Promoting the study, practice
and enjoyment of Shakespeare.

Join today

Latest News and Info

CFP for LINGUACULTURE: In Honorem Professor Michael Hattaway

LINGUACULTURE, vol. 14, no. 1, June 2023


Issue editors: Professor Nicoleta Cinpoes (n.cinpoes@worc.ac.uk),Professor Alison Findlay (a.g.findlay@lancaster.ac.uk), Professor Peter Smith (peter.smith@ntu.ac.uk) and Veronica Popescu (journal@linguaculture.ro)

For this special issue, In Honorem Professor Michael Hattaway, we welcome original contributions connected to Professor Hattaway’s research interests, particularly Shakespeare Studies and Renaissance Studies, as a means to honour his contribution to the field and his influence on young researchers and colleagues in his long career as a Shakespearean scholar. We are especially interested in papers in the following areas:

  • Shakespeare’s history plays
  • Shakespeare’s plays in performance
  • cinematic Shakespeare
  • foreign Shakespeare
  • humanism and posthumanism in Shakespeare studies
  • Shakespeare scholarship during the pandemic

Contributions (4,000 to 7,000 words) to be published in the June 2023 issue are expected by 15 December, 2022 and they should not have been published or submitted for publication elsewhere. All submissions will go through a blind peer review process and notification of acceptance will be sent by 15 March, 2023.

LINGUACULTURE is currently indexed by ERIHPLUS and DOAJ.

Timeline
Abstracts & short bio to be sent to journal@linguaculture.ro: 1 September 2022
Submission of manuscripts: 15 December, 2022
Review period: 15 December, 2022 – 15 March, 2023
Submission of final articles: 15 May, 2023
Issue published online: 30 June, 2023

Please consult our Instructions for Authors page for further information about submissions and additional requirements.

Use the Submissions page to send us your contributions.

This call for papers is also available as a PDF.

Jayoon Byeon: Review of As You Like It

Jayoon Byeon (Lancaster University) reviews As You Like It (Dir. Laurie Samson for Northern Broadsides) at the Dukes Theatre Lancaster, 3 March 2022

Jayoon’s review is also available in Korean.


Welcome to the Forest of Arden, where garments are afloat in the air and coat hangers stand tall as trees. There is a striking emphasis on garments in the Northern Broadsides’ production of As You Like It; actors enter and exit the stage through a coat rack, highlighting how gender and class identities are fluid, like trying on clothes.

Northern Broadsides expand the gender-bending aspects of the text through inclusive casting, minor yet memorable amendments to the script, and a capacious wardrobe of diverse costumes. Rosalind is portrayed by a non-binary actor EM Williams; both the character and the actor go by the pronoun ‘they’ instead of ‘she,’ thus evading a binary, heteronormative narrative. Joe Morrow shines as the glittery Touchstone in drag, going beyond the boundaries of the script both verbally and sartorially. With vibrant adlibs designed to engage the audience, he boldly goes against Hamlet’s advice for players to ‘speak no more than is set down for them.’

사람, 남자, 서있는이(가) 표시된 사진  자동 생성된 설명

Ada (Clare Hackett) Photograph: Andrew Billington

The contrasts between oppressive court are emphasized by Ali Gademan’s skilful doubling of Duke Frederick and Duke Senior. Another notable character in this production is Ada, a maternal substitute for Adam in Shakespeare’s text. While Adam enigmatically disappears in the original text, the Northern Broadsides’ production gives Ada a proper exit from the stage world. With a coat, Duke Senior tenderly covers her aged body and finally her face, and Jacques (Adam Kishmiry) crosses himself and prays for her. By marking the death of this nurturing figure, the value of caring service that she embodies is ritually acknowledged and revived in Duke Senior’s court.

