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0:00:05.280,0:00:12.080This is Speaking of Shakespeare conversations about things Shakespearean I'm Thomas Dabbs0:00:12.080,0:00:15.920broadcasting from Aoyama Gakuin University in central Tokyo0:00:17.120,0:00:25.440this talk is with Andy Kessen of the University of Roehampton among many research accomplishments in0:00:25.440,0:00:35.440early modern drama Andy has recently assembled a team and secured a substantial AHRC grant to study0:00:35.440,0:00:43.840bears and bear baiting in Elizabethan England the project is entitled Box Office Bears0:00:46.160,0:00:51.120This talk is made possible with institutional funding from Aoyama Gakuin University0:00:51.680,0:00:57.840and with the support of a generous grant from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.0:00:58.800,0:01:06.160Well hello Andy hello again it's been a it's been too long it's been too long and0:01:06.160,0:01:11.200i think we go back i think we've known each other because we've had similar research interests for0:01:11.200,0:01:17.280you know me for more years than you but that i don't know when we first met it may have been0:01:17.280,0:01:24.480in canada it may have been at stratford ontario at that conference where we actually met face to face0:01:24.480,0:01:30.320and then you and jimmy came through tokyo not that long after that and we went out and had0:01:30.320,0:01:36.960some wonderful sushi with ben crystal right and i had to leave early unfortunately i had another0:01:36.960,0:01:42.880again and i really wanted to stay for that but ben was in town and what a nice coincidence and then0:01:44.080,0:01:49.920i saw you again at that absolutely exquisite before shakespeare conference it's one of my0:01:49.920,0:01:55.280fondest memories of conferences but also just memories those few days0:01:55.280,0:02:01.520over in rowhampton with those people uh it's just the exactly the kind of people you would0:02:01.520,0:02:11.040like to spend three days with we had a blast and we learned so much and for our our viewers0:02:11.040,0:02:16.160what i want to do is start out you're doing some things you're doing a lot of work and0:02:16.960,0:02:21.680one of the things i want to feature right now is that you are doing a series of interviews sort0:02:21.680,0:02:27.760of like these in a similar type of format but a little bit more of a kaleidoscope of people0:02:27.760,0:02:33.440who are from various and sundry disciplines who are all very interested uh interesting before the0:02:33.440,0:02:42.320show i was going through a few of those and it's called a bit lit a bit b-i-t lit l-i-t0:02:42.960,0:02:47.680now tell us a little bit about that in the future is it something you're going to keep doing or0:02:48.400,0:02:53.680something that is for i don't know pandemic purposes because it sort of was provoked by0:02:53.680,0:03:01.360the pandemic right so uh yeah yeah um thank you so much for kind introduction tom um that's really0:03:01.360,0:03:07.200generous of you um yeah so a bit that is a lot like the film series that you've set up here0:03:07.200,0:03:14.160um i as soon as covert hit really i felt like i was surrounded by all the people that i love0:03:14.720,0:03:18.880worrying about the things that they love and whether they matter anymore people asking do0:03:18.880,0:03:23.440the humanities matter does theatre matter does performance matter does writing matter0:03:23.440,0:03:28.640at a time of medical emergency um and it seems to me that those things matter as much if not0:03:28.640,0:03:35.920more at a time of medical emergency so yeah a bit which was set up with um callan davis and emma0:03:35.920,0:03:43.040whipped a and james opry and matt martin not not just by myself um was just aiming to celebrate um0:03:43.680,0:03:49.360those things and to give us a space almost a space to meet for coffee or to me if you were0:03:49.360,0:03:54.000researching a library and bumped into a colleague just that sense of serendipity of who you you0:03:54.000,0:04:00.640might run into and it was very important to us that we we looked as widely as possible in terms0:04:00.640,0:04:05.920of the sorts of people and the kinds of content that we might cover um the three academics on the0:04:05.920,0:04:11.120project are all early modernists we all sit in the 16th and 17th century and we all look at english0:04:11.120,0:04:16.000literature so actually we're quite narrowly defined in terms of our research interests0:04:17.200,0:04:21.680but it was really important to us we made that as as broad as possible so we've spoken to0:04:21.680,0:04:28.400creative writers to performers of all kinds of different disciplines not just theatre0:04:29.360,0:04:34.960and we've spoken to academics across a wide range of topics not as wide as i'd like it0:04:34.960,0:04:37.760to be we always want to hear from other people who'd like to come and speak to us0:04:38.800,0:04:44.160but yeah it's been really fun really fun project well i see you're putting these out about once a0:04:44.160,0:04:52.480week and i i know from experience now that that's not easy uh that's a that's at a pretty good clip0:04:52.480,0:04:58.560and uh getting people set up and getting the timing and also you're going through i'm assuming0:04:58.560,0:05:04.800various like i am various time zones where you you may have to wake up early or go to bed late0:05:05.680,0:05:11.440right now it's your morning it's my evening and as we talk the sun will go down right and you0:05:11.440,0:05:16.480will you will have more and more sunshine which is good that's fine that that's the way it should be0:05:16.480,0:05:23.200but uh but i fully agree with you we're sort of focused on shakespeare here because i'm on a grant0:05:23.200,0:05:31.760but one of the driving things behind this was would be to expose people and not just0:05:32.400,0:05:39.040specialists but expose people to who we are there are misconceptions about the ivory tower about us0:05:39.040,0:05:48.320being maybe smug and uh detached from society and in your research if there is anyone more engaged0:05:48.320,0:05:54.400with the popular consciousness not only now but in the 16th century i can't think of anyone who0:05:54.400,0:06:00.560is uh in your work you have really brought out the uh drama before shakespeare and we're going0:06:00.560,0:06:06.800to go to before shakespeare in just a moment but those elements that led up to an extraordinarily0:06:07.520,0:06:13.920large and growing public reception that was set in place pretty much before shakespeare0:06:14.480,0:06:22.560got in there and that's what he inherited and very much benefited from uh the the people coming to0:06:22.560,0:06:28.880the theater but also the dramatic techniques that were developed during that period before0:06:28.880,0:06:35.920shakespeare and i would like you to kind of recap your your interest in this area before shakespeare0:06:35.920,0:06:41.680what drew you to it and uh what excites you about it what excites me about it too i might jump in at0:06:41.680,0:06:45.840one point but i think it's about the same thing so tell us a little bit about that if you may0:06:46.960,0:06:51.680uh well i did my phd on a writer called john lilly who is a contemporary shakespeare but0:06:51.680,0:06:56.800born 10 years earlier and the thing that i found most challenging with that phd was that0:06:56.800,0:07:04.160just those additional 10 years the kind of the the the decades jump in kind of historical context0:07:05.680,0:07:10.160made me feel orphaned from the kinds of scholarship that we have on the 1590s0:07:10.160,0:07:14.480and onwards and we do have some grasp on the 1580s when it comes to the theater we0:07:14.480,0:07:20.480think of dr faustus and spanish tragedy i think of marlow who you've written about so brilliantly tom0:07:20.480,0:07:26.480but unlike the 1590s it doesn't feel like we have a kind of a holistic wide-ranging knowledge0:07:27.040,0:07:32.800of that decade and then if we get to the decades before that it just felt like there was um0:07:32.800,0:07:38.560relatively little scholarship and happening um in in wonderfully detailed ways um david kaufman is a0:07:38.560,0:07:42.960great example of the kinds of brilliant archival work that was happening has been happening in0:07:42.960,0:07:47.920in the earlier period but no one really pulling putting things together and trying to take a wider0:07:47.920,0:07:53.040a wider view of the period um and in particular i don't really feel anyone looked at those0:07:53.040,0:07:58.320those theaters those playhouses as a group and said what on earth is going on there so that0:07:58.320,0:08:06.000was sort of my essential research question is why from at least the 1560s and even more0:08:06.000,0:08:13.600strongly in terms of our evidence base in the 1570s why do these public-facing profit-making0:08:13.600,0:08:20.720uh ventures start popping up in london we go from zero to over ten in a decade i can't see0:08:20.720,0:08:25.760that happening anywhere else possibly on the planet in those years um and certainly not in0:08:25.760,0:08:30.080europe even places like spain seem to be a few years behind and in somewhere like spain you0:08:30.080,0:08:36.480tend to have one or two theaters per city london suddenly has ten and um as i say i didn't really0:08:36.480,0:08:40.960feel like anyone was joining joining up those dots and i'm working on john lilly who works for0:08:41.680,0:08:45.440he wrote for a company of boy actors and then thinking about someone like marlo0:08:45.440,0:08:49.680who's writing mostly for a group of adult actors but again those dots are not being0:08:49.680,0:08:54.480joined either i don't have any sense really of how those theater companies how they operated0:08:54.480,0:08:57.920alongside each other what it would mean for a playwright to write for one or the other0:08:58.640,0:09:04.720so it was a kind of historical and cultural geographic attempt to to join those dots really0:09:05.760,0:09:11.360yeah well it's a great contribution to the field of research because you and i both know when0:09:11.360,0:09:17.360you get into shakespeare research that there's nothing