This week (beginning 18 May) The River-side will post a series of blog posts comprising a student-created online exhibition Mapping Cork: Trade, culture and politics in medieval and early modern Ireland. This online exhibition is curated and overseen by Dr Małgorzata Krasnodębska-D’Aughton, Senior Lecturer, UCC’s School of History and Elaine Harrington, Special Collections Librarian, UCC Library. Four MA in Medieval History students: Andrew […]
The MACMORRIS Project seeks to map the full range of cultural activity in Ireland, across languages and ethnic groups, from roughly 1541 to 1691. It is a 4-year digital-humanities project funded by the Irish Research Council, and based in Maynooth University, Ireland.
The Project is currently seeking to recruit a well-qualified applicant interested in undertaking a research degree at PhD level. The successful candidate will have at least a 2.1 degree at BA and MA level, with a strong scholarly grounding in Renaissance literature and early modern Ireland.
The ideal candidate will have with a background in one or more of the following disciplines: Early Modern English, History, Gaeilge, Modern Languages, Classics, Comparative Literature, Post-/Colonial Studies, Women’s Writing, Archaeology, Environmental Humanities, Library Science, and Information Management.
See Maynooth University website here for details on the funding, possible topics, supervision, deadline etc..
Cyclone Rep, Ireland’s leading Shakespeare Theatre-in-Education Company, is trying to help Leaving Certificate students during these difficult times, coming up with interesting new online ways to interact and make the works of William Shakespeare accessible to the young audiences. Due to the current lockdown the Cyclone Rep National Tour had to be cut short, but out of this unfortunate situation the company has come up with a solution to keep their mission alive.
RTÉ has announced that they will air Hamlet for the benefit of Secondary School students, showing the RSC Hamlet (2009) on Saturday 11th April 2020 on RTÉ2, 11.25am. All of the upcoming screenings of Shakespeare productions will be available on RTÉ Player for 30 days post-broadcast.
Following this announcement, Cyclone Rep has organised a live streamed discussion and Q&A on the themes of the Bard’s masterpiece.
On Saturday 11th of April at 3.10pm, after RTE’s screening of the RSC production of Hamlet (starring David Tennant & Patrick Stewart), Cyclone Rep Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Peadar Donohoe, together with Hamlet Session lead actor Marcus Balewill discuss the main themes of the play and will answer any questions posed by the viewers. The streaming can be found at 3.10pm on the company’s Facebook page (facebook.com/CycloneRep). Viewers are encouraged to contact the speakers through social media channels (commenting the stream or sending private messages to the company via Facebook or through Twitter (twitter.com/CycloneRep).
Donohoe and Bale have been directing and performing Shakespeare plays for Secondary Schools students for over 15 years and have developed several productions of Hamlet in that time, as well as all the other plays prescribed in the curriculum for Junior & Senior Cycle Students.
Cyclone Rep Theatre Company tours nationwide to venues and schools and performs each year in repertory the prescribed Shakespeare plays for both Junior and Senior Cycle students. Over the last 10 years, more than 200k Irish Secondary students have seen the works of the Bard through Cyclone’s sessions. Cyclone Rep’s plays are continuously updated for the students to keep them fresh and alive.
For more on Cyclone Rep Theatre Company, see www.cyclonerep.com
Publication: The Alliance of Pirates: Ireland and Atlantic piracy in the early seventeenth century by Connie Kelleher
In the early part of the seventeenth-century, along the southwest coast of Ireland, piracy was a way of life. Following the outlawing of privately-commissioned ships in 1603 by the new king of England, disenfranchised like-minded men of the sea, many who had been former ‘privateers’, merchant sailors and seamen and who had no recourse but to turn to plunder, joined forces with traditional pirates. With the closing of the ports, they transferred their base of operations from England to Ireland and formed an alliance. Within the context of the Munster Plantation, many of the pirates came to settle, some bringing families. These men and their activities not alone influenced the socio-economic and geo-political landscape of Ireland at that time but challenged European maritime power centres, while also forging links across the North Atlantic that touched the Mediterranean, Northwest Africa and the New World.
Tracing the cultural origins of this particular period in maritime plunder from the late-1500s and throughout its heyday in the opening decades of the 1600s, The Alliance of Pirates analyses the nature and extent of this predation and looks at its impact and influence in Ireland and across the Atlantic. Operating during a period of emerging global maritime empires, when nations across Europe were vying for supremacy of the seas, the pirates built their own highly lucrative and highly potent piratical power base.
