I am delighted to be joining the Shakespeare Institute this year. I began my career as an actor, training at LAMDA and working quite extensively in theatre. Since deciding to move into academia my main research interests have been in the field of Shakespeare in performance, in particular verse speaking, adaptation and theatre history.
Diploma in Acting from LAMDA (3 year course)
LAMDA Teacher’s Diploma (LLAM)
BA Hons in Humanities with Literature (Open University)
MA in Shakespeare Text and Playhouse (King’s College, London/ Shakespeare’s Globe)
PhD on ‘Shakespearean Verse Speaking’ (Cambridge University)
I began my career as a professional actor, my acting work including numerous roles in theatre, and, amongst other television roles, Primrose Larkin in TV’s The Darling Buds of May. Following a degree with the Open University, undertaken whilst acting, I went on to take an MA in ‘Shakespeare: Text and Playhouse’ at the Globe Theatre/ King’s College London. I completed my PhD in ‘Shakespearean Verse Speaking’ in the English faculty at Cambridge University in 2006 after which I became a lecturer in Drama and English in the Education Faculty in Cambridge and Director of Studies in English and Drama at Homerton College, Cambridge. I joined the Shakespeare Institute in January 2013.
I was on the board of the British Shakespeare Association from 2002-2010 and Chair from 2008-10. My first monograph, Shakespearean Verse Speaking was published by Cambridge University Press in January 2010, and in July 2012 won the Shakespeare’s Globe First Book Award, as a result of which I was invited to give public lectures at Shakespeare’s Globe, Cheltenham Literary Festival and the Shakespeare Institute.
I have since completed a second monograph – Shakespeare for Young People: Productions, Versions and Adaptations – due for publication by Bloomsbury in 2013 – and have contributed chapters to Shakespeare in Stages (CUP), The Children’s Literature Handbook (Routledge), The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare’s Poetry, The Great Shakespeareans series (Bloomsbury) and Shakespeare Beyond English (CUP). I have written a number of journal articles including the only interview given by David Tennant on his performance as Hamlet.
I am represented for academic presenting work by Sara Cameron at Take Three Management. In 2011/12 I acted as an academic advisor/ interviewee onthe first series of Shakespeare Uncovered (Thirteen/ BBC) and have recently been appointed advisor on the second series. I am visiting professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance drama at the University of ICES, France.
My teaching is largely focussed in the areas of Shakespeare in performance and Shakespeare for young people. In 2012/13 I will be convening ‘Shakespeare and Creative Practice’ for the Shakespeare and Theatre and Shakespeare and Education MAs and ‘Shakespeare and Pedagogy’ for the Shakespeare and Education MA. In 2013/14 I will also be convening the ‘Shakespeare and Theatre course’ and ‘Creative Practice’ and ‘The Shakespeare Ensemble’ for the MA in Shakespeare and Creativity.
I feel strongly that students can benefit greatly from practical exploration of Shakespeare’s work in areas of both original practices and contemporary performance, particularly in terms of appreciating the impact of elements such as space, casting, textual choices, voice, movement, dialect and design.
I am interested in supervising PhDs in areas of Shakespeare in performance, Shakespeare’s language, Shakespeare and adaptation and Shakespeare for young people.
Having just finished a number of projects, including my second monograph, Shakespeare for Young People and a substantial piece on Laurence Olivier for The Great Shakespeareans I am about to commence work on a book on Shakespeare and theatrical adaptation in the twenty first century. I have also been invited to contribute a chapter on theatrical performance in King’s College Chapel (1544 –2014) and to act as guest editor on a special edition of Shakespeare journal on ‘Shakespeare and Authenticity’.
I have been on the organising committees for a number of conferences, bringing together academics, theatre practitioners, teachers and students, the most recent being The Cambridge Shakespeare Conference in 2011, which attracted nearly 200 delegates from a range of fields.
I continue to enjoy performing and directing. In 2010 I artistically directed and performed in the first site specific promenade production of Hamlet around Kronborg Castle, Helisingor (Elsinore).
Shakespeare for Young People: Productions, Adaptations and Re-workings (London: Bloomsbury).
2010 - Shakespearean Verse Speaking (Cambridge: CUP)
‘Shakespeare’s Dramatic Line’ in The Oxford Handbook to Shakespeare’s Poetry (Oxford: OUP)
‘Henry V’ in Shakespeare Beyond English (Cambridge: CUP)
‘Laurence Olivier’ in Great Shakespeareans (London: Bloomsbury)
2010 - ‘Authenticity in the 21st Century: Propeller and Shakespeare’s Globe’ in Shakespeare in Stages (Cambridge: CUP)
2010 ‘Our scene is alter’d’: Versions and adaptations of Hamlet for young people’ in Literature Compass (Oxford: Blackwell)
2009 ‘David Tennant: Playing Hamlet’ in Shakespeare Vol. 5 No.3(London: Routledge)
2009 ‘Romeo and Juliet for the young viewer’ in The New Review of Children’s Literature and Librarianship Vol. 15 Issue 1(London: Routledge)
2008 ‘The RSC Histories Cycle: Actor and Audience Perspectives’ in Shakespeare Vol. 5 No. 1 (London: Routledge)
2005 ‘Shakespeare in Performance at the Second Biennial British Shakespeare Association Conference’ in Shakespeare Vol. 1 No. 2(London: Routledge)