Welcome to Episode #011 of That Shakespeare Life, the podcast that takes you behind the curtain and into the life of William Shakespeare.

I believe that if you want to understand Shakespeare’s plays, then understanding the life of William Shakespeare, the man, is essential. This podcast is designed to help you explore early modern England as Shakespeare would have lived it by interviewing the historians, performers, authors, and experts that know him best.

Nigel Wood, Professor of English at Loughborough University, joins us today to discuss the evolution of Shakespeare’s plays as a result of reading what was intended to be performed. I will be asking Nigel about the significance of stage directions in addition to the written dialogue, and what impact Condell and Heminges’ publication of the First Folio might have had on the course of Shakespeare’s enduring legacy thereafter

Join the conversation below.

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Nigel Wood is a Professor of Literature at Loughborough University, specializing in early modern literature and the staging of dramatic texts. Nigel has edited and contributed to the volumes on The Tempest, The Merchant of Venice, Henry IV (Parts I and 2), Measure for Measure, Antony and Cleopatra and Hamlet, as well as other 17-18th century works. Essays from this series have been reprinted in over thirty collections of modern critical debate. He has worked as an advisor for the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as given lectures at the Shakespeare Institute and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon as well as Shakespeare’s Globe. In addition to his work as a professor and writer, Nigel has directed several student productions, at festivals and tours, both at home and abroad, including Hamlet and The Winter’s Tale.

In this episode, I’ll be asking Nigel about :

  • Condell and Heminges and whether they were trying to improve or change Shakespeare’s original text
  • How much of Shakespeare belongs in the theater, and are we doing him a disservice to keep him in literature?
  • You’ll hear a story about Shakespeare’s use of the theater playbill
  • Are audio book versions of Shakespeare enough to count as performance?

Books Nigel Recommends:

Christopher Balm Theatrical Public Sphere

Steven Mullaney The Place of the Stage

David Mamot Advice to Actors I wasn’t able to find a copy of this book as stated. If I have the title down wrong, or you know where to find a copy, please post that in the comments I was able to find this one: A Practical Handbook For The Actor, which is an acting guide by professionals who worked with David Mamet. David Mamet wrote the introduction for this handbook. Note that Nigel Wood did not directly recommend this second title. 




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