The Battle that Gave Birth to the Globe

Chris Laoutaris and Gyles Brandreth

Dr Chris Laoutaris featured on BBC1’s flagship magazine programme the One Show on 12 February 2015, talking about the findings showcased in his recent book Shakespeare and the Countess: The Battle that Gave Birth to the Globe (Penguin).

In an interview with the effervescent Gyles Brandreth, Laoutaris explained how the formidable Elizabeth Russell, a ‘busy body neighbour’ in the Blackfriars district of London, prevented Shakespeare and his business partners from occupying a new theatre built just paces from her doorstep in 1596. An outraged Lady Russell got up a petition against the backers of the playhouse, astonishingly managing to convince Shakespeare’s own patron, the Lord Hunsdon, and his publisher, Richard Field, to put their names to the document.

During the segment, Laoutaris guided Brandreth through the streets of Blackfriars where this story of betrayal and nimbyism unfolded. He also revealed the locations of Richard Field’s previously lost printing press and of Lady Russell’s home, which were uncovered for the first time in Shakespeare and the Countess and received their television debut on the One Show.

Gyles Brandreth filming

You can watch Dr Laoutaris’ interview for a limited time on BBC iplayer by following this link (the segment begins approximately 23 mins 22 secs into the programme):

  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b051qzc5/the-one-show-12022015#playt=0h23m22s