Public talk: “Racialising Mortality in Early Visual Culture and the Shakespearean Stage” by Dr Farah Karim-Cooper – 3rd December 2019

“Racialising Mortality in Early Visual Culture and the Shakespearean Stage”

by Dr Farah Karim-Cooper

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Tuesday 3rd December 2019, at 5pm, 

in the Samuel Beckett Theatre, Trinity College Dublin

 

As part of the Whitfield Visiting Lecture Series, Trinity’s School of Creative Arts and Department of Drama are proud to present Dr Farah Karim-Cooper (Head of Higher Education and Research, Shakespeare’s Globe, UK) speaking on death, race, and beauty.

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Dr Farah Karim-Cooper

Dr Karim-Cooper’s talk will focus on the representations of death that participate in the development of Renaissance ideals of beauty, virtue and racial superiority in Western Europe. It will pose questions such as: How are Early modern ideas of mortality shaped by encounters with non-white bodies and cultures? And how does Shakespearean tragedy allude to the iconographic polarities of racial distinction when staging death and dying?

Dr Karim-Cooper oversees the Higher Education programme and leads Research and scholarship at Shakespeare’s Globe. She is Visiting Research Fellow, King’s College London and co-convenes the King’s/Globe joint MA in Shakespeare Studies. She was the 2013 Lloyd Davis Visiting Professor at the University of Queensland, a Trustee of the Shakespeare Association of America and Chair of the Globe Architecture Research Group that led the research into the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. She is frequently a keynote speaker and panellist at national and international conferences on Shakespeare, Renaissance drama, early modern culture and theatre practice. Farah curated the Shakespeare and Race Festival in August 2018. Her research interests are theatre history, feminism, critical race theory and performance. Farah is the author of Cosmetics in Shakespearean and Renaissance Drama, revised edition (EUP, 2019), The Hand on the Shakespearean Stage (Bloomsbury, 2016) and Titus Andronicus: The State of Play (Bloomsbury, 2019). She is currently working on a book on Shakespeare, Race and Death and editing The Duchess of Malfi for the Routledge Anthology of Early Modern Drama (forthcoming 2020).

Dr Karim-Cooper’s talk will be followed by the launch of Shakespeare’s Body Language: Shaming Gestures and Gender Politics on the Renaissance Stage, written by Dr Miranda Fay Thomas (Assist. Prof. in Drama, Trinity College Dublin) from 6pm in the Samuel Beckett Theatre Foyer, TCD.

MFT Shakespeares Body Lanaguage book Arden 2019


 

 

Winter School: Archival Research Skills and Book History, 2-3rd December, University of Limerick

The Centre for Early Modern Studies, Limerick, presents the 2nd Winter School in Archival Research Skills & Book History 2nd – 3rd December 2019

Supported by the AHSS Teaching Board

 

Venue: University of Limerick, Glucksman Library GLO – 068 (unless otherwise indicated)

Monday 2nd December

9.30 am  Welcome / Opening of Winter School
10-11am  Olivia Lardner, Glucksman Library: “The hunter, Martin Luther, and some griffons: aesthetics of the Bolton Library”
11-11.30 Tea Break
11.30-12.30 Dr Kirsten Mulrennan & Sinéad Keogh, Glucksman Library: “Digital Approaches to Early Modern Works”
12.30-1.30 Lunch
1.30-2.30  Dr Aengus Finnegan, School of English, Irish, and Communication, UL: “Researching Irish Placenames, Surnames and Personal Names ­: An Introduction to the Major Sources”
2.30-3pm Lunch
3-4pm  Dr Coleman Dennehy, Department of History, UL: “The printed case as a source for Irish legal history…..and so much more”
5.15pm  3rd Annual Bolton-King Lecture

Professor James Raven (University of Essex, University of Cambridge)
“Mermaids and Sea Monsters: A Global Book Biography and the Irish and Enlightenment Reception of Erik Pontoppidan and his Natural History of Norway”
Chair: Dr Christina Morin

