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BSA Bulletin for April 2017 and Shakespeare’s Birthday

Michael Bogdanov (1938-2017)

The BSA is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Michael Bogdanov, an outstanding director of Shakespeare and longtime friend to the Association. Michael served on our Honorary Fellowship Committee, and, most recently, gave a memorable plenary session in conversation with John Drakakis at the BSA conference in Stirling in 2014. We will be publishing a fuller tribute to Michael on our website soon. Our thoughts are with his family.

Announcing our Honorary Fellows for 2017

The British Shakespeare Association awards two Honorary Fellowships each year. The Fellowships Committee chaired by Andrew Jarvis is now proud to announce that the BSA Honorary Fellows for 2017 are Sarah Stanton, formerly Publisher, Shakespeare and early modern literary studies for Cambridge University Press, and the actor Adrian Lester, one of the strongest Shakespearian performers of our time. The Fellowships will be conferred at our Honorary Fellows Award event and Annual General Meeting on Saturday 4th November, at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford. Full details will be advertised in due course.

Call For Participants: ‘Shared Futures’, English Association and University English Conference, Newcastle 5-7 July 2017

There is still time to participate in our panels at the Shared Futures conference. Choose from ‘Why Shakespeare now?’ (Chair Susan Anderson); Panel 2 ‘Sharing Shakespeare’s Language (workshop chaired by Alison Findlay, Andrew Jarvis and James Harrison-Smith) and Panel 3: Sharing Futures across primary, secondary and university education (Chairs: Chris Green and Karen Eckersall). Further details can be found on the BSA website. More information on:

If you would like to participate but do not have access to financial support (e.g. from a university or school) the BSA might be able to help. Contact us to find out how to apply for a BSA Bursary.

Announcing the annual conferences for 2018, 2019, and 2020

After a rigorous process of application and review, the Events Committee of the BSA is proud to announce the institutions that will host our three upcoming annual conferences and their titles. The BSA Annual Conference of 2018 will take place at Queen’s University Belfast on 14-17 June under the title Shakespeare Studies Today. Swansea University will host the conference in 2019 with the title Shakespeare: Race and Nation, while in 2020 it will take place at the University of Surrey and the theme will be Shakespeare in Action. We would like to thank all three institutions for the hard work they have invested in their applications, and we look forward to visiting Belfast, Swansea, and Surrey in due course. The Belfast and Swansea BSA conferences will be the first to take place in Northern Ireland and in Wales, respectively, which is enormously exciting, as the BSA would have visited all four constituent nations of the United Kingdom by the end of 2019.

BSA election of new Trustees

The BSA will be electing new Trustees over the summer. Applications are invited from members from all backgrounds—academics, teachers, theatre practitioners—to help strengthen the governing Board of Trustees and its committees. Full details of the nomination process will be posted by the end of May.

Interview with Professor Peter Hulme

The BSA website features an interview in which Peter Hulme (Emeritus Professor of English (University of Essex) discusses his work as editor of The Tempest and writer on world literature and postcolonial theory with John Drakakis (Emeritus Professor of English, University of Stirling). It is available here:

New Editors for the Education Network Blog

As of February 2017, following on from the excellent work of Dr. Sarah Olive, our Education Network blog will be jointly edited by the BSA’s two Teaching Trustees: Chris Green and Karen Eckersall. Chris and Karen will welcome any contributions to the education network blog. You can contact them with articles, ideas or questions at the following email addresses: Chris Green – Karen Eckersall – More information on:

Teachers’ Conference: Shakespeare and Creativity, The Shakespeare Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 3-5 August 2017

The BSA and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust are co-organising the first Teachers’ Conference, coordinated by Chris Green (BSA Teaching Trustee) and Nick Walton (SBT Education) under the title ‘Shakespeare and Creativity’. The price will be £180, and will include tickets to see the Royal Shakespeare Company new productions of Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra, as well as a series of sessions with members of the RSC casts, professional directors, and scholars from the Shakespeare Institute and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Full information on

The programme can be downloaded here:

Teaching Shakespeare 11 is out!

Apart from the usual selection of articles for educators and students in all sectors, don’t miss our competition…compete with prizes! We have three copies of the gorgeous publication Colouring Shakespeare with a foreword by Simon Callow to give away to readers. You can download your free copy here:

Given that we’re now into double figures in terms of issues, we’re inviting readers to take 10 minutes to answer a short online survey about the magazine to make it even stronger as we go forward: With huge thanks in advance from the Education Committee.

