Women Beware Women Masterclass with Penelope Wilton

In 2013, Penelope Wilton, in one of the series of masterclasses she regularly conducts in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television, conducted a rehearsal of Act 2 Scene 1 of Thomas Middleton’s Women Beware Women.

In 2006 she had played the role of Livia in Middleton’s great tragedy, to critical acclaim, for the Royal Shakespeare Company in the Swan Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon.

She particularly relishes Middleton’s style of writing, values the distinctive quality of the experiences his plays offer, and wished to explore the demands and challenges he poses to his performers with a group of York students.

The performers are: Eliza Shea (Livia), Nick Armfield (Hippolito), Anna Thirkettle (Isabella).

Performing Jonson – Volpone

In the first workshop,  Henry Goodman and Professor Michael Cordner explored the performance challenges and demands of  Volpone, which Henry played for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Trevor Nunn’s production at the Swan in 2015.

The session combines detailed table work with rehearsal performances of Volpone’s opening  soliloquy on the Department’s main stage.

The workshops were supported by a Culture and Communications Research Priming award from the University of York.

Next: Watch the Every Man In His Humour workshop.

Watch the Sejanus workshop.

Back to Performing Jonson

Performing Jonson – Every Man In His Humour

In the second workshop, Henry Goodman and Professor Michael Cordner explored the performance challenges and demands of Every Man In His Humour, in which Henry played the role of Kitely in John Caird’s 1986 production with the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Swan.

The workshops were supported by a Culture and Communications Research Priming award from the University of York.

Back: Watch the Volpone workshop.

Next: Watch the Sejanus workshop.

Return to the Performing Jonson page.

Film: A Mad World, My Masters!

A Mad World, My Masters! by Thomas Middleton, 23-25 June 2011.
Directed by Mike Cordner with Mark Smith and Tom Cantrell.

The production was filmed by our Film and Television Production colleagues on Friday 23 June 2011.

The production was made possible by a generous endowment from the Sylvia and Colin Shepherd Trust.

Continue reading Film: A Mad World, My Masters!

Film: The Dutch Courtesan

The Dutch Courtesan by John Marston, 20-22 June 2013.
Directed by Mike Cordner.

The production was filmed by our Film and Television Production colleagues on Friday 21 June 2013.

The production was made possible by a generous endowment from the Sylvia and Colin Shepherd Trust.

The project website www.dutchcourtesan.co.uk contains research essays. production information, interviews and much more. Continue reading Film: The Dutch Courtesan

Oliver Ford Davies: Performing Jacobean Verse

This post by Mike Cordner originally appeared on The Dutch Courtesan project website. We interviewed Oliver Ford Davis in 2013.

The Olivier Award-winning actor Oliver Ford Davies is a Professional Associate of the Department of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of York and gave the 2011 Cantor Modern Art Lecture at the University on Did Gertrude Know? Some Problems in Performing Shakespeare.

Continue reading Oliver Ford Davies: Performing Jacobean Verse

How should we stage neglected plays?

I originally wrote this post for the Dutch Courtesan project site.

On 2nd July, Michael Billington wrote an article for the Guardian asking ‘Is it OK to rewrite classic plays?’ Billington’s article, in which he raises concerns about the perceived need to simplify early modern plays for a modern audience, has sparked a heated discussion, but offers our production of The Dutch Courtesan as an example of actors

‘taking a tricky play and making it totally accessible through their vocal clarity.’

The Billington article briefly discusses the RSC‘s A Mad World My Master’s, which makes substantial changes to the original text, but follows a much longer conversation with Michael Cordner at our ‘Jacobean Theatre Now’ event.

The full film of this discussion is now available:

a blog by Ollie Jones