Globe Theatre Project

Author: Conkie, Rob
Year:2006
Pages:296
ISBN:0-7734-5724-0
978-0-7734-5724-9
Price:199.95
Analyzes performances at the reconstructed Globe Theatre in London between 1996 and 2004 through a focus on the new Globe’s most defining characteristic: authenticity. In that this concept of authenticity reverberates so urgently with debates about identity – from national to personal, heritage-centered to technologically-mediated – the book addresses both the question of why authenticity has become so crucial in late twentieth and early twenty-first century Britain and it further considers what productions of the ‘authentic Shakespeare’ at the new Globe have to say about contemporary identities.

Reviews

“ ... the Globe is, simultaneously, an item on any self-respecting tourist’s itinerary; it is also a seriously scholarly resource and centre of a busy educational outreach network; finally, it is a professional theatre that, unlike the other major British Shakespeare-producing organizations located just up the river in London and, further afield, in Stratford, operates entirely without the benefit of state support. And it is in this guise, chiefly, that it attracts the attention of Dr. Rob Conkie, who offers here the first full-length investigation of the Globe’s principles, policies and practices as they have evolved over a decade of hits and misses, of trial and error, and of negotiation and compromise. An alert, assiduous and not unsympathetic Globe spectator, Dr. Conkie considers this work with the eyes of the performance theorist and cultural critic, tracing the ways in which the initial mandate of ‘authenticity’ modulated over time, to produce today’s trade-off between ‘modern practices’ and ‘original practices’...” – (from the Preface) Professor Robert Shaughnessy, The University of Kent, United Kingdom

“ ... There are several aspects of this work that make it worthy of publication: Dr. Conkie’s arguments are expressed with great clarity; he explores a considerable range of material given the tight focus of his project; his incisive materialist critique of authenticity as it is reflected in performances at London’s new Globe Theatre is supported throughout with thorough analyses of those productions and their contexts (the Globe’s shifting artistic mandate, reception in the press, broader cultural trends, etc). His introduction rightly avoids questions of what is or is not ‘authentic’ Shakespearean theatre and tackles instead the more fruitful issue of why notions of authenticity have become so important to the performance of Shakespeare ...” – Dr. Robert Ormsby, University of Toronto

“Dr. Rob Conkie’s new book on the Globe is a first in many ways. It is the first to approach the Globe project, one of the most radical theatrical experiments of our time, in an evaluative way; the first to measure the underlying philosophical issue of authenticity against the productions themselves; the first to try to assess the workings and possible future direction of the Globe as an institution. The most welcome aspect of his approach is that the arguments are presented in the context of actual performances. This is a bringing together of theory and practice that has long been overdue ...” – Ildiko Solti, Artistic Director, Phoenix Theatre, United Kingdom

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Preface by Robert Shaughnessy
Acknowledgements
Introduction
1. Two Productions
2. Authentic Productions
3. Carnival unShakespeares
4. All the World’s on Stage
5. 2001: A Displaced Authenticity
6. Conclusion: To Authenticity and Beyond
Bibliography
Index