BSA funding available for conference, events, and other activities

The BSA is able to award small amounts of money to Shakespeare-related education events, academic conferences and other activities taking place in the UK. For more information or to apply for funding, please email the Chair of the Events Committee, Susan Anderson ( ) or the Chair of the Education Committee, Sarah Olive (


 NEW CFP: The Cockpit-Phoenix in Drury Lane: a symposium. London Metropolitan Archives, 9 September 2017, 10am-4pm

Led by Dr Rebecca Bailey (Liverpool John Moores University) and Dr Eva Griffith (independent scholar & early theatre historian) Organised to coincide with ‘Life on the London Stage’, an exhibition at the LMA, this symposium will mark the 400th anniversary year of a famous riot at this, the first playhouse in Drury Lane. The history of the ‘West End’ is variously told but rarely begins with consideration of the Cockpit, an indoor theatre built for Queen Anna’s men by their actor-manager Christopher Beeston. Despite obvious initial troubles, with Beeston renaming it ‘the Phoenix’ after the Shrovetide attack of 1617, this venue successfully produced drama from old repertoires while welcoming the new too – with Thomas Heywood as representative on the one hand and James Shirley on the other.
300-word proposals are welcome on topics including but not limited to:
       Seventeenth-century indoor playhouses
       Theatre designs of the Inigo Jones’ school
       Company/actor histories and early indoor playhouses
       Land scholarship and the Cockpit playhouse
       The early history of the West End/Drury Lane
       Repertoire history and the Cockpit-Phoenix
       The drama patronage of consort queens
       The later drama of Thomas Heywood
       The plays of James Shirley
       Thomas Killigrew and the Cockpit Phoenix
       The Cockpit and staging
       Restoration drama and the Cockpit-Phoenix repertoires
A performance element will be included for the day.
Confirmed speakers include Professor Elspeth Graham, a director of the Shakespeare North Trust and Patrick Spottiswoode, Director of Globe Education, Shakespeare’s Globe.
Please send your proposals for 20-minute papers to and by 1 May 2017, including a 300-word abstract and a brief biography. The programme will be available in June 2017, along with registration details. The event will cost £30 including lunch. Full information on:


We are pleased to advertise news and activities by our members and other Shakespeare associations. If you would like to advertise a Shakespeare-related activity, please email our Membership Officer, José A. Pérez Díez, at Items below are not affiliated with or endorsed by the BSA – please use individual contact details for more information.

The Story of the Shakespeare Club of Stratford-upon-Avon 1824-2016, Susan Brock and Sylvia Morris, available now.

In their new book, The Story of the Shakespeare Club of Stratford-upon-Avon 1824-2016, Susan Brock and Sylvia Morris answer the question “How did it come about that a small market town in the centre of England became the focus of the worldwide worship of Shakespeare?”  After all, London’s claims were much stronger being the place where he became famous and spent the most productive years of his life. The story of the part played by the Shakespeare Club of Stratford-upon-Avon, set up nearly 200 years ago by ordinary townsfolk and still in existence today, is told in this alternative history of the town. The Club was responsible for organising the first local festivities for Shakespeare’s Birthday on 23 April in 1827, 1830 and 1833. It played an important part in saving Shakespeare’ s Birthplace and setting up the Birthplace Trust. It worked towards the preservation of the Shakespeare monuments and the graves in Holy Trinity Church and it played a huge part in setting up the theatres in Stratford so that Shakespeare’s plays have a permanent home for their performance outside London. The fully-illustrated book is based on documentary evidence provided by the rich archives of the Club dating back to its foundation in 1824 and the archives of Stratford-upon-Avon which are preserved in the collections of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Published by the Shakespeare Club of Stratford-upon-Avon, copies (£12.99) are available direct from or write to

The Faith of William Shakespeare: a one-day conference, The Shakespeare Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 20 May 2017, 10am to 5pm

Join us to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation to explore what that meant to Shakespeare and Stratford-upon-Avon. Professor Peter Marshall (University of Warwick) will present an overview of religion during Shakespeare’s time; Professor Graham Holderness (University of Hertfordshire) will talk about Shakespeare’s Calvinism; Dr Tara Hamling (University of Birmingham) will curate a special exhibition based on Reformation-related material from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Collections; Professor Ann Hughes (Keele University) considers Stratford-upon-Avon’s Puritans; Dr Jonathan Willis (University of Birmingham) discusses public worship; Dr Cathryn Enis (University of Birmingham) will speak about friendships at a time of religious division; and Dr Robert Bearman (Honorary Fellow, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust) will talk about religion and Shakespeare’s daily mind. The conference is hosted by Dr Paul Edmondson, Head of Research, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. With grateful acknowledgement to Lion Hudson Publishing for sponsoring this event.

Fee: £25.00 (£20.00 SBT Friends), includes refreshments (not lunch), and a copy of Graham Holderness’s new book, The Faith of William Shakespeare. On-line bookings only via: Venue: The Wolfson Hall, The Shakespeare Centre. Arrivals from 9.45am.

King Lear (alone), one-man play with inamoment theatre.

After its highly acclaimed full outing last year, inamoment theatre’s one-man play King Lear (alone) is touring again in 2017, visiting festivals and theatre venues up and down the country. Using mostly Shakespeare’s words, and set in a modern day care home, it’s an astonishing tour de force by Bob Young, retelling the events that led to Lear’s tragedy.

“I left the theatre feeling like I’d been exposed to a flawed individual at their most honest . . . ” “King Lear (Alone) is a gripping production and the formidable performance given by Bob Young makes it compelling viewing.”  “Bob Young in the title role, is a powerful performer. His tormented character takes shape thanks to his profound voice, whilst his presence on stage appears carefully studied….. In Bob Young’s poignant (portrayal), the play is quite intense.”

The play has been designed for performance in Schools, Theatres, Conferences, Halls etc. (we also offer a separate King Lear workshop), all details can be found at Please contact Frank Bramwell at to make booking enquiries.

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