Next up for SWEMN: Ellis on A Game at Chesse

The last SWEMN presentation of term will take place next Wednesday, 3rd December, starting at 6.30pm. Kate Ellis, who is a PhD student at Bath Spa, will be giving a paper on ‘Textual Underpinnings of A Game at Chesse.’ Her abstract follows, with directions to the event.

To ensure a sufficiency of wine on Wednesday, it would be helpful if you could drop a line to Tracey Hill if you are planning to come along.


The circulation of oral and literate culture in Early Modern England has been the subject of much recent research. Drawing upon a variety of sources, including play texts, letters, pamphlets and other records, this paper will aim to show that theatre in the seventeenth century, particularly in 1620s and 1630s, provides an ideal medium through which to explore this circulation. Through a detailed consideration of Middleton’s 1624 play, A Game At Chess, I will focus primarily on the role of the audience in the dissemination of oral and literate culture. This paper will explore the ways in which the audience’s experience of, and response to, the King’s Men’s performance opened a dialogue between social boundaries, taking the play out of the Globe into a far wider political theatre, playing out scenes in settings as diverse as the Office of the Revels and the Spanish court. Through a network of communication, both oral and written, Middleton’s play prompted a discourse in which the ordinary London theatregoer occupied the same textual framework as the Spanish ambassador, exposing the oral and textual underpinnings of the Caroline stage as both a commercial enterprise and a vehicle for propaganda.

Directions and a map of the Newton Park campus are here.

We will meet in the Castle, room CE.G01 on the ground floor (yes, a real castle!). The nearest car park is next to Newton building (see map); directions to Newton Park by public transport are also on the BSU website.

Published in: on November 26, 2008 at 11:58 am  Leave a Comment  

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