Tuesday 3rd December

10-11am Prof Michael J. Griffin, School of English, Irish, and Communication: “Editing Irish Verse in English in the Eighteenth Century”
11-11.30 Tea Break
11.30-12.30 Dr Clodagh Tait, Department of History, MIC: “Records of Urban Ireland: The Curious Case of the Sextons of Limerick”
12.30-1.30 Lunch
1.30-2.30 Josefin Jiminez, Glucksman Library: “Conservation priorities for the Bolton Library”
2.30-3pm Tea Break
3-4pm Dr Alistair Malcolm, Department of History: “Spanish book preliminaries and dedications in the seventeenth century”
4pm Closing Address: Professor Kerstin Mey, Vice President Academic Affairs & Student Engagement
c. 4.30 Printing Workshop / Demonstration (venue TBC)

To register for this event, please visit this webpage.

General queries may be emailed to: earlymodernstudies@ul.ie

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Touring theatre: Much Ado About Nothing by Rough Magic

From the Rough Magic website.

This month, one of Ireland’s leading theatre companies, Rough Magic will embark on a national tour of Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare.

Set on the deck of a deluxe mobile home this festive production of deception and excess, sparkling wit and linguistic exuberance asks – can we ever truly know the people we love?

On it’s premiere performance in Kilkenny Arts Festival (summer 2019), the Irish Independent called this production “boisterous and intelligent” and “a hugely enjoyable and timeless treat.” The Irish Times gave it ★★★★ and the Kilkenny People called it the “funniest show in the city for years”.

Ticket info available on the weblinks below.

Dates Venues
9th November Siamsa Tíre, Tralee
12th-13th  November
(With a post-show talk on Tues 12th.)
The Everyman, Cork
15th November Theatre Royal, Waterford
18th November An Grianán, Letterkenny
20th November Backstage Theatre, Longford
22th November Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick

Directed by: Ronan Phelan

Cast: Clare Barrett, Venetia Bowe, Peter Corboy, Maeve Fitzgerald, Patrick Martins, Margaret McAuliffe, Jack Mullarkey, Shane O’Regan & Conor O’Riordan

Set Design: Sabine Dargent                Lighting Design: Sarah Jane Shiels

Costume Design: Catherine Fay          Sound Design: Denis Clohessy

Rough-Magic 2019 Much Ado - Leonata

Leonata in Rough Magic’s Much Ado (Credit: Rough Magic website)

Review: Hamlet at the dlr Mill Theatre Dundrum – October 2019

Review by Dr Ema Vyroubalová (TCD) of Hamlet, directed by Geoff O’Keeffe, dlr Mill Theatre Dundrum, October 2019.

Hamlet runs from 9-25th October 2019. Tickets available on the dlr Mill Theatre website.

With this lively fast-paced production performed in modern dress on a minimalist set, Hamlet comes back to Dundrum after a three-year hiatus. It is the seventh Shakespeare production to be staged at Mill Theatre in Dundrum Town Centre. Like all of the theatre’s earlier Shakespeare productions – Macbeth (2013), Othello (2014), King Lear (2015), Hamlet (2016), King Lear (2017), Romeo and Juliet (2018), Macbeth (2018) – it is put on by the in-house Mill Productions company and directed by their own Geoff O’Keefe as part of the theatre’s educational outreach programme.

