The Paper Stage is a brilliant new initiative, instigated by Harry Newman and co-organized by Clare Wright, both of the University of Kent. Located at Canterbury’s arts centre, the Gulbenkian, the Paper Stage is a public play-reading group aiming to explore the diverse drama of the English Renaissance.
This is a great event, for a number of reasons. Staging a play is a difficult and time-consuming venture, but play-reading groups offer some of the advantages of a full staging. Last month, the group gathered to read Romeo and Juliet and you can see, from the lively student responses, the advantages of reading the play aloud. Now, it’s not too hard to see Shakespeare’s plays, but if you want to see other writers, it can be considerably more difficult. The Paper Stage will allow the public access to a greater variety of plays and can hopefully show some of the dramatic power of these works.
I could say more about this, but instead it’s best if I direct the interested reader to the project’s official blog http://blogs.ac.uk/thepaperstage/. I can’t make this event, for the very good reason that I am several hours away, in Stratford, but do you have a good excuse? If not, then turn up on Monday 23 June to read Marlowe’s brilliant The Jew of Malta.
NOTE: On the subject of play-readings, I really should mention the Thomas Heywood Marathon taking place at The Shakespeare Institute in association with the Lizz Ketterer Trust. I can’t make the whole thing, but will be dipping in and out. Blog posts on the subject (possibly) forthcoming.