New Podcast: Shakespeare, Henry VIII, and the day the Globe burned down

When we say that a theatre performance ‘brought the house down’, we usually don’t mean that literally. But in the case of Shakespeare’s play Henry VIII, or as it’s sometimes known, All is True, the phrase really does apply. In a performance in 1613 a stray spark from a cannon ignited a fire that burned... Continue Reading →

Watermarks: Review of The River, Produced by Elysium Theatre Company

Through its watery metaphors, Jez Butterworth's play The River reflects on how our idealised memories of the past can prevent us from flowing with life in the present. Although a short performance, it feels broad thanks to numerous literary and musical allusions. Tom Bristow tracks these through the recent, brilliant production by Durham-based Elysium Theatre Company, directed by... Continue Reading →

Rivers of Love

One man, three women, and trout. Jez Butterworth’s play The River sounds prosaic, but it flows poetically through themes of love and loneliness. As Durham-based theatre company Elysium prepare to bring The River to the North East for the first time, we asked director, Jake Murray, why we should try to catch a performance. The... Continue Reading →

Fire stopped play: Shakespeare, Henry VIII, and the day the Globe burned down (Public lecture, 5th September)

When Shakespeare's Globe caught fire during a performance of Henry VIII in 1613, this presented a very literal form of dramatic climax. But as Laura Jayne Wright will show at our next Late Summer Lecture, it also provides an excuse to revisit some of Shakespeare's other endings. All welcome to Alington House, Durham on 5th September from 17.30. On... Continue Reading →

Why does theatre matter to you?

In an age of Netflix box sets, many of us still love to get out of the house and spend several hours in the company of strangers, watching drama unfold on stage. Ahead of World Theatre Day 2018, share your thoughts on why is theatre still important. Western theatre can trace its roots back to... Continue Reading →

The absurdly meaningful quest for purpose in King Lear and Hamlet

What makes Shakespeare's tragedies so compelling for audiences? It's a question that has perplexed and challenged innumerable critics. In her new article in our Postgraduate English journal, Sara Marzana (University of Essex) posits that by depicting life in all its absurdity, Shakespeare reaches profound truths about the human experience. The concept of the grotesque and the absurd have had... Continue Reading →

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