If anyone comes to the play with the notion of Hamlet as a character who spends a lot of time standing around, mulling over his seemingly equally damning options while periodically delivering long poetic speeches, Kyle Hixon’s rendering of the role quickly dispels such stereotype. Hixon’s Hamlet brims over with nervous energy and he more often than not delivers his lines walking, pacing, running, jumping, fighting, crouching, or lying down. He joins the Player King and Queen in performing “The Murder of Gonzago” in Act 3 Scene 2. One scene later, when Hamlet has an ideal opportunity to kill Claudius but decides against it because the king is at his prayers and so may avoid eternal damnation, he hovers directly over the self-absorbed Claudius and makes it physically very obvious how close this Hamlet comes to going through with the murder. The manic energy with which he performs the notorious encounter with Gertrude (Caoilfhionn McDonnell) and the murder of Polonius (Malcolm Adams) in the Closet Scene (Act 3 Scene 4) suggests that this is a Hamlet who is being driven mad both by the events around him and by his own efforts to feign the “antic disposition”. His performance in the duel with Laertes (Felix Brown) is worth mentioning too as the two actors successfully pull off a technically demanding and largely naturalistic-looking fight.

Laoise Sweeney’s Ophelia presents a clear contrast to Hixon’s Hamlet, with her primarily inward-oriented grief and verbally rather than physically expressed descent into madness. While Hamlet in particular has often been played by experienced and so inevitably older actors, it is worth noting that the actors playing Hamlet, Ophelia, Laertes, and Horatio (Harry Butler), are all comparably young (early to mid-20s). Geoff O’Keefe’s choice to cast a genuinely young Hamlet gives the intergenerational conflict at the heart of the play a naturalistic expression, and hopefully also makes it easier for the young target audiences to relate to these characters.

Due to the company’s small size, the production included several instances of double and triple casting: Claudius/the Ghost, Bernardo/Guildenstern, Player King/Grave Digger/Sailor, and Player Queen/Grave Digger/Messenger. The doubling of Claudius with the Ghost naturally raises a host of questions about the nature of both kingship and kinship in the play and makes us wonder whether the two kings are ultimately that different. The doubling of the Gravediggers (as purveyors of a comedic interlude in the play) with the Player King and Queen (as presenters of a tragedic interlude) in turn raises questions about mixing and interchangeability of comedy and tragedy and ultimately about Hamlet‘s genre. Among the inevitable cuts, most notable is the  elimination of Fortinbras: given the length of the play and the need to cut it down quite substantially to make it presentable to school groups, this seems like a reasonable choice, especially since this production focused on the family drama aspect of the play rather than on the play’s larger political context.

Hamlet 2019 ensemble Mill-Productions dlr Dundrum

Ensemble – Hamlet by Mill Productions at the dlr Mill Theatre, Dundrum

Compared to the sets and costumes of Mill Productions’ previous Shakespeare adaptations, especially last year’s visually rich Macbeth, I found the costumes (Susan Devitt) and the set (Gerard Bourke) a little disappointing but conceptually still fairly interesting. The costumes were a relatively inconspicuous modern dress affair in a black/grey/red/orange colour scheme, evocative of a postindustrial drabness and the oppressiveness of the Denmark Hamlet has found himself in. Only the eclectic colourful outfits of the Player Queen and Player provided a welcome visual respite.

The otherwise minimalist and similarly drab set was anchored by a trio of prominent elements: a half-torn screen on the back wall, used to project footage of Old Hamlet’s face at points when he speaks to Hamlet, as well as the contents of Hamlet’s letter to Ophelia read out by Polonius; two white plastic cantilever chairs used as thrones; and a set of spheres suspended above the stage at different heights and variously illuminated in order to appear in different colours at different points in the production. The screen (decorated along the edges by splashes of colour vaguely reminiscent of Jackson Pollock’s art) underlined the importance of omnipresent surveillance to the play’s plot. Its association with Old Hamlet’s image raises the question whether Hamlet is just replaying memories of his father in his own head or whether what he is seeing (and hearing) is a genuine ghost of his father independent of Hamlet’s imagination. The legless plastic chairs seemed to be hinting that Claudius’s kingdom may not have the proverbial “leg to stand on”. Finally, the suspended spheres changed their colours along with the changing moods and events of the play and certain colours seemed to be associated with certain characters. The setup was evocative of heavenly bodies, serving as a reminder of the uncertain relationship between an individual fate and the universe as a whole. At the same time, a touch of drabness – the larger of the spheres appeared to be rubber exercise balls dabbed with splashes of paint – visually tied these heavenly bodies to the very much earthly rest of the set.

