As well as our regular improvised play readings, we run other events including semi-rehearsed performances for academic conferences and drama workshops for the wider community. If you would like to suggest an event, please contact us via the ‘get involved’ section of the website.
Check back soon!
The Merchant of Venice: Sources, Intertexts, Afterlives
9th to 10th February 2024
The School of English hosted a performance of Gareth Armstrong’s acclaimed one-man show, Shylock, a creative response to Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice which explores Jewish history and myth from medieval times to the present. The performance was held in the Workshop Theatre on Friday 9 February at 7 PM, followed by a Q&A session chaired by Jane Rickard. A symposium on The Merchant of Venice was held on the following day, also in the Workshop Theatre. For further details, see www.playhouselab.org/merchant2024
Ben Jonson, Epicene, or The Silent Woman CANCELLED
Performed by Edward’s Boys
Thursday, 26 March 2020, 7pm
The Workshop Theatre, Studio 1
The acclaimed Edward’s Boys from King Edward VI School in Stratford-upon-Avon will visit Leeds as part of their 2020 tour of the North of England. This new production follows their hugely successful take on Marston’s The Malcontent, which they produced in collaboration with the Oxford Marston project at Leeds as part of our 2019 conference in Oxford. They are a troupe of boy actors under the direction of Perry Mills, one of the most inventive directors in modern British theatre, and they have been exploring the repertory of the children’s companies from the English Renaissance over the last decade, performing the work of authors including Shakespeare, Middleton, Dekker, Marlowe, and Lyly. Their productions are always hugely enjoyable, full of live music and imaginative stagecraft.
Francis Beaumont, The Knight of the Burning Pestle
Late June (date TBC)
This reading will be part of a White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities conference on ‘Performance, Social Identity, and Cross-Cultural Influence in Early Modern England’ (further details to follow).
Ilkley Literature Festival
A Midsummer Night’s Dream: performing comedy
Saturday, 5 October 2019
Led by University of Leeds academics Dr José A. Pérez Díez and Dr Jane Rickard, the session (at All Saints Church, Ilkley, £8/£5) the session will showcase how we can learn new things about Shakespeare’s plays through experimenting with different possibilities for staging. The event includes the chance to take part in improvised performances. Erica Morris, Acting Director of Ilkley Literature Festival, said: ‘This event is the perfect opportunity to explore one of Shakespeare’s best-loved comedies. Expect to laugh – and to reflect critically on what makes us laugh and why. We really hope that GCSE and A-level students in particular will come along and make the most of our offer for under 25s who can book tickets for just £5.’
John Marston’s Antonio’s Revenge
Presented by Playhouse Lab, The Oxford Marston, and The Malone Society
Saturday, 7 July 2018
This one-day conference will focus on Marston’s riveting revenge tragedy, an unfairly neglected jewel of late Elizabethan drama which resonates with Shakespeare’s Hamlet and other classic revenge tragedies of the period. The second part of a fascinating diptych preceded by the tragicomedy Antonio and Mellida, the play tells the story of the unfortunate lovers’ struggle in the Venetian court. Mellida’s father, the evil Piero, Duke of Venice, has murdered Antonio’s father, Andrugio, the Duke of the enemy Republic of Genoa. Andrugio’s ghost returns from beyond the grave to command his son to revenge his death. Mellida is imprisoned under a fabricated accusation of harlotry, and she dies of grief believing her lover is dead. Antonio, in disguise as a fool, prepares a masque that the Venetian court will never forget. This conference will be a very rare opportunity to see this superb play on stage, using David Lindley’s newly edited text for the Oxford Complete Works of John Marston. The performance will be followed by a series of papers on the play and related topics: speakers include Perry Mills (Edward’s Boys, King Edward VI School), Harry McCarthy (University of Exeter), Lois Potter (University of Delaware), David Lindley (University of Leeds), Janet Clare (University of Hull), and Richard Meek (University of Hull). (Download event poster.)
Shakespeare and Co.: On the Page and On the Stage
Humanities Research Centre, University of York
Saturday, 18 May 2019
Come join our talented group of postgraduate and early career scholars and practitioners for our one-day conference as we explore the multiple functions of the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries as both texts and performance pieces. As part of the York International Shakespeare Festival’s programme of pre-show talks, keynote presenter Ben Crystal (actor and author of Shakespeare on Toast—Getting a Taste for the Bard and You Say Potato: A Book about Accents), will be delivering a fascinating talk on Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation. We are also pleased to announce that Playhouse Lab from the University of Leeds will be presenting an improvised staged reading of Thomas Middleton’s A Yorkshire Tragedy. Roles will be made available to delegates interested in getting up and giving it a go!
Registration through Eventbrite – £15 (includes coffee/tea and lunch) Travel bursaries available for current postgraduate students. For more information, including details of how to sign-up for a role in A Yorkshire Tragedy (and we hope you do!), please visit the conference website. (Download event poster.)