Theatre

Guy Fawkes: A Gingerbread Tragedy
31 October 2019

I’m not sure if it was the Bake Off Final or my excitement for Bonfire Night that drew me to the brilliantly titled play ‘Guy Fawkes: A Gingerbread Tragedy’.

Best Foot Forward
02 August 2019

I am continually losing socks. There is no rhyme or reason to it. I don’t think I can even blame the washing machine because occasionally I will notice in the evening that, while I may have started my day with two socks on, I am now definitely only wearing one.

My drops of tears I'll turn to sparks of fire: Burning down and building up the Globe Theatre
27 June 2019

On 29th June 1613, a theatrical cannon misfired during a performance of Henry VIII and set fire to the thatch of the Globe Theatre, engulfing the roof in flames. Within minutes, the wooden structure was also alight, and in under an hour the Globe was destroyed.

Skating away from war: The Four Hollywood Blondes tour Europe, 1939-40
17 May 2019

Although the outbreak of hostilities in Europe in September 1939 led the United States’ diplomatic mission to organise an evacuation of American citizens from Germany, the Four Hollywood Blondes, a rollerskating troupe on a tour of Europe, were among those who stayed, owing to contractual obligations with Berlin theatres. Their tour took in performances in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden, before a refugee ship brought them home to the United States.

Playing God: Richard Brinsley Peake and the Fate of Frankenstein on stage
26 April 2019

Last year marked 200 years since the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a novel that has since become one of the premiere titles of Gothic fiction. Rivalled only by Bram Stokers Dracula, it has been adapted for film, television, radio, opera and the theatre.The first of these adaptations (at least those recorded) however, is perhaps just as influential as the novel which spawned it. Richard Brinsley Peake’s Presumption: Or the Fate of Frankenstein, is a three act play first performed in 1823 and is included in our Victorian Popular Culture collection. What is so astounding about this version however is that it features several elements not included in the novel which have reappeared consistently in subsequent adaptations.

 

Take a bow, the Front of House staff at Shakespeare’s Globe
07 March 2019

In the theatrical experiment that is the reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe, it’s said that the audience is one of the most important discoveries. In attempting to recreate the playing conditions of Shakespeare’s time, the Globe has up to 700 ‘groundlings’ in the uncovered yard that separates the stage from three tiers of seating.

It's Behind You!
23 November 2018

 

As November draws to a close and the countdown to Christmas begins, what better way to get into the festive spirit than a good old Christmas panto?

Light-hearted comedy, audience participation and eccentric costumes are all familiar aspects of the classic Christmas pantomime which we owe in large to the enterprising Victorians. This is illustrated in Victorian Popular Culture.

“To be, or not to be”: Writing to survive in the Arctic
21 September 2018

On the 21st December, 1852, whilst enduring extreme temperatures and surrounded by nature at its most treacherous, a group of Royal Navy men stranded in the Arctic seemingly put on a production of Hamlet. At least, that’s what the local Arctic news source of the time, The Queen’s Illuminated Magazine and North Cornwall Gazette, informs us.

“Is it possible to build up one’s own discotheque?” Disco hits East Germany in 1972 with some love tagged on.
21 April 2017

In the imagination, the iron curtain between East and West during the Cold War era seems to be something impermeable. Especially in terms of cultural exchange and particularly in terms of popular culture. The mind may conjure up a picture of drab, dour and joyless scenes in the East versus a liberated and fun West. Not fair at all it seems - the documentaries and cinemagazines from Socialism on Film give a quick put down to this assumption. In this case the cultural export in question is disco music and the place is East Germany (the German Democratic Republic). It turns out we weren't so different after all.

Recreating the music of Shakespeare: “We can’t unhear Lady Gaga”
23 September 2016

After the announcement of our project with Shakespeare’s Globe last month, along with the launch of Shakespeare in Performance, attending the World Shakespeare Congress and a visit to the Globe itself to watch Iqbal Khan & co’s latest staging of Macbeth I can definitely say I have got the Shakespeare bug.

Jesus Christ, this will be fun! Alexander Hamilton on stage
08 June 2016

How could you not love a musical which borrows equally from The Pirates of Penzance and Notorious B.I.G? Hamilton, if you haven’t heard yet, is a musical blending rap, jazz, blues and classic Broadway melodies to tell the story of an obscure Founding Father (‘Yo, who the eff is this?!’) and his attempts to get a radical debt plan passed by America’s fledgling government. Yeah, that old chestnut. I jest; Lin-Manuel Miranda’s occasionally swear-y, Pulitzer Prize-winning show has torn up the rulebook, and this weekend, stands to make history at the Tony Awards where it has earned a record-breaking haul of sixteen nominations.

A Blue Room, far from Crimson Peak
13 October 2015

With chilly mornings and the leaves changing colour we’re reminded that Halloween is just a week away. Any excuse to restock our snack shelf is always widely celebrated at Adam Matthew so we’ll be favouring treats over the tricks.

23 June 2015

If you’re like me and were lucky enough to get a ticket for this year’s Glastonbury festival, you’re probably in a field right now up to your welly clad knees in mud and wondering why you thought you could survive five days eating just pot noodles and Lidl’s own breakfast bars.

11 June 2015

While working with the documents of American History, 1493-1945: From the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History my eye was drawn to some of the American Civil War-era military manuals due to some interesting appendices. As a part-time trumpet player I took an interest in some music charts entitled “General Calls” for the army buglers. There were two different sets that I came across, one for Confederate Infantry (Rifle and Infantry Tactics, Revised and Improved GLC03071) and one for Union Cavalry (Cavalry Tactics in Three Parts GLC07566.01).

Beatlemania
07 February 2014

Whilst I was visiting the Big Apple last week on business I ventured to Central Park to visit Strawberry Fields; an area of the park that pays tribute to the late John Lennon. The ‘Imagine’ mosaic which lies in the centre of the area is adjacent to the Dakota apartment building. Lennon was returning home to the Dakota building when he was shot dead on December 8th, 1980. Strawberry Fields is a living memorial to the world-famous singer.

[12  >>