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. Following these lectures Shakespeare's Globe and The Shakespeare Institute have collaborated on a series of Verse Speaking Symposia - 'The End of Shakespeare's Verse?' in which Giles Block and I have presented our ideas about verse speaking in venues in Staunton Virginia, New York, Stratford Ontario, Stratford upon Avon and at Shakespeare's Globe in London.
I completed a second monograph – Shakespeare for Young People: Productions, Versions and Adaptations for Bloomsbury Arden in 2013 – and am now writing Shakespeare in the Theatre: Nicholas Hytner for Arden Bloomsbury.
I was recently appointed one of the general editors of the new Arden Shakespeare in Performance Editions with Michael Dobson and Simon Russell Beale. I am currently editing A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet for the series.
I have contributed chapters to King's College Cambridge 1415-2015 (Harvey Miller), Shakespeare Beyond English (CUP), Shakespeare in Stages (CUP), The Children’s Literature Handbook (Routledge), The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare’s Poetry (OUP) and The Great Shakespeareans: Gielgud, Olivier, Ashcroft, Dench (Bloomsbury Arden) and the supplementary material on Much Ado About Nothing for the Greenwood Companion to Shakespeare.
I have written a number of journal articles including the only interview given by David Tennant on his performance as Hamlet. In 2013 I edited a special edition of Shakespeare journal for Routledge on ‘Shakespeare and Authenticity’.
I am currently co-editing a book entitled The Palgrave Handbook of the History of Women on Stage for Palgrave Macmillan, for which I am writing a chapter on ‘Giving Women a Voice: Updating the Classics’. I am also writing a chapter on Punctuation in Drama for a collection of essays on Punctuation in Modern English Literature.
I am represented for academic presenting work by Sara Cameron at Take Three Management. I acted as an academic advisor/ interviewee on the first and second series of Shakespeare Uncovered (Thirteen/ BBC/ Sky) and have recently been appointed advisor on the third series. I am visiting professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance drama at the University of ICES, France.