Episode 011 – Performing on the Elizabethan stage

“Life upon the wicked stage
Ain’t ever what a girl supposes…”

from Show Boat

New episode! In episode #11, I explore what life was like on the Elizabethan stage, from its naive origins to the messy, democratic, bawdy theatre world Shakespeare inherited. Join me as I learn about the original hellmouth, why the Puritans were so opposed to the filthy theatre, some fun things to do with a donkey, and how many days it takes to dance your way from London to Norwich…


You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, or by email at podcastshakespeare@gmail.com. You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, or download direct from Libsyn. The Patreon campaign is up and running, with bonus Sonnet episodes! We also have a Spotify playlist, which will be updated as we work through the plays.

Key links below. You can also visit the bibliography page here, which is a work in progress.

Links mentioned:

Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point (2000);

Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville, The Tragedy of Gorboduc (1561-62);

Stephen Greenblatt, Will in the World (2004);

Reverend John Northbrooke’s allegations against the theatre (late 16th century);

Bill Bryson, Shakespeare: The World as Stage (2007);

Representation of the Globe Theatre, at the website of Saint Ignatius College, Geelong;

(New) Globe Theatre, DVD online store;

Slings and Arrows (2003-2006) – Season 1 trailer on Youtube;

Ned Alleyn (1566 – 1626);

Richard Burbage (1567 – 1619);

Exit: Burbage“;

Robin Williams in Mork & Mindy (1978 – 1982);

Richard Tarleton (15?? – 1588);

Will Kempe (15?? – 1603);

Kemp’s Nine Days Wonder;

Morris dancing;

Robert Armin (c. 1563 – 1615);

Philip Henslowe (c. 1550 – 1616);

Henslowe’s diary… as a blog!;

Shakespeare in Love (1998, d: John Madden). Joseph Fiennes is Shakespeare, Geoffrey Rush is Philip Henslowe, Ben Affleck is Ned Alleyn, Judi Dench is Queen Elizabeth, Martin Clunes is Richard Burbage, Rupert Everett is Kit Marlowe, and Patrick Barlow plays Will Kempe.;


“We Open in Venice” and “Another Op’nin, Another Show” from Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate: 1999 production with Brent Barrett (Fred / Petruchio), Rachel York (Lili / Kate), Nancy Kathryn Anderson (Lois / Bianca), Michael Berresse (Bill / Lucentio), and Kaye Brown (Hattie);

Music in the Time of ShakespeareGigue;

Thomas Morley: Dances for Broken Consort;

Blossom Dearie: Life Upon the Wicked Stage (from Show Boat);

Judy Garland: No Business Like Show Business (from Annie Get Your Gun);

Jason Alexander: Comedy Tonight (from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, excerpted in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway);

Original Broadway Cast: The Glamorous Life (from A Little Night Music)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s