Brunel University London
Brunel University London
Inaugural Lecture 2014: Professor Tom Betteridge - A History of English Theatre 1381 - 2014 - Thursday 13th November 2014 - 5.30 pm to 6.45 pm - Location: Eastern Gateway Auditorium - Free to attend at Brunel University London

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A History of English Theatre 1381 - 2014

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Event Summary:

Inaugural Lecture 2014: Professor Tom Betteridge - A History of English Theatre 1381 - 2014 - Thursday 13th November 2014 - 5.30 pm to 6.45 pm - Location: Eastern Gateway Auditorium - Free to attend

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About the Lecture

In ‘A History of the English Theatre’ Professor Thomas Betteridge will examine key aspects of English theatrical history from the fourteenth century until the present day. In England until very recently theatre has been a privileged site for the playing out of society’s desires and fears, dreams and nightmares. And at the same time its status in this period has always been contested – theatrically, socially and politically. For the Greek philosopher Plato drama, like democracy, was a disordering and disordered jumble, ‘a harlequin’s outfit’, fit only for people whose horizon was limited to ‘the consumption of pleasures and rights’. English theatre constantly negotiates between its status as entertainment and as art, between paying the bills and confronting uncomfortable truths.

The lecture will include readings from Hamlet, Furibond or Harlequin Negro, Waiting for Godot and The York Play of the Crucifixion. Hamlet: Seems, madam? Nay it is, I know not ‘seems’. ‘Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother, Nor customary suits of solemn black, Nor windy suspiration of forc’d breath, No, nor the fruitful river in the eye, Nor the dejected haviour of the visage, Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief, That can denote me truly. There indeed seem, For they are the actions that a man might play; But I have that within which passes show, These but the trappings and suits of woe. Hamlet, 1.II. 76 – 86

About Professor Thomas Betteridge

Professor Betteridge worked for ten years as a professional stage and production manager before entering academia. During this time he worked at a number of theatres including the Royal Court and the Old Vic. Since becoming an academic Professor Betteridge has worked at UEA, Kingston University and Oxford Brookes University. He has been awarded a number of research grants including one from the Wellcome Trust to work with Goat and Monkey Theatre company to stage an immersive drama at Hampton Court Palace entitled A Little Neck (2009). Professor Betteridge has also been awarded funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to stage a number of early modern plays including the first modern production of Sir David Lyndsay’s A Satire of Three Estates at Linlithgow Palace (2013). He has published numerous articles and books including Writing Faith and Telling Tales: Literature, Politics and Religion in the work of Thomas More (2013).

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