Out of the Shadow of Shakespeare is a project funded through an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Training Award based at The University of Nottingham.  On 28th April 2012 a workshop exploring the staging of plays by Shakespeare’s contemporaries took place at Loughborough University.  The event was born out of a passion for early-modern drama and a frustration at the comparative lack of performances of plays by Kyd, Fletcher, Heywood, Goffe, Middleton and the rest.

Shakespeare is central to our literary cannon and he casts a great shadow.  This shadow, however, often obscures the literary great who collaborated with him, influenced him and in turn were influenced by his work.  By exploring ghost scenes in Fletcher’s The Nightwalkers and Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy we were able to consider how the staging of the supernatural took place according to theatrical conventions to which Shakespeare also adhered.  Through this project we hope to reconsider Shakespeare, not as the BBC describe as ‘unique’ and the ‘greatest playwright of all time’, but as existing within a network of playwrights, theatrical conventions and existing stories and imagery.

For those of you interested in the staging of non-Shakespearean drama please do get in touch.  I would love to hear of forthcoming performances or any thoughts on plays by Shakespeare’s contemporaries.


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