Member of The Faerie Queen Fable and Drama Project
I will be part of The Faerie Queene Fable and Drama Project, directing workshops and rehearsals which will explore Spenser’s poem through theatre. The challenges of the project are irresistible: the poem does not immediately present itself as theatre, but the energetic action, bold characters, and strong symbolism of the poem have great dramatic potential. In particular, I am looking forward to seeing how Spenser’s fantastical time and space can be realized in theatrical time and space.
I am a Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford: my teaching and research interests are in medieval and early modern literature, especially drama, and mystical and devotional literature. My recent publications include Julian of Norwich: the Influence of Late-Medieval Devotional Compilations (2008); ‘Henry Medwall’s Fulgens and Lucres: Words and Sense in the Staging of Late Medieval Drama’, The Medieval Translator 10 (2007) 435-48, ‘Secular Medieval Drama’, in The Oxford Handbook to Medieval Literature, eds. Elaine Treharne and Greg Walker (2010).
My research into medieval and Tudor drama is informed by my staging of it. I founded Thynke Byggly (www.thynkebyggly.org) a group which draws actors from within the University and also from outside, and which stages rarely-performed pieces, for general audiences and for academic conferences. Thynke Byggly performances aim to bring to life early drama which has theatrical qualities that cannot be appreciated 'on the page'.
Among other plays, I have directed:
Henry Medwall, Fulgens and Lucres, (Magdalen College New Rooms, Dec. 2002)
Rituals in Blood: Drama of medieval anti-semitism, a double-bill of the late-medieval Croxton Play of the Sacrament with Steven Berkoff’s Rituals in Blood (Magdalen College Auditorium, Nov. 2005)
John Skelton, Magnyfycence, at the Medieval English Theatre conference (Sheffield, March 2007); subsequently also staged at Worcester College (Dec. 2007).
'B.J.’, The Tragical History of Guy of Warwick, a play published 1661 but probably written in the 1590s: staged for the Malone Society Conference (Oxford, Sep. 2008).
The Mary Plays from N-Town, with members of the Worcester College Choir (Worcester College Chapel, Oxford, Dec. 2009)
Thynke Byggly’s production of John Skelton’s Magnyfycence will be revived with a professional cast, under my direction, at Hampton Court Palace, May 1st and 2nd 2010. The production is sponsored by the Foundation for Sports and the Arts.