Early Modern Verbatim Theatre

Event Date: 
06 May 2017


The Anatomy Museum, King’s College London (Strand Campus), 12.30pm-5.30pm

In a series of short talks, a roundtable, and a performance workshop, this interdisciplinary symposium will explore the intersections between the study of early modern ‘lost’ plays and contemporary theatrical practice, drawing on the expertise of early modern theatre scholars, social historians, and verbatim theatre practitioners.  Join us as we experiment with staging records from a disturbing Jacobean lawsuit surrounding the mistreatment of an elderly widow, Anne Elsdon. This controversial lawsuit led to a play by Dekker, Ford, Rowley and Webster, Keep the Widow Waking, for performance at the Red Bull playhouse. The play is now lost, but the records will survive; this symposium will explore whether we can approach these records as a performance text, creating a form of early modern verbatim theatre.


Participants include Professor Laura Gowing (KCL), Dr Maggie Inchley (QMUL), Dr Sylvan Baker (Central), Ben Hadley (On the Button Theatre), and Harriet Madeley (author of The Listening Room), and actors Virginia Denham, Simona Bitmate, Andrew Murton, and George Johnston. The event is organised by Dr Lucy Munro (KCL) and Dr Emma Whipday (UCL). Join us for an exploration of Jacobean gender politics, lost plays, the law, and playwrighting.


This event is kindly supported by the London Shakespeare Centre and the King’s English Department Creative Seed Fund. Please contact Lucy (lucy.munro@kcl.ac.uk) to reserve a free place. Registration is in the Anatomy Museum between 12.15pm and 12.30pm.