Drawing on extensive primary and secondary historical sources Dr Connie Kelleher explores who these pirates were, their main theatre of operations and the characters that aided and abetted them. Archaeological evidence uniquely supports the investigation and provides a tangible cultural link through time to the pirates, their cohorts and their bases.
For more info, see the book on the Cork University Press website. Published April 2020 | 9781782053651 | €30 £27| Hardback |234 x 156mm| 552 pages | 60 illustrations
Guest report by Edel Carmody, Cyclone Rep Theatre Company
This year marks the tenth anniversary since the creation of Cyclone Rep’s Shakespeare Sessions. Cyclone Rep is Ireland’s leading Shakespearean Theatre-in-Education Company. We are also (as far as we know) the only repertory company in Ireland.
The inspiration for Cyclone’s hugely successful take on Shakespeare’s texts stems from Artistic Director Peadar Donohoe’s years as a drama coach in Cork. His approach to theatre was and still is deeply influenced by Antonin Artaud’s “Theatre of Cruelty”. Breaking the fourth wall, audience interaction, and heightened physicality are all integral components of Cyclone’s performance style. Using these elements Cyclone achieves their mission to provide secondary school audiences with an exciting and multi-faceted theatrical experience that engages, entertains and educates.
The Shakespeare Sessions are abridged versions of the plays that stay true to the language and spirit of Shakespearean theatre. Cyclone’s approach to Theatre-in-Education is highly collaborative and constantly takes on board audience and stakeholders’ feedback. A typical Shakespeare Session includes everything from a sword fight between an actor and a student to nuanced discussions of challenging themes such as madness, gender, or racism.
Each year the company tours a number of Shakespeare plays in repertory. The 2019-2020 season sees four plays being toured: Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear and Hamlet. Marcus Bale, the company manager, estimates that by May 2020, over 31,000 individuals nationwide will have experienced this season’s sessions. Marcus, who plays both Hamlet and Shylock, is an internationally trained actor whose focus for the last 20 years has been the physical theatrical techniques of Commedia dell’Arte, Mime, Clown, Improvisation, and the work of Jacques Lecoq, Eugenio Barba, and Augusto Boal, and these practices have been incorporated into the Cyclone Rep’s style of performance.
Also, true to 16th century performance tradition is the use of gender-swapped roles. Cyclone plays constantly with this tradition. In Cyclone’s Romeo and Juliet Session, Leah Wood plays Tybalt, while Kieran O’Leary plays The Nurse. Since Shakespeare’s time, his plays have undergone numerous iterations from a Soviet-styled Macbeth to Julius Caesar with an all-female cast. Engaging with this long-standing tradition, Cyclone has re-imagined Shakespeare’s work while staying true to key themes and interpretations. For example, The King Lear Session tackles the theme (central to the play) of nature run amok by setting the play in a post-apocalyptic world caused by climate change. During The Hamlet Session different interpretations surrounding the theme of madness are discussed by the cast with the audience. The Romeo and Juliet Session explores gender and sexuality, and even features Shakespeare himself (played by Mike Keep). When the Bard himself is transplanted into our modern age, he is forced to grapple with how both theatre and the role of women in the public sphere has changed.
Thanks to audience feedback the Shakespeare Sessions have evolved greatly since 2010.In Cyclone’s first production of King Lear in 2015 the characters of Kent and the Fool were merged (this was done to allow for a five-member cast). However, students found this conflation confusing and teachers voiced this issue. So, Cyclone’s second production of The King Lear Session featured six actors and the characters of Kent and Fool were played by two different actors.
Beginning in 2010, during The Hamlet Session the main female characters are questioned by the male characters in a mock interrogation scene. Audiences liked this technique so much, that the latest production of The Hamlet Session similarly acts out an interrogation of the male characters’ motives and culpability. Ongoing feedback from teachers and students helps us to constantly incorporate and expand on aspects of the plays that young people and teachers feel are relevant today. Equally, the role of audio-visual aids has grown considerably since our inception. Initially the use of these projections was minimal but this has changed due to audience demand. Now audio-visuals are an integral part of the sessions, and we use a whole range of these, from animations, mind maps, and bullet points clarifying key ideas to rap versions of 16th century poetry and Joy Division songs.