there's no stone that seems uncovered0:09:17.360,0:09:23.120and you you want to make a point and it hadn't been made before like if you're doing mid-summer0:09:23.120,0:09:28.000night stream for instance there's all of this stuff to go through and everybody and there's0:09:28.000,0:09:34.400this one little point but you have to give cred to the people all the way down and it's exhausting0:09:34.400,0:09:38.560and so and and then people will you know maybe disagree with you0:09:38.560,0:09:43.600now i do want to clarify for some of my students and so forth the 1590s is when we0:09:43.600,0:09:51.680we're not quite sure precisely when shakespeare arrived on the scene but certainly by mid-1590s0:09:51.680,0:09:58.160and after those play years there is a a big bump and probably some things before the plague0:09:58.160,0:10:04.320but the 1590s so you're talking about lily who developed and i think i'm saying this right0:10:07.120,0:10:14.080primed the pump for a popular marketplace for shake for public or semi-public0:10:14.080,0:10:22.640uh theater and also bringing to the uh bringing together this relationship between court and city0:10:22.640,0:10:28.880where you could kind of uh wrote if not rotate plays at that time you could you the finding0:10:28.880,0:10:36.400that you can entertain groups in the city as well as at court and that you can publish these plays0:10:36.400,0:10:43.040right at the point that you've made several times and these plays sold they were popular0:10:43.680,0:10:49.440and that's what opened the market for publication of shakespearean plays which may not have been0:10:49.440,0:10:55.760published and we wouldn't have them uh so that uh that's just an amazing contribution well the0:10:56.400,0:11:05.280the group of people you had at that con conference uh hogarzeim and uh of course uh heather knight uh0:11:05.280,0:11:13.120they they kind of uh stole part of the show there were some still show stealing moments there was a0:11:13.120,0:11:18.720a production of gallatia which is a fairly obscure even the people in the business0:11:18.720,0:11:24.880uh is not that studied that you explored you brought in a group of transgendered0:11:24.880,0:11:32.800acting troop and that play is gender-bending as it is right so it's re-gender-bended and i'm i got0:11:32.800,0:11:39.840lost a little bit on on how many flips yeah you know it gets kind of mathematically complicated0:11:39.840,0:11:45.760and sort of uh adorable that way right it was an excellent production and they led us from a room0:11:45.760,0:11:51.600out into the woods there at rohampton we had to follow along with the actors and uh that was a0:11:51.600,0:11:58.800wonderful great moment how is that troop doing how are they faring uh you know almost post-pandemic0:11:58.800,0:12:04.640i i can't imagine things have gone well yeah we we um we've been in a kind of a long period of um0:12:05.200,0:12:10.160uh what's called research and development so kind of um pre pre-rehearsal really phase of0:12:10.160,0:12:13.760the project for five years because we want to firstly want to get the production right and0:12:13.760,0:12:19.920secondly we need to raise a good deal of money so we're not quite a troop yet um the actors you saw0:12:19.920,0:12:25.280we have this kind of coming in and out of the research and development process um as we go0:12:25.280,0:12:31.120um we hope to have that production on its feet um next year we're hoping to make a film of it0:12:31.120,0:12:36.800which will make us covered proof uh we hope and um yeah it's gonna be really exciting i hope to0:12:37.680,0:12:42.160to stage this play for my money it's shakespeare's favorite play he never recovers from it he's0:12:42.160,0:12:46.800thinking about the gender bending you're describing in two gentlemen of verona0:12:46.800,0:12:50.960and he's thinking about it in the middle of his career like with as you like it or 12th night0:12:50.960,0:12:56.480and even a late play like the tempest the second scene of that play where her father explains0:12:56.480,0:13:01.520to his daughter who she is and why she's where she is comes straight out of the first scene of0:13:02.240,0:13:06.320of galatea so it's a play that shakespeare never really recovers from i sometimes think0:13:06.320,0:13:12.240of it almost as a kind of creative trauma for him he's always trying to to rewrite and renegotiate0:13:12.240,0:13:17.120some of the things that that galatea does um and as far as we know it has no stage history0:13:17.120,0:13:22.240from the 17th century up to the present day really um and we're hoping to permanently0:13:22.800,0:13:29.520reintroduce it to the modern repertory so we're hoping it will be a very visible production which0:13:29.520,0:13:35.840might change conversations around shakespeare genre gender and also change conversations around0:13:35.840,0:13:40.560around diversity and inclusion which certainly in the anglo-american tradition0:13:40.560,0:13:48.480at the moment tends towards including a single representative of diversity in an otherwise very0:13:48.480,0:13:54.000normative and normal looking group of people and our production is trying instead to center0:13:54.000,0:13:58.560all the kinds of people who would normally be marginalized by those kinds of productions and0:13:58.560,0:14:04.160ask what happens when we do that and that's really important to me i think um so so much0:14:04.800,0:14:10.640contemporary classical theater makes us think of shakespeare as expensive fairly conservative0:14:10.640,0:14:16.800and i mean expensive at the level of budget and at the level of um tickets and of course early modern0:14:16.800,0:14:21.680theater those buildings were permanently in danger of falling down permanently in danger of being0:14:21.680,0:14:28.800shut down actors are semi-illegal the stories that they're telling are very close to breaching laws0:14:28.800,0:14:34.960about what you can say in public about religion or or politics so um it's really important to0:14:34.960,0:14:41.760me that um we start to rethink how contemporary performance makes us imagine shakespeare because0:14:41.760,0:14:46.720i think unfortunately it sometimes gets in the way as much as it helps us to think about place0:14:46.720,0:14:53.840from that period oh yes oh yes it tends to eclipse uh things before and after and0:14:53.840,0:15:01.600also uh it you know in the era i guess from the late 19th century of the shakespeare and academe0:15:01.600,0:15:07.920and the departmentalization the breaking up of specialties and so forth uh in into0:15:07.920,0:15:13.840academic disciplines uh i think no i don't know i don't want to make a big deal out of this but0:15:13.840,0:15:18.320if you want to kind of survive you better keep one foot in the shakespearean0:15:18.320,0:15:23.600area right and you can venture out so and there might be someone who sees this0:15:24.640,0:15:30.080conversation and goes well i don't know how much shakespeare was in there you go well quite a lot0:15:30.080,0:15:36.160because we're talking about sort of uh primal reasons we're going to the to the source of what0:15:36.160,0:15:42.160created this enormous thing and i told another guest that you know you can't study rock the0:15:42.160,0:15:47.440history of rock and roll and just focus on the stones and the beetles you know you have to throw0:15:47.440,0:15:53.280everything in there if you're going to do that and i love the material approach you take to your0:15:53.280,0:15:59.200research where you look at everything you look at archaeology you look at print history the nuts and0:15:59.200,0:16:05.600bolts of how things were put together and where they were to you and the geophysical spaces how0:16:05.600,0:16:10.960they were used and that's very challenging because we're getting not only out of shakespeare but0:16:10.960,0:16:15.040we're getting out of the department of literature where we're supposed to be having revelations0:16:15.040,0:16:21.200about what this sonnet really means again you know and and that's that's fun too but it just wasn't0:16:21.200,0:16:28.880anything i think that ever engaged you or really engaged me to to be honest and uh that's just0:16:29.840,0:16:33.440yeah it's fascinating how when you start to engage with things like archaeology they start0:16:33.440,0:16:38.880telling you very different things and um it was another prompt before shakespeare really was0:16:38.880,0:16:44.720that you know in the early 1980s we had zero playhouses and i'm not sure we were really0:16:44.720,0:16:51.120expecting to find playhouses and um as of last year when um a brilliant archaeologist called0:16:51.120,0:16:56.240stephen wright uh looks to have discovered the red lion the earliest playhouse we know of in london0:16:56.240,0:17:00.240we probably now have all of the playhouses we ever expect to find we may well find0:17:00.240,0:17:03.840what we didn't know about but we know we've found all the ones we might expect to find0:17:04.880,0:17:08.480so again there's been a sea change in out in our knowledge and that knowledge has completely0:17:08.480,0:17:13.680remapped what we thought we knew so it tells you something there i think about things and stuff0:17:13.680,0:17:19.440and physical spaces have completely disproven all of the narratives we've built up from words0:17:20.240,0:17:24.960so yeah for me it's always about bringing those two things into dialogue yeah and i do i do just0:17:24.960,0:17:32.160love the way you're in london so you have this wonderful opportunity i love living in tokyo i0:17:32.160,0:17:40.400love being here but the uh sometimes i'm a little bit uh you know i have this feeling of uh not0:17:40.400,0:17:45.040yeah nostalgia you know from times that i've spent there i've done some research and spent some time0:17:45.040,0:17:51.760in london over my life and uh wanting to get back there and of course during a pandemic that that0:17:51.760,0:17:59.520feeling becomes even stronger but i love the way that you as a scholar as a trained scholar also0:17:59.520,0:18:05.520engage with the acting community and engage with the theater history community and they're scholars0:18:05.520,0:18:11.280also but then