University of Birmingham and Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) see 'Radical Mischief' as the way forward for thought, politics and theatre

Speakers including Emma Rice, Director Iqbal Khan, and Professor Jonathan Dollimore will focus on theatre, thought and politics at the Radical Mischief conference. The conference takes place on Friday 20 and Saturday 21 July 2018 at The Other Place, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) centre for research and development in Stratford-upon-Avon.

This ambitious joint venture between the University of Birmingham and the RSC will debate what thought and theatre can do in our time. The key question for the conference will be ‘In unstable times, can inter-disciplinary discourse reinvigorate the spirit of democracy itself?’

By reinvigorating the traditional conference format, Radical Mischief will ask how theatre and thought can combine to provide new perspectives on contemporary life. Using provocations, open space and other formats to inspire open and enquiring debate, conference speakers and participants will get to the very core of the most urgent issues now facing us.

Speakers will include:

  • Emma Rice – Artistic Director for ‘Wise Children’
  • Professor Sir Roger Scruton – Writer and philosopher, and author of ‘Confessions of a Heretic’
  • Professor Dympna Callaghan – William Safire Professor of Modern Letters, Syracuse University, and editor of ‘A Feminist Companion to Shakespeare’
  • Professor Jonathan Dollimore – Philosopher, social theorist and author of ‘Radical Tragedy’
  • Iqbal Khan – Director and RSC Associate Artist

Professor Ewan Fernie, Chair, Professor and Fellow of the Shakespeare Institute, and co-convenor of the Conference, says,  

“Radical Mischief presents a unique opportunity to refresh the conference model and strip it back to its roots as a conversation. Radical Mischief will address the fundamental questions of our times with people from across the worlds of the theatre and the academy.

“It will be a remarkable opportunity for speakers and attendees to come together, think, make their voices heard, listen to others, and perhaps even change their minds. We hope to generate real collective energy, to draw a line in the sand which says the future starts here.”

Erica Whyman, RSC Deputy Artistic Director says,

‘‘Radical Mischief will be a conference like no other. It will bring together the minds of theatre and scholarship to explore and discuss pressing questions in our world with imagination and fresh eyes.  We will move away from the traditional conference format, instead using provocations, open space and other conversational formats to inspire open and enquiring debate.

“Some of the most inspiring and challenging voices in theatre-making and contemporary thought are going to come together for the conference so I am proud and excited to be welcoming them to The Other Place.”

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Notes to editors

  • The ‘Other Place’ collaboration is between the Royal Shakespeare Company and the University of Birmingham
  • This exciting five-year collaboration is the result of the longstanding relationship between the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and the University of Birmingham’sShakespeare Institute. Centred on the mutual aspiration to develop the iconic studio theatre, The Other Place, as a unique hub for learning and creativity, the collaboration has already produced fascinating and innovative new research and theatre.
  • The mission of this collaboration is to redefine the relationship between academic work and artistic practice, in order to stimulate daring new theatre in the spirits of both Shakespeare and Buzz Goodbody, founder of the original Other Place.
  • The University of Birmingham is ranked among the world's top 100 institutions. Its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers, teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.