of Warwick.
  • 21st November 2015: "Ruined Piece of Nature': King Lear’s Legacy of Waste in A Thousand Acres, Blood Meridian and Mad Max: Fury Road' at And So the Judge Returns: Blood Meridian Workshop, The University of Warwick.
  • 14th - 16th July 2015: "Black Vengeance': Shakespeare’s Approach to Genre and Race in Titus Andronicus, Othello and The Tempest' at Literature and Philosophy 1500-1700, The University of Sussex.
  • 29th June - 2nd July 2015: "The One I’ll Slay, The Other Slayeth Me': A Critical and Creative Exploration of the Relation between Desire and Hate the Lives of Leontes and Demetrius at European Shakespeare Research Association Conference 2015, The University of Worcester.
  • 18th May 2015: "Ruined Piece of Nature': King Lear’s Legacy within American Landscapes of Waste' at KiSSiT: Shakespeare and Waste, Kingston University London.
  • 29th April - 30th April 2015: "Carrying The Fire': Cormac McCarthy and William Shakespeare’s Optimistic Apocalypse​' at Brave New Worlds: The Dystopian in Modern and Contemporary Fiction, Newcastle University.
  • 5th - 7th June 2014: "A Little More Than Kin': The Hybridity of Ophelia and Hamlet in Contemporary Appropriation' at The British Shakespeare Graduate Conference 2014, The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham.
  • I have taught for the last two years on the Honours level module EN381 - Remaking Shakespeare with Dr. Stephen Purcell. The module explores Shakespearean adaptation & appropriation, with a focus on interactive, student-led learning.
  • I began teaching on the module during its inaugural year and led seminars on Hamlet and adaptation theory, working with the Reduced Shakespeare's Company's managing director and co-writer, Austin Tichenor, to produce an interactive Skype lesson for the students.
  • I also put together an extensive database on adaptations of Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest, upon which the two seminar groups based their choices for the student-led seminars, which are a central tenet of the module.
  • In the second year, I led a seminar on Macbeth and particapted in a number of other sessions.
  • I prepared and led an interactive and international workshop for CADRE's Peer-to-Peer Development Exchange during Summer 2017 on 'Reducing Shakespeare'. This allowed students to interact with the Artistic Directors of Spymonkey (Toby Park) and the Reduced Shakespeare Company (Austin Tichenor), who joined the workshop from Brighton and Chicago via Skype. I received £100 for this.
  • I designed and ran a number of workshop as part of my role as the Workshop & Education Co-ordinator for the University's Shakespeare Society, including seminars with American pedagogic rapper, Devon Glover, and 1623 Theatre Company Artistic Director, Ben Spiller.
  • I led academic and creative workshops as part of my directorial and co-writing role in the IATL funded 'This Blasted Heath' project from February to June 2015.
  • I prepared and led a workshop for CADRE's Peer-to-Peer Development Exchange during Spring 2015 on 'Blood Will Have Blood: The Aestheticization of Violence in Shakespeare Through the Ages', also receiving a £100 for this.
  • I led a week of workshops and seminars as part of my Distinction-awarded MA Dissertation, developing a new creative piece which had involvement from students at both The Shakespeare Institute and The University of Warwick, discussing power couples in Macbeth and Coriolanus and their cultural legacy. The workshops resulted in a funded play, staged at Warwick in January 2015.
  • I prepared and led theatre workshops for groups of summer school students of various nationalities at Vacational Studies in 2013.
  • I worked as a volunteer in the preparation and delivery of creative literacy workshops to Year 5 and 6 Students at Falkland Primary School in 2013.
  • I am also a published writer, director and actor. My directing credits at Warwick include Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, The Tempest and Twelfth Night, as well as several new writing projects, including my first play, Not You Will, which was awarded a grant from Warwick's Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning, enabling me to film the project with a professional actor.
  • At the Shakespeare Institute, I continued to pursue my interest in new writing, including collaborating on Shakespeare Unbard (staged at the RSC in 2013); working as Co-Head Writer on Running Brook; and writing Partners Rapt, which explores Shakespeare’s power couples and their role within popular culture.
  • Partners Rapt was staged in January 2015 at Warwick, funded by the University’s new writing and Shakespeare societies. An extract was published in Inspired by Shakespeare in April 2016, a new book celebration the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.
  • I received a £1000 grant from IATL in 2015 to pursue research into staging dystopia through the work of William Shakespeare, Samuel Beckett and Cormac McCarthy, culminating in a collaborative performance during June 2015 entitled This Blasted Heath.
  • I am the Artistic Director of emerging company, Partners Rapt. I served as adapter, dramaturg and composer on Julius Caesar, a production rehearsed throughout the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election and performed a week after Donal Trump's election, exploring the resonance of Shakespeare's play with those political events. I next served as dramaturg for an immersive 2017 production of Macbeth, which explored the cold war and gated communities.
  • In Summer 2017, I created two outdoor productions: Hell is Empty, a new play which imagines a purgatorial meeting between Iago, Cleopatra and Falstaff after their deaths, and a site-specific production of Twelfth Night.

Links to the films of my conference talks and writing projects can be found below:

  • "Shakespeare in the Park?': The Other RSC and the MCU':
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  • Ruined Piece of Nature - And So The Judge Returns:
  • Roundtable on Blood Meridian - And So The Judge Returns:
  • Not You Will Performance:
  • Not You Will Talkback:
  • Shakespeare Unbard:
  • Partners Rapt:
  • This Blasted Heath:

Hatfull RSC Britgrad

Presenting my research on the Reduced Shakespeare Company at The Shakespeare Institute in 2016.


R dot Hatfull at warwick dot ac dot uk