there are a lot of other people who are floating around out there and we're going to0:18:11.280,0:18:16.480talk about your animal baiting in a bit but you're working with people who do forensic science now0:18:16.480,0:18:21.440you're working the cross-disciplinary nature in academia and then the outreach0:18:21.440,0:18:28.000into avant-garde theater and consciousness raising social consciousness raising raising0:18:28.000,0:18:33.200through theater and and just entertainment what it's all about we're supposed to have fun0:18:33.920,0:18:39.120right yes if it's not fun we can just go back into the business community you know go0:18:40.080,0:18:46.720go into the financial district and see if we can make some money there and on that subject i wanted0:18:46.720,0:18:51.040to move a little bit because when i really got engaged with your work was with the elizabethan0:18:51.040,0:18:59.680top ten uh that collection and that you uh worked with with emma smith uh at hartford college oxford0:18:59.680,0:19:09.520and uh she she is so good at at taking this well i don't want to say bear but it is this sort of0:19:09.520,0:19:16.640large animal of defining popularity what is that you know and i remember years ago raymond0:19:16.640,0:19:22.320williams just came out and said uh well liked by many people and then you know that created0:19:22.320,0:19:26.880well wait a second what do you mean by well like how many people and that kind of thing0:19:26.880,0:19:34.560but you guys handled that subject extraordinarily well and it was revelatory to me what was popular0:19:34.560,0:19:43.440you have lily right but you have the names of some other dramatists who really um thomas hayward0:19:43.440,0:19:50.160did extremely productive and uh other other things that were enlightening about that uh0:19:50.160,0:19:56.080that search that you did into what text were popular were popular if you could explain a little0:19:56.080,0:20:02.080bit of how you approach the idea of popularity it's a little it's difficult but uh i think yeah0:20:03.040,0:20:07.360but yeah the book's called the elizabethan top 10 and divided into 10 chapters and really the0:20:07.360,0:20:13.840idea was if you walked into a bookshop in 1600s what might be next to hamlet and what might be0:20:13.840,0:20:18.080outselling hamlet i suppose hamlet's not in print at that point so that's a bad example but what0:20:18.080,0:20:22.720would be outstanding in particular shakespeare play and we were looking more at genres than we0:20:22.720,0:20:29.920were at writers or particular texts so we looked at um wallpaper there's a chapter on on wallpaper0:20:31.040,0:20:38.960prayer books psalm books um kind of how to books you know domestic manual books um musa0:20:38.960,0:20:45.680doris became the play uh we had a chapter by pete cohen on um on musa doris so really attempt to0:20:45.680,0:20:52.240again just to redistribute the way we think about literature popularity etc and to map it out into0:20:52.240,0:20:59.280a sort of real you know an imagined real space of of a particular um bookshop or bookshop community0:20:59.280,0:21:03.200um and then i guess the theoretical point really i think this is probably true of0:21:03.200,0:21:07.200emma as well but i don't want to um i don't want to speak for her but certainly for me um0:21:07.840,0:21:11.600i really like engaging with questions which interest me but i also feel skeptical about0:21:11.600,0:21:15.600and you were talking about how lots you know a lot of the debate is how popular and how many0:21:15.600,0:21:20.480things do we need to sell how many people need to read it before we count it as popular those sorts0:21:20.480,0:21:24.560of questions happen in theater history as well i'm always amazed watching theater historians0:21:25.120,0:21:30.640comparing one another's theaters and thrust stages who's got the biggest thrust stage and i'm like0:21:30.640,0:21:34.640calm down boys we don't need to have that conversation in print everything's fine relax0:21:35.200,0:21:41.120um and yeah i guess i feel skeptical about those sorts of i'm interested in those0:21:41.120,0:21:45.280methods of measurement but also skeptical about them and in a way the book was trying to move0:21:45.280,0:21:50.000not necessarily beyond it in a kind of quality way we weren't trying to do a better thing but just to0:21:50.000,0:21:55.680start to sidestep some of those questions and really just to you know those are not questions0:21:55.680,0:22:00.240if you're going to animate someone in the 16th century going around the bookshop um but but0:22:00.240,0:22:05.440it was a case as i say of redistribution i think rather than recalibration so what is next to each0:22:05.440,0:22:11.760other what kinds of contexts do these books live in amongst one another what does it look like if0:22:11.760,0:22:17.600we put musa doris amongst some books for example um i think that's probably that's probably how0:22:17.600,0:22:22.560most of my scholarship works is stepping away from numbers because i'm really bad at maths0:22:22.560,0:22:26.240and instead just thinking about what my to real life engagement with these0:22:26.880,0:22:30.960things look like so just as i'm interested in before shakespeare of the person walking down0:22:30.960,0:22:35.520the street and saying do i go to the theater do i go to the curtain did i should i never0:22:35.520,0:22:39.360have come to shoreditch in the first place do i want to go back to the globe down on the south0:22:39.360,0:22:43.920bank um likewise i'm interested in someone in a book a bookshop confronted with those0:22:43.920,0:22:50.000sorts of choices what do i do with my my finite you know pocket of money what do i spend it on0:22:51.280,0:22:56.960well you can't you can't separate the two things and i've i've worked a good bit0:22:57.520,0:23:06.000in recent years on the bookshops of saint paul's of paul's cross church yard and tried to in my0:23:06.000,0:23:11.600mind you know as a thought experiment to try to envision what you're talking about a bookstore0:23:11.600,0:23:18.560that is just like a bookstore it uh you know has sections and so there's a lot of religious0:23:18.560,0:23:22.800print and it's sort of is sort of dominant of course it's dominant during that period it's0:23:22.800,0:23:27.840basically the reason that you know i i believe that religious print provided the market for0:23:27.840,0:23:34.720the popular print that also is being browsed you have these young gallants maybe kind of like the0:23:34.720,0:23:38.880two guys in romeo and juliet two gentlemen of veronica you know all over shakespeare0:23:38.880,0:23:45.360who are walking around and i kind of envisioned them walking in public areas and that paul's walk0:23:45.360,0:23:52.000uh you know you had this wide space at the church yard and wandering in the stores and being able to0:23:52.000,0:23:59.440read here and there and everywhere shakespeare perhaps too but also hearing hearing the buzz0:24:00.000,0:24:07.280right and getting a real really good sense of the commercial market kind of like we see directors0:24:07.280,0:24:12.960like like clint eastwood he seems to have such an ear for what would be the story that would capture0:24:13.600,0:24:18.720lots of people he does he seems to be doing it every time and i can name any number of film0:24:18.720,0:24:24.560directors who are just really good at that and that's what excites me and i think it's0:24:24.560,0:24:32.160very much the the same thing this is an engaged uh artistic community they're not sitting in studies0:24:32.160,0:24:38.240and reading through some classical text and getting inspired by the muse they are of course0:24:38.240,0:24:46.240they are the poetry is so fine but without that public engagement and being part of it that you0:24:46.240,0:24:54.720just wouldn't uh be able to bring that many people into that many theaters right yeah absolutely i0:24:56.240,0:25:00.080am just delighted with all of this stuff andy and i wanted to kind of0:25:00.080,0:25:06.400move ahead here because i'm i'm extraordinarily excited about bears0:25:09.520,0:25:15.520i saw that and i've worked up uh you know i was looking over your stuff and just today i saw that0:25:15.520,0:25:23.920you've gotten a a nice little slice of money uh from the uh let's see the ahrc and for our0:25:24.560,0:25:29.760non-british that stands for the arts and humanities research council right also0:25:29.760,0:25:33.680funded before shakespeare so i'm very grateful to them that's right it's the same group and0:25:33.680,0:25:42.240they're a pretty generous operation and you are working you're working on bear baiting in the 16th0:25:42.240,0:25:50.000century which is fascinating and also politically and emotionally sensitive for many many people0:25:50.560,0:25:57.040in our time you know on as a spectrum you know of course anything from hunters who at0:25:57.040,0:26:04.240the in the best case scenario have a fair you know fair shot of maybe wildlife management0:26:04.240,0:26:09.360and they're still you guys were pointing out in your video there's still animal baiting all around0:26:09.360,0:26:16.160the world and there's a famous uh reading not so old story about an american football quarterback0:26:16.160,0:26:22.080who was in fact convicted and had to i think go to prison for dog fights he was involved with0:26:22.080,0:26:27.760dog fighting and there's a lot of that going underground and it all you know there's a long0:26:27.760,0:26:33.840history of this and so just tell us about the project where you are uh anything it's0:26:33.840,0:26:38.240fascinating yeah thank you well we're right at the start of the project it's the first thing to say0:26:38.240,0:26:41.600and the beginning of the project has happened under covert so we're not really where0:26:42.160,0:26:49.840we hope to be and we've got another two and a bit years to go we're running until august 2023 um so0:26:50.480,0:26:54.400i think the project will start to accumulate but it's a really exciting collaboration between0:26:54.960,0:27:02.880um some animal archaeologists uh some ancient dna analysts and some archival and literary scholars0:27:03.440,0:27:09.600um i was