Analyzing Shakespearean Biofiction

Dr Edel Semple (bottom right, above) from University College in Cork, Ireland, and Dr. Ronan Hatfull (bottom left) from the University of Warwick convened a seminar entitled “Shakespearean Biofiction on the Stage and Screen” for this year’s annual conference of the Shakespeare Association of America, where we discussed the how and why of, among other things, we made William Shakespeare a character in William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged). Edel and Ronan discuss how the seminar went and talk about the similarities between academic seminars and RSC performances; how incredible planning goes into making things casual and relaxed; what red leather pants really signifies (in both their American or British meaning); how adaptation is also a form of biofiction; shout-outs to all the contributors; layers of irony; what our version of Shakespeare might look like as played by teenagers; how the Shakespeare in Ben Elton’s Upstart Crow is and isn’t like Homer Simpson; climbing up on high horses; and, as always — the importance of the craic! (Length 28:57)

Episode. 627. Doctor Of Reduction

Our friend Ronan Hatfull is now Doctor Ronan Hatfull, if you please, having successfully submitted and defended his dissertation, “The ‘Other RSC’: The History and Legacy of the Reduced Shakespeare Company,” as partial fulfillment of the requirements for his Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Warwick. Ronan discusses the focus of his research; how his emphasis changed as his initial perceptions evolved; not having room to include everything he wanted to say; whether he’s actually finished writing about the RSC or merely on temporary hiatus; the difference between parody and homage and how it’s in the eye of the beholder; a special appearance by Adam Long and a shout-out to Chickspeare; and finally, the difficulty of thinking critically about your subject and thus having to actually, you know, criticize it. (Length 19:24)