Theatre in Time of Plague

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A lunchtime celebration of William Shakespeare's 457th birthday

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Join us for an online celebration of Shakespeare's birthday by joining a discussion with theatre practitioners and theatre historians.


12.30pm Welcome and Introductions by the Chair Prof Siobhan Keenan (DMU)

12.35pm James Wallace and Iqbal Khan each speak for about 5-10 minutes on "How you have coped with the closure".

12.55pm Lucy Munro and James Shapiro each give a 5-10 minute talk on the historical background to plague closure.

1.15pm James Wallace and Iqbal Khan give their responses to the historical accounts and are invited to question the historians.

1.35pm Questions from online attendees.

1.55pm Closing remarks from the Chair.

Iqbal Khan is a freelance Theatre Director, with productions at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare's Globe, Birmingham Rep, the Lyric Hammersmith, the Bolton Octagon, and elsewhere. He has directed in Paris, Japan, the UK, and held residencies and delivered lectures at institutions including Michigan State University and Lafayette College. He was the Michael Douglas Visiting Artist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and has an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from De Montfort University.

Lucy Munro has published two books to date. The first, Children of the Queen’s Revels: A Jacobean Theatre Repertory (Cambridge University Press, 2005), focused on the most prominent of the children’s playing companies of early modern London - the ‘little eyases’ of Shakespeare’s Hamlet - examining the company’s history and their involvement in crucial developments in dramatic genre in the early 17th century. The second, Archaic Style in Early Modern Literature, 1590-1674 (Cambridge University Press, 2013), is a study of the ways in which early modern writers use linguistic, poetic or dramatic styles that would have seemed old-fashioned to their first audiences or readers.

James Wallace has spent twenty years acting and directing in Britain, Ireland, Canada and the USA. He became involved with Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre 20 years ago, where he has directed 50 plays by Shakespeare’s contemporaries for its Read Not Dead project, as well as acting, teaching and researching. He is artistic director of The Dolphin’s Back theatre company, which has staged plays from the early 1590s by John Lyly and Christopher Marlowe at the Rose Playhouse on Bankside.

James Shapiro, Professor of English at Columbia University, is author of the prizewinning 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare (2005), Contested Will (2010), The Year of Lear (2015), and most recently Shakespeare in a Divided America (2020), selected one of the ten best books of the year by the New York Times. He has been awarded Guggenheim, Cullman, and NEH fellowships, and has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and is Shakespeare Scholar in Residence at the Public Theater in New York.

Bookings will close 1 hour prior to the start of the event. Registrants will receive a link to join the online talk 24hrs before the event, via their provided email address.

Please contact the DMU Events Office on if you have any questions.

This event is open to all.

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