lucky enough to be approached by the bear archaeologist best job title in the world um0:27:10.560,0:27:15.920hannah regan um on the back of before shakespeare really and um you know you were talking earlier0:27:15.920,0:27:20.480about public-facing work which as you say is really important to me and i think one thing we0:27:21.040,0:27:25.200scholars often forget when they do public facing work is they forget that they themselves are part0:27:25.200,0:27:29.680of the public and so are their colleagues and actually because we were writing blog0:27:29.680,0:27:34.400posts on the before shakespeare website aimed at the public they were being read by scholars0:27:34.400,0:27:41.680in other disciplines who normally would find it difficult to process traditional theatre history0:27:41.680,0:27:45.680simply because of where it's published the jargon that uses the assumption it makes about0:27:45.680,0:27:51.040what readers know and so um before shakespeare in the website i opened up lots of collaborations0:27:51.040,0:27:54.240with lots of different practitioners but hannah wrote to me on the back of that0:27:54.240,0:27:58.320which was wonderful and in a way it's sort of an attempt to do something light before shakespeare0:27:58.960,0:28:05.040to the baiting arenas to ask why they're there why they happen why then and why there and it's grown0:28:05.040,0:28:10.160into a much bigger project really asking about bears and animals in the early modern period0:28:10.160,0:28:15.440and in the first two months on the project um callan davis who's leading the archival work0:28:15.440,0:28:23.040he managed to find um two nearly 2 000 references to bears in tudor and stewart england and when we0:28:23.040,0:28:26.640were writing the funding bid one thing everyone kept saying to us is you won't find any evidence0:28:26.640,0:28:31.680of bears so there's no point even checking and we've we've just found thousands of references0:28:31.680,0:28:37.120to bears you couldn't move in early modern england for a bear one of my very favorite facts is that0:28:37.120,0:28:42.240bears regularly stopped traffic in early modern england you know people stopping their horses0:28:42.240,0:28:47.920stopping their cars stopping walking on the street to stare at the bears there's a really great line0:28:47.920,0:28:54.720in a john lily play um mother bomby one character turns to another and says are you there with your0:28:54.720,0:28:59.120bears are you there with your bears and it turns out the answer to that question is everybody0:28:59.120,0:29:05.040was there with their bears bears absolutely um everywhere so we're having lots lots of fun with0:29:05.040,0:29:12.080the project as you say the act of baiting itself is not remotely fun um deeply unethical cruel0:29:12.640,0:29:22.880sport but just hugely popular and um has been surprisingly um understudied i think as a practice0:29:22.880,0:29:26.560there's some brilliant scholarship on it but i don't think that scholarship has been0:29:26.560,0:29:31.680integrated well into wider accounts of theatre history and again you know i was talking about0:29:31.680,0:29:35.280the person walking down the street saying do i go to a theater do i go to the curtain0:29:35.280,0:29:40.000you've got exactly the same options happening here and i'm becoming increasingly fascinated0:29:40.000,0:29:45.200in the south bank area where you have the globe and you have the rose theatre and you have baiting0:29:45.200,0:29:50.960arenas i think rather than that being a site of competition for audience actually you know these0:29:50.960,0:29:55.520places are acting as a magnet for football for people to come and to mingle and do all the things0:29:55.520,0:30:00.800that we've not been allowed to do under covet and i almost wonder if we're really looking at0:30:00.800,0:30:07.040an early example of a zoo or an animal-based fair because not only have you got the abating arenas0:30:07.040,0:30:12.160but you've got the kennels you've got the ponds in which the animals drink and wash you've got this0:30:12.160,0:30:18.160site in which again you can come and look at the animals so i think um it's an incredibly important0:30:18.720,0:30:23.440practice in the period and one of the things we've discovered looking beyond london is that so many0:30:23.440,0:30:29.520english towns actually have spaces for baiting right at their center so the kind of um bet if0:30:29.520,0:30:35.440you look for bear road in particular english towns if you look for the bear in um the bear in seems0:30:35.440,0:30:41.600to be where the baiting happens it tends to be on bare roads um you can see how central this act is0:30:42.320,0:30:47.840to the um to the english imagination so um that's what what we're looking at the ancient0:30:47.840,0:30:53.680dna analysis is aiming to find out things like um the gender of the bears potentially the the0:30:53.680,0:31:00.320breed of the bears potentially where they're from we can use things like um dental records to think0:31:00.320,0:31:05.760about their age and their health we can look at bones to think about trauma marks and therefore0:31:05.760,0:31:10.560to think about the kinds of combat that they're engaged in and then we're hoping to put that all0:31:10.560,0:31:16.400into dialogue with how baiting is imagined in the period um and baiting is deep into the heart0:31:16.400,0:31:20.960of the way shakespeare thinks about certain characters particularly at the ends of plays0:31:21.760,0:31:29.600famously macbeth um ends the play um comparing himself to a baited bear gloucester in king lear0:31:29.600,0:31:36.160as he's about to be blinded says i am tied to the stake and i must stay the course um so characters0:31:36.160,0:31:41.920in shakespeare repeatedly compare themselves to a bear being baited um so there are there are0:31:41.920,0:31:45.200just an awful lot of stories to be told there but the last thing i'll say and you're welcome to ask0:31:45.200,0:31:49.200any more questions of course but we're also just like before shakespeare we're keen to work with0:31:49.760,0:31:53.440contemporary practitioners and in this case we're working with a group of professional wrestlers0:31:54.000,0:32:00.320because we want to think about what it is like to perform combat in front of an audience um0:32:00.320,0:32:06.640one of the things you do if you if you run a bear baiting um as a as a practice we actually tom we0:32:06.640,0:32:10.960actually have found um the diary of a bear ward so someone who owned a bear and was traveling0:32:10.960,0:32:15.840around the country we're able to trace this man for two months around england on a day-to-day0:32:15.840,0:32:21.840basis sometimes on an hour by hour basis and that the two bears he had these poor bears0:32:21.840,0:32:25.600are being repeatedly baited not just across days but across months0:32:25.600,0:32:31.200so the last thing you want when you're staging that is for the blood sport to become actually0:32:33.040,0:32:37.200dangerous to the point where the bear can't fight the next day so these are stage managed0:32:37.760,0:32:41.840performance events so we're going to work with professional wrestlers professional wrestling0:32:41.840,0:32:46.400grows out of much the same logic really you know if you're making money from being a fighter you0:32:46.400,0:32:51.680need to be able to make money as a fighter the following day so introducing levels of performance0:32:51.680,0:32:57.040into what you do is the way to to make that happen so those are the sorts of ways in which we're0:32:57.040,0:33:00.960approaching baiting i don't quite know what we're going to find but i'm really looking forward to it0:33:00.960,0:33:07.280oh you just said several things and i have that you know i go on about 17 things right now0:33:07.280,0:33:14.160that have just entered my mind but i was always under the impression that the bear uh died0:33:14.960,0:33:19.760at any given event that they would bring in enough dogs and that the bear died but these are0:33:19.760,0:33:26.400sort of gladiator bears that can survive a given event and probably were expected to survive and0:33:27.120,0:33:32.960there must have been some there must have been some talent out there like the uh the famous bear0:33:32.960,0:33:42.160just like he had the famous wrestler and so they were used the bears won typically apparently they0:33:43.200,0:33:50.160they tended to make it through and killed the dogs and then lived to fight another day0:33:51.040,0:33:55.120yeah so bears lots of bears become celebrities um fascinatingly a lot of0:33:55.120,0:34:00.320the bears are linked to particular places um in england so it's almost like um a bit like0:34:00.320,0:34:05.840football than the uk now people cheering on for their team cheering on their local bear perhaps um0:34:06.480,0:34:11.600certainly lots of dogs will have died but but actually the archaeological evidence of the dogs0:34:11.600,0:34:15.440and again we were just at the start of this project i should stress but um we have found0:34:15.440,0:34:20.960hundreds of dogs and the thing that surprised our archaeologists is just how old the dogs are and0:34:20.960,0:34:25.840that there is evidence that when bones have been broken they have been reset by humans so we are0:34:25.840,0:34:30.160seeing a history firstly we're seeing a history of cruelty but we're also seeing a history of care0:34:30.720,0:34:35.840um and so that's surprising too so there may have been stage management around the dogs0:34:35.840,0:34:41.600as well these are massive dogs mastiffs for which england was famous going back to the roman period0:34:41.600,0:34:47.040and and there's a real cultural association of englishness and mastiffs kind of predating the0:34:47.040,0:34:53.760more familiar association between england and the bulldog um and so the dogs too may0:34:53.760,0:34:58.240well have been cared for and their safety may have been managed as part of this sport0:34:59.280,0:35:03.840well the small amount of research and this just i have not done specific research but it's in0:35:03.840,0:35:10.160reading something else and somebody's going to bear baiting and invariably in three