Research

My main interests are the politics and practice of Renaissance dramatic performance, the politics of playbook publication in early modern England, and the twenty-first century performance and reception of Renaissance drama.

My book ‘Public’ and ‘Private’ Playhouses in Renaissance England: The Politics of Publication was released by Palgrave in 2015 in the Early Modern Literature in History SeriesBook Cover 2. The book attempts to tackle the issue of how and why the indoor theatres of Renaissance England came to be described as ‘private’. Previous accounts have either dismissed the terms ‘public’ and ‘private’ as so slippery as to be useless to the theatre historian or else have accepted the absolute distinction the terms appear to encode. I argue that by sensitive attention to a variety of sources using the terms we can gain new insights into the politicized culture of the period’s theatre. The book challenges received wisdom about when the indoor theatres came to be called ‘private’ but it also addresses how the terms fell from use and even how they could be turned on their head: in the 1630s, three Thomas Heywood playbook title pages declared indoor performance to be ‘public’. You can read the Introduction to the book here.

You can read more about my work on my Swansea University staff page.