Saturday 23rd July 2016

Venue: Chawton House

10am to 6pm

Shakespeare is celebrated for having created some of Western theatre’s most iconic female roles, yet characters such as Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew and Isabella in Measure for Measure continue to perplex as much as they fascinate readers, audiences, and theatre practitioners.

Sarah Bernhardt - HamletHis works have inspired a rich tradition of women’s writing and in the theatre women such as Ellen Kean, Ellen Terry, and Edy Craig have been influential in shaping Shakespeare in performance. In the year of the 400th anniversary of his death, this event will consider the part women have played in constructing Shakespeare’s reputation and ensuring his ongoing fame.

The event will conclude with a Jubilee Promenade Performance of the most iconic of Shakespeare’s women, directed by Elaine McGirr (Royal Holloway, University of London). This will include both silent tableaux and characteristic speeches from the original plays and from eighteenth-century adaptations. Highlights are Lady Constance’s maternal passion, Cordelia’s triumphant final speech, and Margaret of Anjou, ‘the she-wolf of France’.


10am – Coffee, registration and arrival

10.30am – Ann Thompson (King’s College London): The Taming of the Shrew: the play we love to hate

11.30am – Fiona Ritchie and Peter Sabor (McGill University): Part of an Englishwoman’s Constitution: Frances Burney, Sarah Harriet Barney, and Shakespeare

12.30pm – lunch

2pm – Gail Marshall (University of Leicester): Women and Shakespeare in 1859

3pm – Ailsa Grant Ferguson (University of Brighton): ‘Original’ practice? All-female Shakespeare from suffragettes to Smooth Faced Gentlemen

4pm – tea and cake

4.30pm – Jubilee Performance

Tickets: Delegate £45 Student/Friend £35

Register here or call us on 01420 541010.