accounts0:35:10.160,0:35:16.560that i can think of now the word pleasurable was it was very pleasurable just like going out to0:35:16.560,0:35:21.440i don't know see a a light comedy or something like that you know that there was great pleasure0:35:21.440,0:35:26.880i imagine in a good football match that there's that feeling of particularly when your team wins0:35:27.520,0:35:34.240that that feeling of pleasure and joy uh and you guys were talking in your video on0:35:34.240,0:35:39.280this about bedding and so i guess there were some people who were pulling for the bear or how long0:35:39.280,0:35:47.040it would take for the bear to win which or what and other people with the dogs but anyway they0:35:47.040,0:35:52.000seem to have a lot of pleasure and there were i do remember something where a monkey was involved0:35:52.560,0:35:56.400and everybody got a lot of joy out of seeing a monkey riding on a bear's back0:35:57.280,0:36:02.560and that was just that stole the show or it just seemed like that from what i was reading0:36:02.560,0:36:08.720this is wildly good and you have an article on this the performing animals in the in a0:36:08.720,0:36:15.040journal of animal history and literature i'm not saying that correctly is that yeah it's0:36:15.040,0:36:20.800a book on um literary animals literary animals it came out before the project i should say so0:36:20.800,0:36:24.880it's not really about bear baiting it's actually about dogs on stage i should say the project's0:36:24.880,0:36:31.120called box off the spares and our website so if anyone's interested uh boxofficebears.com0:36:31.120,0:36:35.680is the place to look we're publishing primary documents up there transcriptions and photographs0:36:35.680,0:36:40.000we're making some animations about some of the stories that we're discovering um particularly0:36:40.000,0:36:45.040around bears on the streets in england and the big actually one of the biggest discoveries of0:36:45.040,0:36:51.520the project so far is how often bears accidentally get into people's houses terrifying right we keep0:36:51.520,0:36:55.840hearing again and again about bears um you know being let loose by the bear ward they lose control0:36:55.840,0:37:01.680of the animal and it just it just goes into somebody's house terrifying absolutely terrifying0:37:02.800,0:37:10.560when i was in hiroshima years ago teaching there at the hiroshima university uh one day i just you0:37:10.560,0:37:16.240know looked at the news of the paper and there's big news up in the mountains and hiroshima is a0:37:16.240,0:37:24.000million people it's a large town by our standards and in a a suburban area just a little bit outside0:37:24.000,0:37:31.280of the city center not far you could actually walk it uh and there's this gentleman and a0:37:31.280,0:37:36.240grandfather that say oh gee sign in japan he's sitting and it's on his tatami mat you know0:37:36.240,0:37:40.720very traditional having his bowl of noodles or whatever and a bear comes flying through0:37:42.640,0:37:48.240and and mauls him he wasn't killed but he's hurt and the bear was looking for food0:37:49.040,0:37:55.440what do you do about that you know so i don't know this is a a little bit off topic but i do0:37:55.440,0:38:00.480remember the pictures in the paper the next of the hiroshima hunting club they had to go out0:38:00.480,0:38:06.240and get their rifles and these were guys and they hunted the bear down and killed the bear but uh0:38:07.200,0:38:14.480um i could talk about bears all day but we'd run out we would run uh out of my uh0:38:15.120,0:38:22.160expertise uh i wanted to look at so pretty pretty quickly uh except that there there are a lot of0:38:22.160,0:38:28.000them still and they are a growing population near where i grew up in south carolina in the mountains0:38:28.000,0:38:32.960above there in north carolina lots of black bear which aren't as threatening as these0:38:32.960,0:38:37.440you know grizzly you see in the movies and so forth but there is a public fascination with0:38:37.440,0:38:43.280bears there always is and of course they're they're they're great examples of people who0:38:43.280,0:38:48.560you know have their pet bear and and think of bears as being happy and nice and0:38:48.560,0:38:55.520uh no they they can get really rough with you very quickly you did some work uh in the past on0:38:56.640,0:39:01.440uh london theatrical culture i think that was for that that's just an overview0:39:01.440,0:39:09.7601560 to 1590 so you've established yourself as an expert in that uh period of time and0:39:10.960,0:39:17.040you talked a good bit about the 1580s and uh and john lilly and of course as robert greene0:39:17.040,0:39:25.760the university wits are coming on and they're but the 70s is a little bit more obscure and the 60s0:39:25.760,0:39:32.320more obscure although we do know that there's a theater activity so i have not read that0:39:32.320,0:39:37.840article i will i promise you soon but i'm dying to find out what you had to say about0:39:37.840,0:39:48.560the 60s the 1560s and 70s that are not as well documented as uh as the later decades yeah um0:39:48.560,0:39:51.920i think the first thing to say is that we start hearing about theatrical activity0:39:52.720,0:39:57.280um i mean theatrical activity in general we start bringing about as soon as we start hearing about0:39:57.280,0:40:03.120english english culture right back to the roman the roman period um we start hearing about things0:40:03.120,0:40:11.280which sound a little bit like professional troops and potentially um sites for regular performance0:40:12.160,0:40:16.960as early as the late 15th century and early 16th century so it's something which predates0:40:16.960,0:40:24.320even the 1560s um what we hear about in the 1560s in particular is the red lion playhouse which i0:40:24.320,0:40:28.880mentioned earlier which we've seen we think we now have discovered thanks to stephen wright0:40:29.440,0:40:36.400um and his team at the university college london um and we didn't know about the red lion until0:40:36.400,0:40:42.160the 1980s when two documents were discovered which were the propriet proprietor john brain0:40:42.720,0:40:48.960um taking to court the carpenters responsible for the scaffolding and for the stage of the space of0:40:48.960,0:40:54.560the audience and the space for the actors and um that evidence has not really been again that0:40:54.560,0:40:58.640well integrated into the it's history but when it has been integrated scholars tend to think of0:40:58.640,0:41:03.520the red lion as a transient space which is only open for a matter of months we have no evidence0:41:03.520,0:41:09.520either way about that and um actually i suspect the archaeological evidence we found last year0:41:09.520,0:41:14.480is going to tell us that the red line was open for possibly for decades um so i think the really0:41:14.480,0:41:19.760crucial thing to stress again and again is that we don't know much and when we do know about things0:41:19.760,0:41:25.200scholarships reaction tends to be to reject or to downplay that evidence in favor of what happens0:41:25.200,0:41:30.800in the 1580s and particularly at playhouses associated with shakespeare like the theater0:41:31.600,0:41:37.120and i think once you stop doing that and you take all of your evidence much more seriously as i said0:41:37.120,0:41:41.360earlier i think the really crucial thing is that we get more than 10 playhouses opening by the late0:41:41.360,0:41:48.0801570s which is itself extraordinary um one of the most important take-home messages of the project0:41:48.080,0:41:53.760for me has been that um there are women at the top of the leadership structure of at least half0:41:53.760,0:42:02.960of those playhouses um so women who own or rent um in playing spaces for example anne farrent at0:42:02.960,0:42:08.880the blackfriar's playhouse the indoor playhouse and people like margaret brain who's the wife0:42:08.880,0:42:14.480of john brain not only does she help to finance the building of a theater when the project runs0:42:14.480,0:42:19.440out of money she literally picks up tools and is one of the carpenters helping to build the theatre0:42:19.440,0:42:27.280playhouse and about five years later the burbidges beat margaret brain off the property by broomstick0:42:28.400,0:42:35.280whilst hurling hurling abuse at her and so we can see in this early period firstly um the centrality0:42:35.280,0:42:41.200of female entrepreneurs to setting up these spaces but we can also see marginalization happening in0:42:41.200,0:42:47.440real time in the period we can see women being ousted um from from their own property by a family0:42:47.440,0:42:52.480so strongly associated with shakespeare later in the form of the verbiage um the burbidge family0:42:52.480,0:42:59.360so those are the big um take-home messages for me i really do think those spaces are remapping0:42:59.360,0:43:05.040what you can do with your body in leisure time in london and what you can do with your mind um yeah0:43:05.040,0:43:10.080these are these are places which are staging as i said earlier stories which are deeply illegal0:43:10.080,0:43:17.360at the level of religion and politics um and something like close to half of london i think0:43:17.360,0:43:22.720must have been going to the theaters regularly to keep these places in in business london is growing0:43:22.720,0:43:27.680but it's still a pretty small city and to have these ten playhouses regularly playing to public0:43:27.680,0:43:34.240audiences that suggests there's almost a level of radicalization going on i think at the level of um0:43:34.960,0:43:40.000the creative imagination uh the possibilities of what life might look like as these theaters start0:43:40.000,0:43:46.080staging you know stories about middle eastern tyrants about ancient greek queer people about0:43:46.080,0:43:52.240atheists about necromancers um extraordinary and i i just don't think we've quite taken0:43:53.440,0:43:58.480understood yet what a sea change that is which is occurring in the middle of the 16th century0:43:58.480,0:44:05.600crucially not at the end uh but in the middle um as elizabeth the first comes to the throne