For a decade, Cyclone Rep has been committed to bringing Shakespeare to life for young people nationwide in fresh and creative ways. Since 2010, over 200,000 young people have seen Cyclone’s Shakespeare Sessions. Thus, it is fair to say that in some measure, Cyclone is helping building Ireland’s next generation of theatregoers.
Guest report by Edel Carmody, Cyclone Rep Theatre Company
The exhibition “Readers & Reputations: The Reception and Circulation of Early Modern Women’s Writing, 1550-1700” will be held in the foyer of the Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway. The exhibition runs from 16th January to 2nd April 2020.
This exhibition showcases the work of RECIRC and is funded by the Irish Research Council. RECIRC is a 5 year project that has produced a large-scale, quantitative analysis of the reception and circulation of women’s writing from 1550 to 1700, and is funded by the European Research Council. For more on the project, see the RECIRC website, follow the project on Twitter at @RECIRC_ or contact the project’s Principal Investigator Prof Marie-Louise Coolahan.
“Translation and Transformation in the
Medieval and Early Modern World”
Postgraduate Conference in Medieval and Early Modern Studies
27-29th March 2020
University College Cork
University College Cork is delighted to announce the call for papers for the 24th annual Borderlines conference on the theme of “Translation and Transformation”. Borderlines XXIV invites abstracts of no more than 250 words on the theme of “Translation and Transformation”. Papers will be twenty minutes of length and can focus on one or both concepts.
We welcome submissions from postgraduates and early career researchers in any discipline relating to the medieval and early modern periods.
Borderlines XXIV invites papers that address the social, historical, literary, religious, and cultural significance of translation and transformation. We welcome papers from researchers in the fields of Anthropology, Archaeology, Codicology, Drama, Digital Humanities, Folklore, History, History of Art, Geography, Languages, Literature, Music, Palaeography, Philosophy, and Theology.
Topics may include, but are not limited to:
- Translation and adaptation
- Textual fluidity
- Hybridity of form/perspective
- Transformative experience
- Translation as distortion
- Physical transformation
- Translation ethics
- Cultural inertia
All submissions must be received by 3rd February 2020. Submissions must include: an abstract, short bio, and contact information. All submissions and queries can be directed to: BorderlinesXXIV@gmail.com.
Facebook: Borderlines XXIV Twitter: @BorderlinesIE
[Info from the ODEON Cinemas website.]
Due to phenomenal demand, The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare’s timeless tragicomedy of obsession and redemption, returns to cinemas this festive season. This beautifully reimagined production,co-directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh, features a remarkable cast including Dame Judi Dench as Paulina, alongside Tom Bateman, Jessie Buckley, Hadley Fraser, Miranda Raison and Sir Kenneth Branagh as Leontes.
King Leontes appears to have everything: power, wealth, a loving family and friends. But sexual jealousy sets in motion a chain of events with tragic consequences…This critically acclaimed production was the first in the hugely successful Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company Live season that was broadcast to cinemas from London’s Garrick Theatre over the course of a year in 2015.
Information on cinemas and dates/times is available on the Branagh Theatre Live website here.
View the trailer for the encore of The Winter’s Tale here.
[Info from Civic Theatre website.]
Measure for Measure
Civic Theatre, Tallaght, Dublin
3rd – 7th December 2019
Set in Vienna, Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure is a dark comedy in five acts and was written in the early 1600’s. Vienna is overrun with brothels and loose morality and when a young novice nun is compromised by a corrupt official, who offers to save her brother from execution in return for sex, she has no idea where to turn for help. When she threatens to expose him, he tells her that no one would believe her.
The themes run from religion, morality, virtue, sin, punishment, death, and atonement, with Shakespeare choosing moral justice to prevail over strict civil justice. Measure for Measure sheds a critical eye on the policing of society by a corrupt government and politics. Whether it be 1604 or 2019, this play has resonance in the 21st Century.
Presented by Liberties College, Bull Alley
Duration: 110 minutes. One interval.
Suitable for ages 14+
Tickets available from the Civic Theatre website.
“Racialising Mortality in Early Visual Culture and the Shakespearean Stage”
by Dr Farah Karim-Cooper
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.
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.