Although the production is aimed primarily at students reading the play for the English portion of the Leaving Certificate, the almost entirely adult audience at the evening performance I attended on the whole seemed to genuinely enjoy it. In fact, one thing I could not help noticing throughout was how many of my fellow spectators appeared genuinely gripped by the story and how some were even eager to see how the plot would play out. This observation probably indicates that the story of Hamlet has been becoming, at least in contemporary Ireland, a less prominent part of what might be termed ‘general knowledge’ than it would have been some years or decades ago. But it also suggests that directors and actors may not have to worry about audience expectations shaped by previous encounters with the play as much as their predecessors had done, which can have a certain liberating effect. Geoff O’Keefe’s production of Hamlet fits this trend: with its sparse modern aesthetic and focus on combining energetic physical acting with clear and naturalistic delivery of Shakespeare’s lines, it will definitely appeal to anyone watching Hamlet for the first time, as well as to students watching the play as part of preparation for exams. More experienced theatre-goers and Shakespeare fans can still find plenty of interest, such as the colourful symbolism of the interplay between the lighting and the set, or the wealth of interpretive possibilities in the production’s multiple doubling and tripling casting choices.

Review by Dr Ema Vyroubalová (TCD), with thanks to Mill Productions.

Hamlet runs from 9-25th October 2019. Tickets available on the dlr Mill Theatre website.

dlr Mill theatre Dundrum

 


 

Talks: Jewish books in Marsh’s Library – 5th November 2019

[Text and images from Marsh’s Library website.]

A small library in working-class, south inner-city Dublin is probably the last place you would expect to find a significant collection of Hebrew and Yiddish books dating from 1489 to 1700, but…..

Marsh’s Library does indeed hold some very important early Jewish printed books.

 

 

 

With funding from the Irish Research Council, Dr Brad Anderson of Dublin City University has organised a free public event to explain why these books are so important, and how they ended up in Dublin.

The speakers at this event are:

  1. Professor Emile Schrijver (University of Amsterdam/ Jewish Cultural Quarter): “Hebrew Manuscripts Since the Invention of Printing”
  2. Michelle Chesner (Columbia University, USA/Footprints Project): “Footprints in an Irish Tone: The Marsh’s Library, its Jewish Books, and their Travels to Dublin”
  3. Dr Javier del Barco (Madrid, CSIC / Spanish National Research Council): “The Oxford Period in Marsh’s Collection of Hebrew Books”
  4. Dr Rahel Fronda (Oxford University/Bodleian Library): “Marsh’s Legacy in Oxford: The Bodleian Library as a Home for his Manuscripts”

When: Tuesday 5 November 2019, 10am – 4pm
Where: Marsh’s Library, St Patrick’s Close, Dublin D08 FK79

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Please contact Dr Brad Anderson at brad.anderson@dcu.ie

 

[Text and images from Marsh’s Library website.]

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Screening: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by the National Theatre

The NT Live screening of Dream will take place in selected Irish cinemas on 17 October, 22 October, 3 November, and 6 November. For details, see the NT Live website.

[Copied from the NT Live website.]

‘The course of true love never did run smooth.’

A feuding fairy King and Queen of the forest cross paths with four runaway lovers and a troupe of actors trying to rehearse a play. As their dispute grows, the magical royal couple meddle with mortal lives leading to love triangles, mistaken identities and transformations… with hilarious, but dark consequences.

Shakespeare’s most famous romantic comedy will be captured live from the Bridge Theatre in London. Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), Oliver Chris (Green Wing, NT Live: Young Marx), David Moorst (NT Live: Allelujah!) and Hammed Animashaun (The Barber Shop Chronicles) lead the cast as Titania, Oberon, Puck and Bottom.