not not0:44:05.600,0:44:10.800towards the end of her reign so it's it's about remapping and re historicizing that moment i think0:44:10.800,0:44:18.720for me well also i was talking i i spoke recently with heather knight of mola with one of your dear0:44:18.720,0:44:25.600friends and they've been working on the boar's head and they date that to the 60s too and again0:44:25.600,0:44:33.280i am have not completed any kind of research on that but there's activity there and you know it's0:44:33.280,0:44:40.000sort of like uh i don't know there's an old adage you see a mouse and you in your house and you get0:44:40.000,0:44:45.120rid of it in whatever way and you figure well i got rid of the mouse if you see a roach you assume0:44:45.120,0:44:50.320you have more roaches right and i don't want to compare theaters with roaches but it's sort of0:44:51.200,0:44:59.840sort of the same thing i mean if you have one two and you this certain schools of historiography0:44:59.840,0:45:06.160would say you can't speculate beyond what we have physical evidence of but yeah you can because if0:45:06.160,0:45:13.360they're two of them they're probably more venues out there and more people entrepreneurs just like0:45:13.360,0:45:18.160you would see in any college town in the united states you have a guy who opens a little bar0:45:18.160,0:45:23.360and he has live performances and there's local bands and so forth and sometimes the venue lasts0:45:23.360,0:45:29.440for three months they don't make it sometimes it goes for years you know like the marquee club in0:45:29.440,0:45:36.560london you know it just keeps on going and going and uh and so mostly i think these theaters were0:45:36.560,0:45:46.400fairly ephemeral but they probably if you lived during that time it they you went there and uh0:45:46.400,0:45:52.080and secondly i wanted to talk about what you know the the in the process of enlightenment0:45:52.080,0:45:58.720it reminded me of you know my my father was world war ii and he just despised all this rock and roll0:45:58.720,0:46:05.520long hair stuff you know going back to the hippie period and uh but you know i'm getting things on0:46:05.520,0:46:10.960the radio and hearing this stuff and i've been trained as in piano and we've played bach and all0:46:10.960,0:46:17.200of that stuff and i i did play french horn i was in classical music i loved it but you know when0:46:17.200,0:46:24.160you first start hearing crosby stills nation young motown uh all of this stuff and wow you know and0:46:24.160,0:46:31.120it may have been something like that that finally not finally but instead of going to a say a small0:46:31.120,0:46:37.440town pageant or a mayoral show or something you have this innovative theater out there and they're0:46:37.440,0:46:44.400dealing with material that is not church it is not church stuff and that's where you have your public0:46:45.040,0:46:52.400gatherings for people to worship and you can see how ministers very early on saw this as a0:46:52.400,0:46:57.680threat maybe even financial threat you know i mean you you want people to give ties at church you0:46:57.680,0:47:03.040don't want them throwing all their money away on theater and all the things that go with it right0:47:04.320,0:47:08.080yep absolutely financial threat and an imaginative threat as well you know0:47:09.360,0:47:16.480a priest wants a priest is speaking to your your imaginative ability to engage with the stories in0:47:16.480,0:47:22.800the bible and the stories the wider stories of of the of whatever iteration of christianity they're0:47:22.800,0:47:28.880speaking for and if you suddenly have play houses um telling you to imagine other places and things0:47:28.880,0:47:34.480then that's a it's a threat of your hold um not just on their financial but they're imaginative0:47:34.480,0:47:40.720resources as well i think that's right and um the um the anti-theatrical sermons which object to the0:47:40.720,0:47:46.880theaters almost always also object to baiting and betting uh so again you can see how those those0:47:46.880,0:47:52.800things exist in a kind of continuum for people who are worried about them yeah well that goes on to0:47:52.800,0:47:59.920modern times you know where you have to have special uh dispensation to to have a casino0:47:59.920,0:48:06.160and uh the famous examples in the states of saying well you can't have it in the state but uh i don't0:48:06.160,0:48:11.920know if it's 50 or 100 yards you can build a basically a large raft and that's uh that's the0:48:11.920,0:48:17.520water that's not so uh that's that's happened in a lot of cases of course las vegas and so forth0:48:17.520,0:48:23.120but we still don't have um even though a lot of people enjoy gambling and betting and so forth0:48:23.120,0:48:29.120i was fortunate in that when i was young i bet uh and you know just in a bar you know when i was in0:48:29.120,0:48:36.560college i i bet a couple of times on of a sports match here and there and every time i did i lost0:48:37.760,0:48:42.800and i said you know this isn't for me i can't pick a winner but if i've won one of those you know you0:48:42.800,0:48:47.920don't know where that's going to lead right but i have friends who just love it you know and they go0:48:47.920,0:48:53.600out and play golf and uh you were talking in your little program with uh on your website with your0:48:53.600,0:49:02.480uh colleagues there about one of your colleagues the uh was talking about how microcosmic right0:49:02.480,0:49:07.360so you know you've your bet you golfers will bet on who's going to win the hole but then you get0:49:07.360,0:49:12.800up there and say okay will i get out of this sand trap in one are you you know let's throw a couple0:49:12.800,0:49:20.720of dollars you know if it's in the states on that uh but yeah the um the morally upright you don't0:49:20.720,0:49:26.640see that as being a part of the uh of the work ethic they would support and having a stable0:49:26.640,0:49:34.720civilized uh sober uh humble culture you've done a little work on digital humanities and that's0:49:34.720,0:49:41.360one of the subsets of this program and you have an article on digital humanities and non-shakespeare0:49:41.360,0:49:47.200what's going on there i have to say that it's just a small write-up really of what we're doing0:49:47.200,0:49:55.920on before shakespeare and in a way i mean i'm an embarrassingly non-technical person um and not not0:49:55.920,0:50:00.960good with anything digital so i'm always a bit embarrassed to even suggest like i work in this0:50:00.960,0:50:04.560area but it really goes back to what we were saying earlier about for me the importance of0:50:05.440,0:50:11.360speaking to a public a public audience and i do think that getting boxed into a certain set0:50:11.360,0:50:16.080of expertise is actually really intellectually unhealthy if you're only ever speaking to people0:50:16.080,0:50:21.120who have the same assumptions about you about primary material secondary material methodology0:50:21.120,0:50:25.760all the things we speak to our research students about all of the time if we if we box ourselves0:50:25.760,0:50:31.760in in terms of what we think matters then we stop seeing why it matters i think and i guess a lovely0:50:31.760,0:50:36.640example of that for me is that i'm now thinking about bears which you know i haven't really0:50:36.640,0:50:40.640thought about bears that much in my professional life and it's very humbling for me you know here0:50:40.640,0:50:45.760we are tom speaking on your brilliant um series about shakespeare you know bears very few bears0:50:45.760,0:50:50.720read shakespeare he's not particularly popular amongst the bear community but some of them have0:50:50.720,0:50:54.960not even heard of him which is a shame because it's a great pun to be had in kind of like a shape0:50:54.960,0:51:01.360there right um but you know just being asked to to rethink something you take for granted is central0:51:01.920,0:51:06.160um from the point of view of something which is entirely indifferent to it and has no idea what it0:51:06.160,0:51:12.800is is a healthy thing to do so i'm a huge believer in the digital humanities in that it opens up a0:51:12.800,0:51:18.080space to speak to people who do not share your assumptions and do not show your expertise0:51:18.080,0:51:24.320and are useful to you for precisely those reasons and we do tend to think of scholarly communication0:51:24.320,0:51:29.680in terms of expertise and it's the expert who changes the listener i'm much much more interested0:51:29.680,0:51:36.480in speaking to people who will change my questions and expertise in their in their own right which is0:51:36.480,0:51:41.840why i love working with practitioners it's why i value working with wrestlers um it's why i value0:51:41.840,0:51:48.160working with anybody who does not think that john lilly for example is the center of the universe0:51:48.160,0:51:53.280if i only spoke to people who thought that i'd have a very lonely life anyway so um yeah for0:51:53.280,0:51:59.120me it's about it's about collaboration um pooling expertise pooling resources0:51:59.120,0:52:04.720um and as you said earlier making it fun because there really isn't any point in doing it other0:52:04.720,0:52:10.800than um for that reason and i've never really been interested in being the lone scholar um i tend to0:52:10.800,0:52:14.720say this quite often but you know i don't really like working with myself i know all of my best0:52:14.720,0:52:20.560jokes already um and tragically i know all of my worst jokes already as well so why would i bother0:52:20.560,0:52:25.920i have no interest at all in doing that so for me it's all about conversation and i think really0:52:26.720,0:52:30.080i'm not convinced i'm much of a researcher but i definitely think i'm someone who opens up0:52:30.080,0:52:35.280conversations i like doing that i like hosting conversations with elizabeth top 10 is a nice0:52:35.280,0:52:39.440example of that i think you know bringing in people who didn't really work on popularity0:52:39.440,0:52:44.000per se and who didn't really necessarily weren't necessarily literary scholars but asking them