Current Research Projects
Our current and upcoming research projects include:
Dr Farah Karim-Cooper (Head of Higher Education and Research)
Moving Shakespeare Indoors. (Cambridge University press, 2013) co-edited with Andrew Gurr.
Shakespeare and the Hand. This original new monograph by the Globe’s Farah Karim-Cooper is due to be published in 2015.
For current critical studies by Dr Farah Karim-Cooper, visit our publication page.
Indoor Performance Practice Project
Dr Will Tosh (Post-doctoral Research Fellow)
With the opening of Sam Wanamaker Playhouse we have a unique opportunity to explore the staging conventions of indoor theatres of the Jacobean period. The Indoor Performance Practice Project (2014-16) casts light on this aspect of theatre practice and history through applied experimentation in the space, performance observation, actor and audience interviews and historical research. At the same time the Project charts the distinctive relationship between modern performers and audience in the intimate candle-lit Playhouse.
Dr. WIll Tosh has the following upcoming books:
Letters and Friendship in Shakespeare's England (Palgrave, 2016)
Playing Indoors: Staging Early Modern Drama in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (forthcoming)
Dr Malcolm Cocks (Post-doctoral Research Fellow)
The main aim of this project is to capture the response to the Globe's Hamlet tour in the years 2014-2016 and to examine the global impact of live performances of Shakespearean drama. This large-scale audience research project intends to develop our studies of reception as well as to contribute significantly to the academic understanding of how spectatorship and audience behaviour are culturally defined. We recognise that Globe to Globe Hamlet offers a truly unique and unprecedented opportunity to speak to audiences and to document their response. For the first time in the history of work of this kind we can create a rich, comparative and persuasive picture of how theatrical traditions and spectating practices of different cultures and nations shape individual responses to Shakespearean performance.
We are particularly keen to investigate the reception of Hamlet among African audiences. This is a region about which comparatively little work has been done, despite a lively historical and contemporary tradition of Shakespeare performance and pedagogy. Shakespeare’s appeal is often credited to his universal values and his understanding of the ‘human condition’ and Hamlet is often cited as his most ‘universal’ play. A larger question about the commonality of human values across cultures and the universal human condition lurks behind these questions, and at the ideological underpinnings of the Globe to Globe project. In an increasingly globalised world where it is nonetheless clear that the goals and values pursued by various human cultures not only differ but are often conflicting, a lot rides on the idea of a global tour of Hamlet.
Keep up to date with his research on the road on Twitter:
Ongoing since 2006, the Globe holds an ever-growing oral history archive consisting of interviews with Globe actors and creatives. These interviews uniquely document the experiences of working in the Globe theatre space and the discoveries made through practical experiments. This rich resource enables a growing understanding of how the playing conditions affect the performance of early modern plays, and the challenges of working in a reconstructed space. This project will gain another fascinating dimension with the opening of the Indoor Jacobean theatre, which will further deepen scholarly understanding of the practical implications of early modern performance.
Simon Smith has been working as the Globe’s Music Researcher during the 2012 theatre season, shadowing Claire van Kampen in her role as Composer. The materials and documentation of this project will become part of the Library and Archives Collections at Shakespeare’s Globe, documenting our work on theatrical music within the rubric of Original Practices, and in other forms of production.
Simon also acts as a Research Associate for the Indoor Jacobean Theatre project, and his report detailing conventions of music use in indoor Jacobean theatres has important implications for architectural design and the ways in which music can be used in our new theatre space.
The Globe Library and Archives hold around 2000 VHS and DVD recordings of Globe productions dating from 1996, as well as 100 VHS recordings of other Globe activities.
Globe on Demand is a major project to digitise these valuable records and make them accessible to researchers and scholars. Thanks to funding from the Sidney E. Frank Foundation and the Eric Anker Petersen Charity, visitors to the Library and Archives will be able to view video and audio recordings, as well as photographs, from all Globe productions at a library workstation.
The Globe Library and Archives hold recordings of all Globe productions dating from 1996. This footage contains multiple camera angles of each production at various stages in the show’s run and is a valuable resource for theatre practitioners and scholars alike. The retro-conversion project seeks to prevent the deterioration of this footage by transferring it to a more accessible and archival medium. This project will allow for scholars, students and practitioners to view previous performances while ensuring the safety of the performance archives for generations to come.
We are currently creating an online database of translations of Shakespeare's plays, beginning with the countries and languages represented in the 2012 Globe to Globe Festival. The database will serve as a resource for scholars or the novice reader, wishing to learn more about the impact of Shakespeare’s play around the world. It will include information on the date, translator and history of the first translation of each of Shakespeare’s 37 plays. This database will allow for more research to be done on the appropriations and fascinations of Shakespeare that have captivated so many disperse cultural imaginations.
To find out more about these and other research projects, please email us.