“Murder, revenge, weeping, slaughter, evil”: The History Play at the University of Oxford

Lorna Wallace is a second-year PhD student at the University of Stirling. Her doctoral research reevaluates notions of duty in early modern history plays against humanist and classical ideals. Here, Lorna explores Matthew Gwinne's ambitious yet never-performed university drama, Nero (pub. 1603). When people think of history plays, Shakespeare’s histories, such as Richard III and Henry V, often … Continue reading “Murder, revenge, weeping, slaughter, evil”: The History Play at the University of Oxford

Casting Henslowe’s Histories

Ahead of our conference in July, Amy Lidster looks at the repertory of Lord Strange’s Men at the Rose Theatre in 1592–93 and considers how casting practices may have encouraged interpretative links between plays dramatizing very different histories. These ideas will be explored further during the conference workshop – ‘Henslowe’s Histories’ – which will feature … Continue reading Casting Henslowe’s Histories

Read Not Dead: Edward I

We're very pleased to announce that Changing Histories will include a workshop facilitated by James Wallace, Artistic Director of The Dolphin's Back theatre company, long-term Globe Education collaborator and all-round expert on directing and performing early modern drama. Here's a review of the Globe's recent Read Not Dead reading of George Peele's little-known history play, Edward I, which … Continue reading Read Not Dead: Edward I

True History: Tautology or paradox?

In this month’s guest blog, Professor Emma Smith (University of Oxford) – who will be a keynote speaker at our upcoming Changing Histories conference – explores the relationship between 'history' and 'truth', asking whether historical fiction has an obligation to the truth.  The recent prominence of two period films on widespread release – Mary Queen of Scots (dir. Josie Rourke) and The Favourite (dir. Yorgos Lanthimos) – has given … Continue reading True History: Tautology or paradox?

‘A taking part in without being part of’: Categorizing early printed playbooks

In last week’s blog, Kim Gilchrist asked what we should call plays that dramatize people or events from the past, drawing attention to the difficulties arising from the term ‘history play’ and introducing some of the questions that we hope will be explored in our upcoming conference. This week, Amy Lidster offers a few thoughts … Continue reading ‘A taking part in without being part of’: Categorizing early printed playbooks

Welcome to Changing Histories!

This is the website for the 2019 Changing Histories conference. We are aiming to challenge and interrogate established notions of what constituted the "history play" and performed history in the early modern period. "History" might include material we would now consider as romance, myth or fable. The plays themselves were often bewildering hybrids of apparent … Continue reading Welcome to Changing Histories!