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A podcast tracing the development of theatre from ancient Greece to the present day through the places and people who made theatre happen. More than just dates and lists of plays we'll learn about the social. political and historical context that fostered the creation of dramatic art. This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
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Bonus Episode 36: Sometimes things conspire against the podcaster, as has happened to me in the last couple of weeks, meaning that I have not been able to get the promised episode up to scratch in time. To make up for this and fill the gap I have created an episode that goes back to Greek theatre. It looks at that most mysterious of the ancient Gre…
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Episode 123: The Origins of New Place The Clopton’s of Stratford-Upon-Avon The first house at New Place Hugh Clopton and his support for Stratford William Clopton William Bott and murder at New Place (maybe) William Underhill sells New Place to Shakespeare William Underhill and his son Faulk (another murder) The New Place of Shakespeare’s time The …
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Episode 122: The fourth and final part of the biography of Shakespeare. The rise of Shakespeare as actor and playwright for the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. ‘The Comedy of Errors’ performed at Grey’s Inn, ‘the night of errors.’ The influence of the inns of court. Plays for special occasions. Francis Meres’ comments on Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s involvem…
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Episode 121: For this episode I’m very pleased to welcome Katherine Sheil, Professor of English at the University of Minnesota for the second part of our conversation about Anne Hathaway, based around her book ‘Imagining Shakespeare’s Wife: The Afterlife of Anne Hathaway’. In this part we went on to talk about the different views of Anne in fiction…
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Episode 120: The lost years of Shakespeare’s early life have given space for some myths and legends to grow over the centuries, before we can trace a few facts of his early life in London. The myth of Shakespeare and the Crab-tree. The myth of Shakespeare the deer slayer. Nicholas Rowe – the first editor of Shakespeare. The Queen’s men in Stratford…
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Episode 119: For this episode I’m very pleased to welcome Katherine Sheil, Professor of English at the University of Minnesota. Katherine is Author of several books about Shakespeare, but today we particularly talk about her book about Shakespeare’s wife called ‘Imagining Shakespeare’s Wife: The Afterlife of Anne Hathaway’. It is a fascinating exam…
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Episode 118: Shakespeare's youth, his school days, religious life and marriage. A couple of corrections to the last episode on John Shakespeare The Shakespeare family's domestic set up. Religion and the life of a child in the late 1500's Examples of how William's education in Stratford may have looked. Anne Hathaway and her family history. William …
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Bonus Episode 35: A conversation with Cassidy Cash, producer and host of 'That Shakespeare Life', the podcast that interviews expert historians to explore people, events, and objects that were living or happening in Shakespeare’s lifetime. Cassidy Cash is a Shakespeare historian, historical map illustrator, and host of That Shakespeare Life, That S…
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Episode 117: ‘To you your father should be as a God’. - A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Act 1 Scene 1 The first of a series of episodes covering the biography of William of Stratford. Richard Shakespeare – William’s grandfather Richard Shakespeare – William’s uncle John Shakespeare – William’s father His move to Stratford Upon Avon His trade as a glove…
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Bonus Episode 34: Guest Dr Agata Luksza discusses her book 'Polish Theatre Revisited' where she examines theatre fan culture in Warsaw in the late 19th century. Dr Agata Luksza is an assistant professor at the Institute of Polish Culture, University of Warsaw. She graduated with honors from the University of Warsaw in cultural studies and journalis…
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Episode 116: As an introduction to the season on Shakespeare this episode gives a timeline of events in Shakespeare's life. The focus is on the best estimates for the dates of all his plays and the reasons for those estimates, but also includes the milestones of his life and other significant events of the time that occurred in England. Support to …
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Episode 115: A dive back into Ancient Greek theatre with a look at 'The Frogs' by Aristophanes. A recap on the life and plays of Aristophanes. A summary of the plot of the play. Analysis of the main points raised by the play. A short word on a recent production of the play by 'Spymonkey' played at the Kiln Theatre, London in February and March 2024…
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Episode 114: As an introduction to season six of the podcast in the first part of this episode I lay out the aims for the next season and the approach I will be taking to the monoliths of early English theatre tha tare Shakespeare and Jonson. In the second part of the Episode I give a quick recap of Season Five to get you and I back in the zone for…
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A bonus episode where Peter Schmitz of the 'Adventures In Theatre History - Philadelphia' podcast takes us through an overview of the development of theatre in Philadelphia. Peter Schmitz is an actor, dialect coach, and teacher of Theater History who lives in the Philadelphia area. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, he got his BA in History from …
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Episode 113: As a coda to season 5 this episode is a potted history of the life of Augustine Phillips, player in the Lord Chamberlin's Men, with the details taken from documented records. Support the podcast at: www.thehistoryofeuropeantheatre.com www.ko-fi.com/thoetp www.patreon.com/thoetp This podcast uses the following third-party services for a…
