Making Hamlet New: Talk with Performance
In 2006, the Arden Shakespeare brought out its ground-breaking edition of Hamlet, which for the first time presented in one publication scholarly editions of all three early texts of the play (the First Quarto of 1603, the Second Quarto of 1604/5 and the First Folio of 1623). The story of Shakespeare’s most well-known, and possibly greatest, play has not stopped developing during these last ten years. Not only have there been major productions on stage and screen (including those starring Benedict Cumberbatch, David Tennant and Maxine Peake), but scholars across the world have produced new theories of the origins and relationship between the three early texts along with any number of new readings of the play and its characters. Now, as part of the King’s Shakespeare Festival but also to coincide with Arden’s publication of their Hamlet in an up-dated 2016 edition, Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor will be describing the critical reception their original edition provoked, assessing the significance of recent scholarship and reviewing some recent key productions. Their talk will be illustrated by actors performing excerpts from the play in its various texts.
Ann Thompson is Emeritus Professor of English at King’s College London. She is a General Editor of the Arden Shakespeare and has (with Neil Taylor) edited all three texts of Hamlet for Arden (2006). An updated edition of Hamlet will appear in 2016, along with a volume of essays on the play. Other publications include an edition of The Taming of the Shrew (1984, updated 2003), Shakespeare’s Chaucer (1978), Shakespeare, Meaning and Metaphor (with John O. Thompson, 1987), Teaching Women: Feminism and English Studies (edited with Helen Wilcox, 1989), Women Reading Shakespeare, 1660-1900 (edited with Sasha Roberts, 1996), In Arden: Editing Shakespeare (with Gordon McMullan, 2003) and Macbeth: The State of Play (edited, 2014). Current projects include a book on Shakespeare and metonymy.
Neil Taylor is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at the University of Roehampton. He has edited an old-spelling Henry IV, Part 2 for Ginn, Henry VI, Part 3 for the Norton Shakespeare, all three texts of Hamlet (with Ann Thompson) for the Arden Shakespeare, and Thomas Middleton: Five Plays (with Bryan Loughrey) for Penguin Classics. An updated edition of Hamlet will appear in 2016, along with a volume of essays on the play. Neil has published widely on Shakespeare, Shakespeare on film and television, editing, and other aspects of Renaissance and modern drama.