사람이(가) 표시된 사진  자동 생성된 설명

Rosalind (EM Williams) and Celia (Isobel Coward) Photograph: Andrew Billington

The Forest of Arden opens up a space where characters can oscillate between female and male, homoerotic and heteronormative relationships. The production especially highlights Rosalind and Celia’s relationship: they are physically intimate in the court scene, sharing touches, hugs, and kisses on cheeks and hands. With Rosalind in exaggeratedly feminine attire and Isobel Coward’s Celia in a traditionally masculine suit (see picture), the cousins’ relationship visually mimics heteronormativity. There is a slight pause after Celia tells Duke Frederik (Ali Gademar) that she and Rosalind have ‘slept together,’ which subtly connotes a frisson among the triad on stage and the audience. The cousins reverse gender positions to go out into the Forest of Arden, but for Celia, their journey to freedom perpetuates their time as a couple, regardless of the gender position each takes. 

When Rosalind (disguised as Ganymede) and Orlando (Shaban Dar) enact a marriage ceremony and later kiss, their excitement, centre stage, draws the eyes of spectators. This is contrasted by Celia’s evident distress throughout. She wipes tears, whimpers, and complains to Rosalind, raising the tension between the two once again. Another notable element is the dramatisation of the hunting sequence as Celia’s dream, in which her nightmare of being parted from Rosalind is visualised as an aggressive intrusion of men. The production proceeds according to the original plot, but leaves the audience wondering where the play might have gone had Rosalind and Celia’s relationship not been interrupted.

무용수, 스포츠이(가) 표시된 사진  자동 생성된 설명

Photograph: Andrew Billington

While providing the audience with food for thought about gender, sexuality, and identity, the overall tone of the production is energetic and lighthearted. The audience shares in the pleasure of a world where ‘there’s no clock in the forest,’ and a final maypole dance where diverse colours, genders, and sexualities are intertwined.

Header image: Andrew Billington

Kat Hipkiss: Framing Margaret in Performance

New BSA Trustee Dr Kat Hipkiss gives us a glimpse into her research on the framing of women in contemporary productions of Shakespeare, and tells us why she’s excited to join the board of the BSA as Web and Communications Deputy.


I began my PhD thesis – ‘”My body shall pay recompense”: The Embodiment of Margaret in Selected Staged and Televised Cycles of the First Tetralogy’ – with a description of a scene that contains (in my opinion) one of the most powerful stage pictures in the works of Shakespeare: Queen Margaret entering into the middle of a court planning their escape, holding the decapitated head of her lover Suffolk in her arms (2HVI, 4.4). As well as being a brilliant theatrical moment, the scene also enables me to combine several approaches and aspects of my research: the body in performance (Margaret localises her grief in her body whilst lamenting the loss of her lover’s); the multiple societal positions women occupy (wife, mother, widow, all at once); and the gendered presentation of women on stage and screen, especially hair and hair covering in performance (for example, Peggy Ashcroft’s Margaret in 1964 wore a corrupted bridal veil as she mourned her lover in front of her husband).

The scene of Margaret cradling Suffolk’s head, and the myriad of possibilities within it, also helped lead me towards another key focus of my research: the framing of women. By this I mean interrogating how women in contemporary performances of Shakespeare are framed both literally in stage and screen images, and metaphorically in how they are constructed within the world of a production. In my thesis, I returned to the cradling of Suffolk’s head across four major cycles of the first tetralogy, and found that the way in which each production presented this scene could be analysed to understand how they conceived of Margaret across the cycle as a whole.

One of the productions that enabled me to use the cradling of Suffolk’s head to dig further into this dual sense of framing was Jane Howell’s 1983 BBC/Time-Life cycle for The BBC Television Shakespeare (which is my goto production recommendation for anyone who hasn’t watched the first tetralogy in full!). When studying the cycle, I found myself returning again and again to the way in which Howell literally frames Margaret within the camera lens, and how this has the impact of centring her both within the shot and the narrative.

The centring of Margaret in Howell’s cycle is particularly apparent in Howell’s use of repeated screen images. Across the approximately twelve hours of television, Howell returns to particular shot constructions time and again. These repeated images – combined with a single set which evolves across all four plays, and the use of an ensemble cast – have the effect of emphasising both the sense of time moving forward and the cyclical, recurring nature of the first tetralogy in performance. Importantly, at the centre of these images, Howell places Queen Margaret (played by Julia Foster), and through the foregrounding of Margaret’s body creates a cycle that has the narrative development of Margaret at its centre.

