Welcome to Episode #016 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.

Richard Dutton is a specialist in the theater of William Shakespeare, having written twenty nine books in all about Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and other early modern dramatists as well. He joins us today to take a look inside some of the unexpected theater conventions that were normal for Shakespeare, and might be surprising for us today.

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Richard Dutton spent most of his career at Lancaster University in England and Ohio State University in the US, his teaching mainly focused on Shakespeare and early modern literature. He has published twenty-nine books in all, mainly on Shakespeare, Ben Jonson and other early modern dramatists; he has a special interest in the censorship of the drama and the editing of plays from the period. He is currently a research professor at Queen's University, Belfast, and working on an edition of The Malcontent for the Oxford Marston, and revising his own 1991 monograph, Mastering the Revels.
In this episode, I’ll be asking Richard about :

  • What were the sights and sounds someone experienced upon entering The Globe?
  • Shakespeare's plays reference a prayer to the Queen at the end of a production–why did they pray?
  • Philip Henslowe is cited as having side jobs related to theater. In the business of theater, would all theater owners capitalize on their options for income this way?
  • What about snacks? Did they have popcorn at the theater?
  • …and more!

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Books Richard Recommends:

Henslowe's Diary
Control and Censorship of Caroline Drama (earliest record of The Master of the Revels)
English Court Theater by John Astington
Moving Shakespeare Indoors by Andrew Gurr

 

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