Cutting Shakespeare: Promptbook Practice in Stratford and Beyond (Shakespeare Institute / Royal Shakespeare Company)
I am studying for a PhD at the Shakespeare Institute (University of Birmingham), partnered with the Royal Shakespeare Company through a Collaborative Doctoral Award. My project is based on the RSC's archive of promptbooks, copies of Shakespeare's plays edited and cut down for performance on the stage, which are held at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. I'll be looking at how the RSC's general practice for cutting Shakespeare has developed over time, contrasting this with other theatrical institutions, and considering some of the impetus and practicalities behind the cutting process in general. I am supervised by Dr Abigail Rokison-Woodall at the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, and Dr Daisy Murray at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Aside from my (very niche) area of research, I am interested more generally in contemporary performance, protest art, Shakespeare's afterlives, and the works of Christopher Marlowe, Margaret Cavendish, Gerard Manley Hopkins, James Joyce, and Samuel Beckett. I have an MA with Distinction in Shakespeare Studies from the Shakespeare Institute (University of Birmingham) and a BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford (where I was based at St Hilda's College).
I am a writer of poetry, and both write and direct for the stage. Recently I've directed a production of The Taming of the Shrew at the Shakespeare Institute (July 2018), as well as an original piece of theatre, Nothing Of Woman In Me – a series of monologues based on Shakespeare's silenced women – firstly at the Shakespeare Institute (February 2018) and then at the RSC's The Dell (July 2018). I am an avid reader of contemporary poetry, literary fiction, contemporary translated literature, essays, and memoir, and I use my bookish expertise to run a personalised book subscription service called YourShelf in my spare time. During my MA dissertation, I co-created an app, SonnetShuffle, which reorders Shakespeare's Sonnets for the digital age.