The cradling of Suffolk’s head forms part of one of Howell’s screen motifs: Margaret cradling the male body. The image is first seen in 2 Henry VI where Margaret holds the living body of Suffolk before they part. It is then shown again after Suffolk’s death, as Margaret holds the decapitated head of her lover to her in front of the court. The cradling image is repeated in 3 Henry VI where Margaret clutches the corpse of her son Prince Edward to her. And finally, the last image of Howell’s cycle is a lingering shot of Margaret sitting atop a pile of corpses, holding the body of Richard to her as she laughs into the end credits of Richard III. The repetition of the cradling image throughout Howell’s cycle means that this final shot of Margaret on top of a pile of corpses, her hair golden in the spotlight, where she is both triumphant and alive atop a heap of death, is a logical conclusion to Howell’s Margaret centred cycle, and one which reifies the way in which she drives the narrative of the first tetralogy.

It is also an image that Dominic Cooke was potentially referencing in the closing shot of his 2016 cycle The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses, also for the BBC. After the crowning of Richmond and Elizabeth, the camera passes through Richard’s chamber and out onto the battlefield, where it finds Margaret. She stares defiantly into its lens, tears brimming her eyes as the camera lifts higher and higher into the sky until, eventually, she is indistinguishable from the thousands of corpses that litter the battlefield. Whilst Howell uses the final camera shot of her cycle to centre Margaret and show her as triumphant, Cooke shows a Margaret defeated, and a victim similar to the many other faceless corpses amongst which she stands.

The subsuming of Margaret into the field of corpses – as opposed to her being triumphant atop them – can be traced back to the cradling of Suffolk’s head. Or, in Cooke’s cycle, the absence of the cradling of Suffolk’s head. In the highly adapted version, the head of Somerset (who plays the role of Margaret’s lover in the production) is dropped into Margaret’s lap after she follows him out onto the battlefield. She does not get a prolonged interaction with it. In fact, she never even picks it up. This moment is just one of many in Cooke’s cycle where Margaret (and the other women of the production) are silenced through both a lack of lines and a lack of action.

Just as it is a logical conclusion for Howell’s cycle to end with a triumphant Margaret, it is the logical conclusion of Cooke’s to end with a defeated one. In my work, I argue that the way in which each cycle frames Margaret in their final tableau offers a defining image of Margaret that is representative of the treatment of her in the cycle as whole.

The consideration and interrogation of framing is part of my research on bodies, and parts of bodies, in performance. I am currently developing this work for publication, as well as my work on reading hair in theatrical performance as a site of cultural, theatrical, and feminist analysis.

I also wanted to use this blog post to introduce myself as the new Web and Communications Deputy of the BSA! I am excited to help further the web presence of the BSA, particularly in terms of creating opportunities for ECRs. For example, providing opportunities to write blog posts for the BSA website, and strengthening the potential for the website to act as a central hub to connect ECRs to the BSA, each other, and more established members of the Association. Throughout the pandemic we have seen an increase in engagement and accessibility through online events, and I am excited about the opportunity to develop these initiatives, ensuring that the lessons we have learnt about accessibility are utilised as we move forward.

If you would like write a blogpost for the BSA Website, or discuss some ECR news, then please contact me at webdeputy@britishshakespeare.ws

Dr Kat Hipkiss

BSA Web and Communications Deputy; Associate Lecturer (Bath Spa University)

To read more about Kat’s work, please visit her website.
Kat tweets @kat_hipkiss

Header image: “BOLEX B8 MOVIE CAMERA 8mm” by glen edelson is marked with CC BY 2.0.

BSA Statement in Support of Ukraine

The Board of the British Shakespeare Association wishes to express its solidarity with the Ukrainian academic community and, beyond, with the whole population of this country.

We condemn the invasion of Ukraine by Putin’s forces in the strongest possible terms, and we join our voices to those in the European Shakespeare Research Association in calling for assistance and support.

Image: “Ukraine. Flag colors” by carefulweb is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.

Website by Agency For Good

Copyright 2022. All Rights Reserved