I haven’t blogged much recently, partly due to time constraints and partly because I don’t get to see many productions any more. Work prevents me from saying anything of substance but I wanted to record a few things here about an excellent conference I was lucky to have spoken at this weekend. #Beaumont400, organized by Lucy Munro at King’s College London, cheekily interrupted the #Shakespeare400 celebrations to give some deserved attention to one of the most important writers of Jacobean England: Francis Beaumont, who, like Shakespeare, died in 1616. General information about the event is available here. The programme is here and information about the Edward’s Boys production of The Woman Hater (which I was sadly unable to attend) is here. I’ve storified tweets from the hashtag here although unfortunately my battery died part way through the day which meant I couldn’t livetweet as much as I’d have liked. Still, it gives us a flavour of what went on that day.
It was a great event and I’ve now got a lot to think about. The connections being made between Beaumont and his contemporaries – in the theatre, the city guilds, and the Inns of Court – were really productive and I enjoyed seeing a range of historical and theoretical approaches applied to Beaumont’s plays. As I suggested in my own contribution to the conference, it is important that we try to continue our study of all things Beaumont into future years. For those of you in the UK hoping for a Beaumont fix why not check out the Read Not Dead productions of The Scornful Lady (at Gray’s Inn) and The Coxcomb (at the Globe). If you’re in the US you should check out Brave Spirits Theatre who recently staged The Maid’s Tragedy and plan to produce A King and No King next year.