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Shakespeare's Globe





Nancy Knowles Lecture Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe



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Add an extra layer of insight to your theatregoing experience with our pre-show talks. These inspiring introductions to each of the season’s plays are given by leading scholars and supported by Globe actors.*



Tuesday 24 November - Professor Kiernan Ryan (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Kiernan Ryan is Professor of English Language & Literature at Royal Holloway, and an Emeritus Fellow of Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge. His next book, Shakespearean Tragedy, will be published by Bloomsbury in 2016.

In Pericles, the first of the four haunting romances Shakespeare penned in the twilight of his theatrical career, Professor Ryan discovers a visionary, prophetic parable: a dream of the world transfigured, in which we behold things that seemed impossible coming to pass before our very eyes.



Tuesday 8 December - Professor Peter Saccio (Dartmouth)

Peter Saccio is the Leon Black Professor of Shakespearean Studies at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. His book Shakespeare's English Kings (1977, revised 2000) is a classic in the field. His lectures on Shakespeare and on Modern British Drama are distributed by The Teaching Company as “The Great Courses.” 

Professor Saccio’s pre-show talk, ‘Radiant Cymbeline’, will explore the play’s uniquely complex plot, bizarre geography and abrupt mixture of comedy, history and tragedy. The talk will trace these eccentricities until they climax in an extraordinary final scene with 24 discoveries, a blaze of mythological symbolism, and an unexpected link to the Nativity of Christ.


Tuesday 19 January - Professor Clare McManus (Roehampton)

Clare McManus is Professor of Early Modern Literature and Theatre at the University of Roehampton, London. Her book, Women on the Renaissance Stage (2002) challenges the assumption that women were wholly excluded from early modern theatre in England. This year she co-edited a special issue of Shakespeare Bulletin on Early Modern Women’s Performance and the Dramatic Canon (2015).


The Winter's Tale

Tuesday 2 & Tuesday 9 February - Dr Farah Karim-Cooper (Shakespeare's Globe)

Dr Farah Karim-Cooper is Head of Higher Education & Research at Shakespeare’s Globe. She is also Visiting Research Fellow of King's College London. She is Chair of the Globe Architecture Research Group and oversaw the historical development of the designs for the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Her next book, The Hand on the Shakespearean Stage: Gesture, Touch and the Spectacle of Dismemberment will be published by Bloomsbury in 2016. 


The Tempest

Tuesday 23 February - Professor Andrew Gurr (University of Reading)

Andrew Gurr, a New Zealander, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Reading, and former Director of Research at the Shakespeare Globe Centre, London. He spent more than twenty years at Shakespeare’s Globe chairing the committee that decided on the Globe's shape and structure. He is also currently a Trustee of the Rose Theatre Trust. The latest of his many books on theatre history is Shakespeare’s Opposites: The Admiral’s Men 1594-1625 (2009).


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*Please note we cannot guarantee that any specific cast or creative team member will be present at Setting the Scene.