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Episode 112: To close season five of the podcast I pick up three items I dropped in the previous narrative and then offer some concluding thoughts: Thomas Watson – the life and works of the possible co-author of ‘Arden of Faversham. Henry Chettle – the life and works of the prolific collaborator. Thomas Heywood – the life and works of a playwright …
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Episode 111: The true story behind 'Arden of Faversham' The plot outline of the play Is the domestic tragedy really tragedy? The main themes of the play The domestic eating of the play The low characters The role of destiny in the play Questions of authorship Other surviving domestic tragedies - 'A Warning for Faire Women' 'Two Tragedies' 'A Yorksh…
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Episode 110: The problems of the lack of evidence about conventions and acting style. How a player learned his craft. The rhetorical or performance style of acting. Theatre as a poetic form. The rhetorical style is overtaken by a more naturalistic style. Stage sets and costume. Thomas Hayward’s thoughts on a player’s skills. Hayward on players as s…
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Episode 109: We don't know a lot about individual players of the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage, but there are three stars of the day that we have some information about. Richard Tarlton, the Queen’s favourite comic player. Will Kempe’s origins and early career. ‘A Knack to Know a Knave’ and ‘Fools of Gotham’. Did Kempe fall out with Shakespeare? ‘…
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Episode 108: The second part of the story of Thomas Dekker and his works 'Old Fortunas' - Dekker's first known play ‘The Honest Whore’, a good example of what was good and bad in Dekker’s work. ‘The Civil Wars in France’ - three parts, an introduction and a bit of a mystery. Dekker's debt to the Lord Chamberlin's Men and rescue by Henslowe. How Hen…
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Episode 107: In the first of two episodes on Thomas Dekker I discuss his earliest life and his prose works. Dekker's early life and first forays into the playhouse. His prose work 'The Wonderful Year' The Gull's Handbook - with some extensive quotes from and explanation of his piece on behaviour in the playhouse Support the podcast at: www.thehisto…
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Episode 106: We have the detail about the way a London playhouse functioned thanks, in a large part, to one document. Theatre owner Philip Henslowe kept a record of many aspects of his enterprise at the Rose theatre from 1591 to 1609. A large part of the diary comprises of daily records of the takings at the box office, which plays were performed, …
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Bonus Episode 31 Guest Jacob Bloomfield discusses his book 'Drag: A British History', with particular reference to Arthur Lucan (AKA Old Mother Riley), the drag review shows that came out of both WW1 and WW2 concert parties and the demise of theatre censorship in the UK through the lens of drag performances. Jacob Bloomfield is Zukunftskolleg Postd…
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Episode 105: The life of Thomas Kyd, including a word on Elizabethan schooling. Thomas Nashe on Kyd. Kyd and the London playwright set. Kyd and Lord Strange. Questions over the first performances of ‘The Spanish Tragedy’. Is ‘The Spanish Tragedy’ a sequel? Cornelia, Kyd’s other surviving play. The Ur-Hamlet and other plays and collaborations. Kyd a…
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Episode 104: Continuing the story of the Elizabethan theatre buildings. The construction of The Globe Master carpenter Peter Street The death of The Globe The Fortune - Henslowe's replacement for The Rose The Whitefriars Theatre The Hope - Henslowe's replacement for his bear garden, almost. The second Globe Playhouse The Globe reimagined. Support t…
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Episode 103: The story of the next phase of theatre building in Elizabethan London featuring the indoor and outdoor playhouses. The First Blackfriars Theatre The Curtain Philip Henslowe The Rose Francis Langley The Swan The Second Blackfriars Theatre Support the podcast at: www.thehistoryofeuropeantheatre.com www.ko-fi.com/thoetp www.patreon.com/th…
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Episode 102: The sources of information on the playing troupes. The Earl of Leicester’s Men – the earliest recorded acting troupe. How troupes operated under the patronage of their master. The royal patent and how it changed the way troupes operated. The sumptuary laws and protections that actors were given. The decline of the Earl of Leicester’s M…
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Episode 101: How Marlowe’s other plays differ from Tamburlaine and Dr Faustus. The plot of ‘The Jew of Malta’. The depiction of Barabbas the Jew and how it might have been received by the audience. ‘Edward 2nd’ as a history play rather than a tragedy. The theme of homosexuality in Marlowe’s work. The plot of ‘Edward 2nd’. The slow burn of the play …
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As my own small contribution to the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the printing of the first folio of Shakespeare's plays in this third and final episode of a short mini-series I look at the printing and selling of the First Folio and the afterlife of some of the copies as they travelled the globe. This includes some history on the greate…
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Episode 100: Dr Faustus is one of the most influential plays of the Elizabethan period. Most commentators see this play as Marlowe’s masterpiece, and it is certainly the most performed of his plays through the centuries. The two printed version of the play and how they may have come to be updated. The Plot of ‘The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus…
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As my own small contribution to the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the printing of the first folio of Shakespeare's plays in this second episode of a short mini-series I look at the inspiration and motivations for the First Folio and how it was produced What prompted the creator to produce the First Folio? Ben Johnson’s First Folio John H…
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Episode 99: Marlowe’s ‘Tamburlaine the Great’ is a play in two parts, an early example of a writer responding to popular acclaim by giving his audience more of the same, but for all of that mercenary motivation, and the fact that the first part was conceived as a stand-alone piece, they do work well as a conjoined piece. The history of the printed …
