Tag Archives: Early Modern Theatre

CMEMLL Event: Francis Beaumont, The Masque of the Olympic Knights (1613)

screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-18-23-19Rachel Horrocks and CMEMLL member Jane Pettegree are looking to gather people from the School of English postgraduate community and hopefully further afield for a workshop and partial reconstruction of a Jacobean period masque, with dancing and music, next semester.

The masque is Francis Beaumont’s The Masque of the Olympic Knights (1613) (also known as The Masque of the Inner Temple and Gray’s Inn), what might be termed an Inns of Court production.

Early opera developed alongside courtly entertainments called ‘masques’, which combined music, dancing, dramatic verse and spectacle. The Masque of the Olympic Knights was written to celebrate the marriage of the eldest daughter of King James VI/I in 1613/14, and would have involved both professional performers and leading members of the Jacobean court.

The aim of this event is to explore how it felt to take part in a masque, and for the public showcase, to be present at such a performance. Join us and become a Duke, Duchess or even a King for a day.  The dancing workshop will be led by Anne Daye, a leading UK expert in early dance, who lectures in historical dance at Laban, Trinity College of Music and RADA.  Anne is chair of HDS (the Historical Dance Society).  The event is supported by the HDS, the Music Centre and the School of English at the University of St Andrews.

A provisional timetable for the weekend is:

Dance Workshops

Friday 10 February, 19:00–21:00

Public Talk by Anne Daye

Saturday 11th February, 09:30–10:30

Dance Workshops

Saturday 11th February, 10:30–17:00

Public showcase

Saturday 11 February, 19:00 to 21:00

Venue

Younger Hall, North St, St Andrews

The public talk and showcase are both free and open-door events.

Workshop participation is free but spaces should be confirmed in advance.

To take part in the dance workshop : contact Rachel Horrocks, email rph2@st-andrews.ac.uk

To join our Jacobean dance band : contact Jane Pettegree, email jkp1@st-andrews.ac.uk

 

 

CMEMLL Research Seminar: Jackie Watson (Oxford Spires Academy/Birkbeck)

Tuesday 15 November, 5.45 – 7.00 pm
Gatsby Room, Chancellor’s Centre, Wolfson College, University of Cambridge

‘[T]hough Ramme stinks with cookes and ale,/ Yet say thers many a worthy lawyers chamber,/ Buts vpon Rame-Alley’: An Innsman Goes to the Playhouse’

Abstract

Combining ideas of early modern sense perception with research on the Inns of Court, London topography and theatre history, this paper is an experimental journey to a performance of Lording Barry’s ‘Ram Alley’ at nearby Whitefriars. It considers the sensory interactions between audience and dramatic locations: playing space, imaginative locus and surrounding city.

This paper brings the two areas of research together, and builds on Jackie Watson’s recent article on the nearby Ram Alley for the Map of Early Modern London. It imagines a day in 1607, or perhaps 1608. An Innsman – call him Francis, for sake of argument – leaves his lodgings in Middle Temple to visit the nearby Whitefriars Theatre, where Lording Barry’s Ram Alley is being performed by the Children of the King’s Revels. Using ideas from performance and theatre history, London topography and audience studies, as well as work on the Inns as sites of social mobility, legal and wider learning, and homosocial networks, my paper will reconstruct likely elements of Francis’ journey and his experience of this particular play.

In the quotation from the Induction to Every Man Out of his Humour which forms the title of this paper, Ben Jonson’s language plays with the conjunction of hearing, tasting and understanding. Barry may not have had such lofty ambitions for his comedy, but in its intertextuality, its precise location and its evocation of the early modern legal world, it aims directly to play with the familiarities and to engage the senses of ‘Francis’ and his fellows.

Organised jointly with the Wolfson College Humanities Society.


Jackie Watson completed her PhD at Birkbeck College, London, in 2015, with a thesis looking at the life of the Jacobean courtier, Sir Thomas Overbury, and examining the representations of courtiership on stage between 1599 and 1613. She is co-editor of The Senses in Early Modern England, 1558–1660 (Manchester University Press, 2015), to which she contributed a chapter on the deceptive nature of sight.

Recent published articles have looked at the early modern Inns of Court, at Innsmen as segments of playhouse audiences and at London topography.  She is currently working on a monograph with a focus on Overbury’s letters, courtiership and the Jacobean playhouse.

CMEMLL/ILCR Round Table: Law and Drama in Early Modern England

Capture1-4 pm, 5 May, 2016 
Kennedy Hall, School of English, The Scores 

Round Table Speakers

Quentin Skinner, Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities, Queen Mary, University of London, author of Forensic Shakespeare (2014)
Andrew Zurcher, Queens College, Cambridge, author of Shakespeare and Law (2010)
Lorna Hutson, St Andrews, author of The Invention of Suspicion (2007) and Circumstantial Shakespeare (2015)

Schedule

1 pm – catered lunch in the Stephen Boyd Room
2-4 pm – Round Table Discussion in the Lawson Room 

Preparatory Reading

All Welcome

 

Research Seminar: Professor Lorna Hutson (University of St Andrews)

‘Circumstantial Shakespeare’

Wednesday 3 June, 2.00 – 3.30 pm
Watson Seminar Room, Kennedy Hall, School of English 

For a joint event between the Centre for Mediaeval and Early Modern Law and Literature and The Early Modern Society, Lorna Hutson, Berry Professor of English at the University of St Andrews, will lead a seminar on her most recent book Circumstantial Shakespeare.

Abstract

Shakespeare’s characters are thought to be his greatest achievement – imaginatively autonomous, possessed of depth and individuality. This view has survived the deconstruction of ‘Shakespeare as Author’ and has been revitalized by the recent emphasis on the collaborative nature of early modern theatre. But belief in the autonomous imaginative life of Shakespeare’s characters depends on another unexamined myth: the myth that Shakespeare rejected neoclassicism, playing freely with theatrical time and place.  Circumstantial Shakespeare dismantles these myths. Drawing on classical and sixteenth-century rhetorical pedagogy, it reveals the importance of topics of circumstance (Time, Place and Motive, etc.) in the conjuring of compelling narratives and vivid mental images (enargeia). ‘Circumstances’ – which we now think of as incalculable contingencies – were originally topics of forensic inquiry into human intention or passion. Shakespeare used these topics to imply offstage actions, times and places in terms of the motives and desires we attribute to the characters.

Reading

‘Introduction’ and chapter 2, ‘Imaginary Work’: Opportunity in Lucrece and in King Lear.

Photocopies of these materials will be available for collection from the School of English Office in Castle House, The Scores from Wednesday 27 May.


Lorna’s interests are in the rhetorical bases of Renaissance literature, and in the relationship between literary form and the formal aspects of non-literary culture. Recent work includes the delivery of the Oxford Wells Shakespeare Lectures, 2012, on ‘Circumstantial Shakespeare’, the editing of Ben Jonson’s Discoveries (1641) for the Cambridge Complete Works of Ben Jonson (2012) and The Invention of Suspicion: Law and Mimesis in Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama (OUP, 2007, pbk 2011), which won the Roland Bainton Prize for Literature in 2008. She is currently working, with Bradin Cormack, on the Oxford Handbook of English Law and Literature, 1500-1700, and directs CMEMLL, the Centre for Mediaeval and Early Modern Law and Literature.