Directed by Nicholas Hytner, this production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will build on the success of his immersive staging of Julius Caesar (NT Live 2018). The Bridge Theatre will become a forest – a dream world of flying fairies, contagious fogs and moonlight revels, surrounded by a roving audience following the action on foot.

For the trailer, see here.

The NT Live screening of Dream will take place in selected Irish cinemas on 17 October, 22 October, 3 November, and 6 November. For details, see the NT Live website.

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Gwendoline Christie as Titania [image credit: NT Live Dream] 


 

Study day: ‘NETWORKS’ Ormond Courtiers and Kilkenny Merchants in the 16th Century – October 2019

[From eventbrite website]

This October, Kilkenny Castle will host a Study Day that seeks to highlight information concerning the extensive network of connections that the earls of Ormond had with their counterparts at the English Court and further afield and to explore the impact of such cultural proximity on their patronage of the arts during the early modern period c.1490–1614. It will also feature information about Kilkenny merchant families and their buildings, their connections with fellow merchants in Bristol, Antwerp and elsewhere.

The event takes place on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th October 2019.

It is a ticketed event, see the eventbrite website for tickets and more info.

Study Day Programme

Day 1: Friday 11th October

16.00 A walking tour, commencing at Kilkenny Castle, of the late Medieval Houses and Inns of Kilkenny led by Amanda Pitcairn MA (Independent tour guide).

16.45 Visit to Rothe House, Kilkenny (Courtesy Kilkenny Archaeological Society), A tour of the house and garden.

17.30–18.00 Walk back to castle visiting St. Mary’s Church (Renamed The Medieval Mile Museum Courtesy of Kilkenny Civic Trust) on the way.

18.30 Launch of Weekend programme;

ACADEMIC SESSION 1 – The Town. Chair: Mary Heffernan, (Manager, Dublin Castle, National Historic Properties, OPW). Papers will be followed by a Q&A.

18.45 Dr. Maurice Hurley, The Kilkenny Merchant’s House – the Irish Urban context.

19.25 Julian Munby BA FSA (Oxford). From Kilkenny to Bristol and back: new work on the Liber Primus of Kilkenny.

RECEPTION

Day 2: Saturday 12th October

09.30 Registration, The Parade Tower Kilkenny Castle

ACADEMIC SESSION 2 – The Merchants. Chair: Conleth Manning (Independent)

10.00 Dr. Linda Doran (University College Dublin): William Marshall and the establishment of the port of New Ross.

10.30 Dr. Susan Flavin (University of Dublin, Trinity College): Commodities and Commerce: Kilkenny Merchants and the Sixteenth-Century Consumer Boom.

11.15 Coffee

ACADEMIC SESSION 3 – The Earls of Ormond. Chair: Ben Murtagh MA MIAI (Archaeological and Historic Building Consultant)

11.35 Keynote speaker: Dr. David Edwards (University College Cork) The earls of Ormond and the Kilkenny civic elite.

12.15 Dr. Jane Fenlon: Courtiers and Merchants; Display and Magnificence in the waning middle ages.

12.45 Dr. Danielle O’Donovan (Nano Nagle Place, Cork): Petrified Affinity – Architecture, Sculpture and the Ormond Affinity in Late Medieval Kilkenny and Tipperary.

13.30 LUNCH (self catering in town)

ACADEMIC SESSION 4 – Memorials. Chair: Dolores Gaffney (OPW, Kilkenny Castle)

14.30 Dr. Amy Harris (Independent) Merchant tombs in St. Mary’s – the Merchant’s Church, Kilkenny.

15.00 Dr. Oliver D. Harris, University College, London: Lines of Descent: Genealogical imagination and creativity: The Lumley and Carew monuments.

15.45 TEA

16.00 Conleth Manning: overview of papers, summing up and discussion.

[From eventbrite website]