to0:52:45.120,0:52:48.400collectively think about this question from various points of view0:52:48.400,0:52:53.040yeah that for me is a good microcosm of what i like to do whether that's digital humanities or0:52:53.040,0:52:57.200not i don't know as i say i wouldn't put myself forward as a digital humanities expert but for0:52:57.200,0:53:03.040me the digital terrain the digital platform is useful because it just opens up a world which0:53:03.040,0:53:08.880tends to be quite closed quite hierarchical and quite stretched and i like not having those things0:53:10.080,0:53:15.840yeah well really what drew me to digital humanities was the fact that i am remote you're0:53:15.840,0:53:22.160there kind of in the center of things that and i'm in tokyo and years some years ago i've been here0:53:22.160,0:53:29.360for years and we just uh we just couldn't get the materials that we needed and then over time i see0:53:29.360,0:53:33.760more and more materials coming out and i have more and more access to it and i got involved with the0:53:34.480,0:53:42.000jadh the japan association for digital humanities and they are doing all kinds of different things0:53:42.000,0:53:45.920you know they're looking at a boy's love in japanese manga0:53:45.920,0:53:52.800and uh how and and games video games and even going you know getting theoretical about you know0:53:52.800,0:53:59.840what is violence is it violence if it's so campy like you have sort of in a tarantino film you know0:54:00.400,0:54:07.600and talking about some fairly um very topical and hot issues down to how how do we write this0:54:07.600,0:54:12.160type of programming what kind of platform we're going to use that sort of thing but i've attended0:54:12.160,0:54:18.800their conference i've attended papers that for 20 minutes i had absolutely no idea what anybody was0:54:18.800,0:54:23.360saying and they're speaking in english you know then i'm going i don't know and then go to another0:54:23.360,0:54:28.800paper and something really exciting happens but you get that uh sense of community with someone0:54:28.800,0:54:35.600outside of the shakespearean realm and then that transferability that comes in where you see these0:54:35.600,0:54:41.920fields and how their intersectional points where everybody has really if you if you go to the base0:54:42.480,0:54:46.240very similar interest you know i i don't know you were talking about the uh0:54:47.600,0:54:53.600a little bit about the life of the mind you know but we're fascinated about history because there0:54:53.600,0:54:59.520is a fantasy element there that is also reality right and we can re rebuild it in our mind0:54:59.520,0:55:07.200but i do think that uh in a time when we are very focused on identity and you know who we are that0:55:08.240,0:55:14.000this this study there's so many pivotal moments in the 16th century and of course the dramatic uh0:55:14.560,0:55:23.360uh upsurge was part of it that we we see we see that in our lives now it's part of an id process0:55:23.360,0:55:31.600of identity of knowing who we are you having grown up i in southern england i believe and uh and what0:55:31.600,0:55:39.600you schooled at manchester and uh kent and uh and i'm growing up in the american south right0:55:40.160,0:55:46.080and and there's some years that separate us but you know we run into these people all over and0:55:46.080,0:55:51.200you see all of them having made this kind of turn in their life to get interested if it's0:55:51.200,0:55:58.160not our field or 16th century 17th century is something similar and transferable well0:55:58.160,0:56:06.800i had here a note to ask you about your future and uh i do want to i do want to ask you i do this0:56:06.800,0:56:12.480with every guest i was talking a little bit about your educational background but you're a bright0:56:12.480,0:56:18.480guy you know you're in school you said you weren't good at math but uh and neither one neither was i0:56:19.040,0:56:26.080i have a colleague in literature who was excellent in that but uh it's a joke with my students i said0:56:26.080,0:56:31.360i'm not going to put these numbers out here about your averages you just you know you can take this0:56:31.360,0:56:37.520home and ask your younger brother or older sister somebody who's good at the uh at this but i want0:56:37.520,0:56:41.440to find out if there's something you know okay you're a bright guy you're in school you're0:56:41.440,0:56:47.520doing pretty well right and uh you're having to choose in england probably much sooner than in0:56:47.520,0:56:53.680the states you're kind of having to choose your class dropping classes early on to focus when did0:56:53.680,0:57:02.240you think you were headed into the humanities direction um probably always to the humanities0:57:03.200,0:57:09.040i can't really remember when i first started seeing shows um both both kind of shakespeare0:57:09.040,0:57:15.040style theater but also musicals but probably when i was 12 13 something like that and just0:57:16.320,0:57:21.280loved it absolutely fell in love with it um did a little bit of drama at school i actually ended up0:57:21.280,0:57:26.720writing probably very bad plays i had a reunion with two old school friends a couple of weeks ago0:57:26.720,0:57:33.680and one of them to my astonishment still has some of her speeches from a play i wrote when i was 160:57:33.680,0:57:40.560in her head and i item i'm turning 41 in october so this is many many many years later um0:57:41.120,0:57:47.120and uh i haven't thought about this play since 1996 and she started reading the speech0:57:47.120,0:57:53.040off so you know you and i as as theater scholars talk about how plays circulate0:57:53.040,0:57:57.120where they sit how they get printed but there's an example of a play which i haven't looked at0:57:57.120,0:58:03.040on paper for decades but it's just sat in her head and she was able to trot it out quite quite0:58:03.040,0:58:06.880astonishing and word for word i even knew it was worth the word even though i'd forgotten it i knew0:58:06.880,0:58:12.720that she was getting it right so um there's an example of how plays can circulate decades later0:58:12.720,0:58:20.160um and um yes i was i definitely was interested in in theater and performance um and didn't0:58:20.160,0:58:25.040really know what to do with that at school i was really lucky that i was encouraged to read0:58:25.040,0:58:29.280i'm from canterbury so i'm from marlow land i'm also from john lilyland but nobody knew0:58:29.280,0:58:34.160that because no one cared about john lilly but i was encouraged to read marlow and i was a0:58:34.160,0:58:39.200queer kid um not necessarily that aware of being queer um until i was probably about0:58:39.200,0:58:42.72016 but i was encouraged to read marlow and you know there is edward the second0:58:43.280,0:58:51.120this extraordinary play about um a gay king and i was i also um from my a levels for my exams i read0:58:51.120,0:58:56.560duchess of malfi um which is another way you know extraordinary way of thinking about early modern0:58:57.360,0:59:04.400sexuality and the defense of an exploration of um sexuality in the guise of a woman demanding to be0:59:04.400,0:59:09.360allowed to marry the woman she the man she wants to marry um and i just found those place much more0:59:09.360,0:59:13.520exciting than the shakespeare plays i was being asked to read so right from the start i kind of0:59:13.520,0:59:18.080was intrigued by that difference that shakespeare is on this huge cultural pedestal0:59:18.080,0:59:23.840these other writers were not but actually i was much more drawn to to the other writers um i0:59:23.840,0:59:27.520didn't want to go to university i was really adamant that i would not go to university0:59:28.400,0:59:35.120and um i actually taught in um i did a teaching english as a foreign language very basic0:59:35.120,0:59:39.840course and went to teach in china in qingdao not too far away from where you are right now tom0:59:40.800,0:59:46.320and taught out there for six months and then there was some illness in my family and i came came home0:59:46.320,0:59:50.800and um my dad said to me i don't know if i should be saying this on camera really let's let's agree0:59:50.800,0:59:55.520no one's allowed to listen to this bit but my dad said don't be angry with me but i called up0:59:55.520,0:59:59.280manchester university and i pretended to be you and you've got a place to go to university1:00:05.440,1:00:10.400i went up to the university to look around and um there was a new theater opening up called contact1:00:10.400,1:00:17.760theatre which um was the uk's first theater um explicitly targeting young people and people1:00:17.760,1:00:22.320who were traditionally excluded from the theater so thinking about um socio-economic background1:00:22.320,1:00:27.120thinking about race in particular and taking theater out onto the streets and into communities1:00:27.120,1:00:31.520and i walked into there and i came out with a job and i remember saying to my dad very ungratefully1:00:31.520,1:00:35.200i said well i've got to go to university now haven't i and then for the next four1:00:35.200,1:00:40.400years i did my undergraduate degree and i did my master's whilst working at contact theatre1:00:41.040,1:00:45.760which i just loved i worked as a front of house manager and i worked in the new writing department1:00:45.760,1:00:52.160working with young playwrights and writers and had the most fantastic time and by the time i was 241:00:52.160,1:00:56.96025 my life very much felt like i could either keep working in the theatre or keep doing academia1:00:58.880,1:01:04.720and i i was lucky enough to get funding as a phd student to work on on john lilly and off i1:01:04.720,1:01:08.880went but i was really anxious but that meant i was saying goodbye to the theater but actually what's1:01:08.880,1:01:12.240been wonderful is i brought the theater with me and i'm kind of coming back to the theater1:01:12.960,1:01:16.800now so i'm sort of answering that's a very long question a long answer to your question but1:01:16.800,1:01:20.320always knew i was going to work in the humanities didn't quite know how1:01:20.880,1:01:25.360and