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Name: Kathleen (Kath) Bradley

PhD:  English

Thesis Title:  Staging Shakespeare's Apocryphal / Collaborative Plays


Thesis Description:

To examine the performance history of Shakespeare's apocryphal plays, examining the relationship between the roles of the modern editor as an authorial collaborator and the modern theatre director as a textual editor.  The differing imperatives which drive academics and theatre practitioners when working with these texts will also be investigated. The limitations inherent in any records closely concerned with the production of an essentially ephemeral theatrical event will also be assessed in relation to the necessary subjectivity of critical responses to unique performances.

Since this initial statement the only major change to my original proposal is the selection of three key texts for detailed examination.  This decision has been partly driven by the fact that there is an the increasing academic and theatrical consensus that my three key texts  should now be considered collaborative rather than apocryphal works.  These plays also represent three different genres - a 'lost' play, the only example of Shakespeare's hand in a domestic tragedy, and a history play.  The impact of the literary theory of presentism, as expounded by Terence Hawkes amongst others, on the dramatic presentation of  is also now being examined.


Supervisors and Institution(s): Peter J. Smith, Nottingham Trent University, Kate Burnett, Nottingham Trent University, John Jowett, Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham.


Publications (please include full details with page nos. or web links):

Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:

2007-present day

  • Course leader for annual visits to Stratford upon Avon by UCLA and Texas State Universities, including co-ordinating and leading practical theatre workshops and Q and A sessions with RSC actors / directors


  • Presented at Shakespeare, Performance, Place, Queen's University, Belfast, on the influence of differing playing spaces on Gregory Doran's all black Julius Caesar


  • Presented at British Graduate Conference on The Performance History of Cardenio


  • Presented at Italian Association of Shakespearean and Early Modern Studies Conference entitled 'Prophecy and Conspiracy in Early Modern England' at the British Institute, Florence, on Staging Comic Conspiracy in 'Arden of Faversham' - paper submitted for publication in the journal of the conference.
  • Presented a panel paper entitled That which was lost is found:  Cardenio in Performance at the World Shakespeare Congress, London and Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Presented at conference entitled 'Shakespeare Lives - Re-reading, Re-writing, Re-contextualising Shakespeare' at the University of Iasi, Romania, on War Games: Staging The Histories in an American Election Year - paper submitted for publication in the journal of the conference

My attendance at the above conferences was generously funded through the M3C SDF scheme, enabling me to share my work academics and scholars from around the world, and to receive invaluable feedback.  Thanks also to M3C SDF funding, I was able to visit Chicago and attend a performance of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater's trilogy entitled Tug of War: Foreign Fire.  The trip enabled me to examine essential archival material as it was being created, as well as interview the director of the trilogy which, unusually, incorporated the seldom-performed Edward III.  The trip also gave me the opportunity to view the archives of two further productions of Edward III in Chicago and interview the artistic director responsible for both.  The research undertaken during this trip has already generated a published review of the production (see above) and the forthcoming publication of a conference paper, but has also contributed substantially to my chapter on The Performance History of Edward III.  This chapter will form one-third of my final thesis.





Other Research Interests:

The cultural history of Renaissance England

Presentism and the 21st century theatre

Performance history


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