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As my own small contribution to the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the printing of the first folio of Shakespeare's plays in this first episode of a short mini-series I recount a recent journey to London to see copies of the first folio that are currently on display. Support the podcast at: www.thehistoryofeuropeantheatre.com www.ko-fi.co…
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Episode 98: Marlowe as a playwright at the beginning of the greatest period of Elizabethan creativity. A short recap on Marlowe’s university life. Marlowe moves to London. The anonymity and earning power of Elizabethan playwrights. ‘Dido, Queen of Carthage’. Thomas Nashe as co-author of ‘Dido, Queen of Carthage’. Marlowe’s sexual preferences. The E…
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Nick Bromley returns to discuss his book Stage Ghosts and Haunted Theatres. Stories of strange happenings in theatres abound and Nick has collected them together that takes you on a ghostly tour of London's West End and UK regional theatres. Both of Nick's books are available through his website: www.LNPbooks.co.uk Support the podcast at: www.thehi…
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Episode 97: Christopher Marlowe was one of the giants of Elizabethan theatre, but he died young in mysterious circumstances. In this episode I try to unpick the mystery of why he died. Was it just an argument about the cost of a meal, or the result of some far more sinister goings-on in the world of Elizabethan espionage and court rivalry? Support …
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In this special episode I discuss historic and recent audience behaviour in the Theatre and how that behaviour reflects changes in society, with some particular reference to recent events in society and at some theatrical performances. Kirsty Sedgman is a theatre academic at the University of Bristol who specialises in studying audiences. She has s…
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Episode 96: The life and works of Thomas Nashe Early Life Cambridge University and ‘Terminus et non Terminus’ Nash moves to London and joins the ‘University Wits’ Pamphlets and work for the Archbishop of Canterbury Nashe’s style and pseudonyms Disagreements with the Gabriel brothers Nash’s Dildo Pearse Penniless Summers Last Will and Testament, his…
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To celebrate Shakespeare's birthday a special episode with guest Colin David Reese, actor, author and performer of 'Shakespeare Unbound', a one man play about the creation of the First Folio Edition of Shakespeare's plays, which was published 400 years ago this year. David spoke to me previously (see bonus episode 'Shakespeare Unbound') about his p…
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Episode 95: The life and plays of some of the lesser known playwrights of the Tudor period. George Gascoigne - his shady life story and his Italian translations into English prose. Robert Greene - how he carved out a professional writers life from an unpromising start, his plays, and that notorious comment about Shakespeare. Thomas Lodge - a prodig…
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Nick Bromley has had a long career as a Stage Manager and Company Stage Manager and has worked on many UK tours and West End shows. He recently collated his acquired knowledge into a dictionary of theatrical terms, myths and stories called 'Theatre Lore'. He kindly agreed to come and talk to me about his life and career and his book. You can order …
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Episode 94: Gorboduc the first tragedy in blank verse The lives of the co-authors Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville The plot of the play including the description of the opening dumb show The origins of the Gorboduc story The political message of the play How the play incorporates ideas and style from Seneca, Aristotle, and the medieval traditions…
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A Bonus episode featuring a sample of the content available to members subscribed to The History Of European Theatre on Patreon. To join up go to: www.patreon.com/thoetp Support the podcast at: www.thehistoryofeuropeantheatre.com www.ko-fi.com/thoetp www.patreon.com/thoetp This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Chartable…
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Episode 93: The earliest extant plays from the Tudor period include comedies and a historical morality, which give an insight into how theatre developed. A summary of the elements that came together to make Tudor theatre a very special development. Students and Masters become playwrights looking to Seneca Nicolas Udal, schoolmaster and writer of th…
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There are just a few very well-known names from the theatre of the 18th century – Sheridan, Goldsmith, Garrick and some other, less well known. One playwright you have probably never heard of is John Borgoyne – well not as a playwright anyway. In his biography of Burgoyne ‘From the Battlefield to the Stage’ Professor Norman Poser unpicks the often …
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Episode 92: Elizabeth’s reign is seen as the golden age of theatre where many great playwrights, and one genius in particular, flourished. But did that happen because of the freedoms they were granted, or because of the constraints they worked under? The situation in theatre as Elizabeth ascended to the throne. The revision of the Act of Uniformity…
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A special episode in conversation with actor and Shakespeare expert Colin David Reese who's one man play 'Shakespeare Unbound' tells of the production of the first folio edition of Shakespeare's plays and it's creator John Heminges. You can own a copy of Shakespeare Unbound to stream, which is available at www.shakespeareunbound.com Registration fo…
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Episode 91: By the 1530s the State was concerned with the regulation & censorship of plays. Here are the key moments of legislation under Henry, Edward & Mary. The background of what made legislation necessary. The end of the Corpus Christi Cycle Play. The beginnings of actions against players The Act For The Advancement of True Religion Pammachius…
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