to be honest even now i don't quite know quite know how i've recently gone part-time as1:01:25.360,1:01:32.720an academic and i'm thinking about other kinds of careers i might have so even um going into my 40s1:01:32.720,1:01:36.560it's not quite clear to me what academia looks like as a profession for me anymore1:01:36.560,1:01:41.280and i'm looking forward to trying out other other ways of making a living and i'm making sure i do1:01:41.280,1:01:44.720say that as part of this conversation because i think so many other people in our profession1:01:44.720,1:01:50.320feel like that as well and it's something which is weirdly taboo i think it should be okay to say1:01:50.320,1:01:54.240that here i am in this profession i'm having a good time but there are other professions1:01:54.240,1:01:59.920out there and it's important to see what other features we might have um alongside an academic1:01:59.920,1:02:07.040one so that's where i'm at at the moment yeah um you said you just turned or about to turn 411:02:07.040,1:02:15.200yeah almost uh almost exactly that on the same age we left hiroshima and came back to the states1:02:15.200,1:02:22.800and i i said i'm going to branch out and i met with uh i won't say dismal failure failure1:02:25.600,1:02:31.440there were times there where i uh you know in the old movie raising arizona where the guy1:02:31.440,1:02:36.160slows up by the at the convenience store because he's addicted to robbing a king1:02:36.160,1:02:41.600i slowed up i'm not a robber but i was thinking there was a help wanted sign in there and i might1:02:41.600,1:02:45.920be able to make a little money on the side in this convenience store and it was beginning to1:02:45.920,1:02:51.280look like i was going to have to do something like that and although i did manage to maintain1:02:51.280,1:02:57.360myself as a sort of independent contractor now i was not in london i was in a a medium-sized1:02:57.360,1:03:04.880southern town and so when this job came here at aoyama gakuin my brief excursion to the world1:03:06.720,1:03:12.480i've been hearing all this incoming fire and going okay uh and this job has been just such1:03:12.480,1:03:18.800such a heavenly appointment it's so stable and so good and the colleagues are so good and the the1:03:18.800,1:03:23.680you know in the middle of tokyo everything just fit together but i had a lot of questions before1:03:23.680,1:03:29.840i came and i fully understand what you're talking about and you're in london and multi-talented and1:03:29.840,1:03:36.800have a lot of associations i mean not only in terms of uh of getting involved in the theater1:03:36.800,1:03:43.520and going uh doing that sort of thing but there are a lot of different types of jobs in the arts1:03:43.520,1:03:48.880and the humanities that are well funded and that uh you know there are lots of opportunities so1:03:49.680,1:03:58.560i i i wish you the absolute best i don't i have no doubt that you will just succeed tremendously1:03:59.440,1:04:06.160but i do want to say for our listeners that the in in japan we have not been hit hard1:04:06.160,1:04:17.200by the economic downturn that caused by the uh covert pandemic and uh universities in the uk1:04:17.200,1:04:25.200have been hit very very hard and that and they're they're scaling back and it's just a numbers game1:04:25.200,1:04:30.960they don't care if your name is andy or if your name is mary or if your name is mark you know they1:04:32.080,1:04:39.520they have to figure out and configure a way to keep the institution going with far less1:04:39.520,1:04:45.120funding is that right they have has been a major cutback and i think that's the case in1:04:45.120,1:04:50.480a lot of universities in the states and i may be speaking too soon about us and they're probably1:04:50.480,1:04:54.880there a lot of people who aren't as well as well-equipped to make a transition as you are uh1:04:55.680,1:05:02.400certainly and uh well i had something about the future here i can see bears in your future now1:05:04.320,1:05:11.440that that grant funding stands uh regardless of uh you're still affiliated with rohampton1:05:12.000,1:05:19.200and a beautiful wonderful place when i visited there and i'm sorry to hear that roe hampton1:05:19.200,1:05:25.680and along with i'm sure many other universities have had some problems but what 900 000 pounds1:05:25.680,1:05:31.760that you guys have and that's well north of a million american dollars so that's a substantial1:05:31.760,1:05:39.120grant that is in a project that has all kinds of potential in terms of public engagement i mean1:05:39.120,1:05:44.640when you get down to it who isn't interested in bears and you already have the controversy1:05:44.640,1:05:49.360built in because you know there's going to be some group of twiddly d twiddly dumb people who1:05:49.360,1:05:54.800get upset because you were even bringing up the idea of animal cruelty right good that's1:05:55.600,1:06:01.600just like you know the uh the the fundamentalist christians who come out and scream about your1:06:01.600,1:06:08.320movie and then everybody goes right and of course of course none of us believe in animal cruelty1:06:08.320,1:06:15.040but how fascinating to see the difference between the way they saw it and the way i mean if you and1:06:15.040,1:06:20.480i went to a bear baiting show i think we throw up and leave within five minutes right it would just1:06:20.480,1:06:28.080be too horrible and and maybe i don't know you you know call up the cops right it's against the law1:06:28.080,1:06:34.640for yeah i don't know how i feel about that i mean um i think the two the two responses1:06:34.640,1:06:38.960that i get from the project the two negative ones are the one you just talked about and by the way1:06:38.960,1:06:43.920if anyone's listening and are offended please write to tom and not to me um but yeah um the1:06:43.920,1:06:48.160people who are furious that you're even engaging with it as if it's somehow the way to deal with1:06:48.160,1:06:53.040it is to pretend it didn't happen which i find a very odd reaction but then also the kind of the1:06:53.040,1:06:58.080view that you're describing tom which is clearly just legitimate in lots of ways of saying that now1:06:59.280,1:07:04.080we're very different now in our approach to animals but but i do worry about that as well that1:07:04.080,1:07:08.800you know safari is a big thing and people desperate to see the kill when they go on safari1:07:08.800,1:07:14.080people watching animal programs and watching them hunt one another um and how much children's1:07:14.080,1:07:20.400television is essentially about animals fighting um from things like the transformers movies which1:07:20.400,1:07:24.480you know they were around when i was a kid those robots turning into animals and fighting not just1:07:24.480,1:07:30.240animals but we do see animal combat actually quite a lot i would say lord of the rings full1:07:30.240,1:07:36.160of fighting animals um so i think it is it is oddly still central dog fighting is still a very1:07:36.160,1:07:42.480big thing and quite a big part of gang culture i believe um and youtube you know unfortunately1:07:42.480,1:07:48.960having put films up on youtube about bears now youtube recommends to me extremely distasteful1:07:48.960,1:07:54.640films um most of which look like they're cgi and they're fake but um of animals fighting or eating1:07:54.640,1:08:01.120one another so that there is still unfortunately a strong appetite for want of a better word um1:08:01.120,1:08:06.320there's you know people still want to watch this so i don't know how much we i don't know how much1:08:06.320,1:08:10.240we have changed i think what's changed is that humans tell one another they care about animals1:08:10.240,1:08:14.400which i don't think they did as much in the early modern period but whether we're right about that1:08:14.400,1:08:18.640i don't i don't really know i'm sorry to end with a negative thought but yeah i wonder if it1:08:18.640,1:08:24.560is as true as we think that we have changed that much uh listen that's down a couple of tears you1:08:24.560,1:08:35.360think of the treatment of women the treatment of uh anybody who would uh uh be of any non1:08:36.000,1:08:41.120what do you say traditional sexual orientation you had to be extraordinarily careful about that but1:08:41.120,1:08:46.640you had to be careful about if you were a commoner how you spoke to a gentleman or somebody of rank1:08:46.640,1:08:52.000you had to be careful about a lot of things and i don't think we have time to go into this now1:08:52.000,1:08:57.440children were not viewed as children i think they were viewed as young adults and of course there's1:08:57.440,1:09:03.680you know uh stories of uh what we would consider to be child abuse i don't think you know we won't1:09:03.680,1:09:09.920get into that because there were there was an incredibly influential artistic movement that1:09:09.920,1:09:16.800involved boys companies uh and that propelled all of the drama i think of course hamlet complains1:09:16.800,1:09:22.640about it but i think if you really looked at it uh andy kessinger's style through the market and1:09:22.640,1:09:29.200so forth that like you said one one group propels another group it just creates more and more public1:09:29.200,1:09:36.320interest and so forth well what i want to do you've given me far too much of your time on your1:09:36.320,1:09:44.880monday morning monday morning and uh thank you so much andy we are delighted i wish it were you uh1:09:44.880,1:09:51.200in person in the flesh i'd love to see you and i'd love to see jimmy again uh like we did a couple of1:09:51.200,1:09:58.720years ago in tokyo and i see it in your future i see it sometime in in the future and maybe not so1:09:58.720,1:10:06.320distant yeah but uh again and could you stay just a moment uh after we finish but i wanted to thank1:10:06.320,1:10:13.120you so much for uh taking time to speak with us and my uh largely japanese audience but growing1:10:13.120,1:10:29.840international audience and globalizing shakespeare thank you so much thank you tom thank you1:10:30.880,1:10:31.380you 2b1af7f3a8