All entries for Monday 28 May 2007

May 28, 2007

The CAPITAL Carnival @ Millburn House, Bat Boy @ Warwick Arts Centre and Podcasting

It’s been quiet on here recently, and apologies for that! I haven’t been absent from the theatre, though- it’s just been things that I can’t review!

May 12th and 13th was the CAPITAL Carnival, which I co-ordinated to celebrate the opening of my department’s new building on the University Science Park. Over two days we saw a tremendous amount of performances, new writing, workshops, talks and other events, with visitors from the RSC, Northern Broadsides, Fail Better, 1623 and a variety of other academics and practitioners. The full schedule is at http://go.warwick.ac.uk/capital/carnival , and I have to say we were pretty proud of the programme we managed to put together.

I unfortunately barely got to see anything, as I was too busy making sure everything was running smoothly! However, I did get to play the part of Angus in ‘Love’s Labour’s Won’, and to be honest I was just happy that so many people turned out over the two days- it really made all the hard work feel worth it.

Immediately that was over, I went straight into ‘Batboy: The Musical’, a student production playing at Warwick Arts Centre. A genuine musical that did far better in America than in the UK, it’s become something of a cult favourite among students, and I was really excited about playing again (I play bass guitar, and have done for quite a number of shows). Despite an abysmal dress rehearsal, the run was amazing- a thoroughly professional cast and crew created a play that was hysterically funny and very accomplished. We played to solid audiences each night, including one completely sold-out theatre, and it went down a storm. The band, too, had a far more high-profile role than in most shows, and the score itself was excellent- intelligent rock music, varied but with well-used motifs- and for the final night we let our hair down and really rocked out, with the result that the entire audience remained for the exit music and gave the band a sustained ovation, which was a fab feeling.

The final piece of news is that I’ve been asked to extend this blog into the world of podcasting! I’ll be contributing to the regular “Will @ Warwick” podcast, which showcases the Shakespeare research happening at the University. I’m not sure who exactly listens to these, but it’s nice to be asked, and it’s something else to add to the academic CV, so more than happy to do it! The forthcoming first instalment will include me reflecting on seeing the whole Festival (54 plays in one year in about four minutes of conversation, so don’t expect anything in-depth!), and next time I’m planning to discuss the three different takes on ‘Macbeth’ I’ve seen recently. I’ll link to the podcasts as they come out.

That’s about it for now. Coming up soon will be my reviews of the RSC’s ‘Macbett’, Cheek By Jowl’s ‘Cymbeline’ and a student production of ‘Cymbeline’ being performed at the CAPITAL Centre…...


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Peter Kirwan is Teaching Associate in Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama at the University of Nottingham and a reviewer of Shakespearean theatre for several academic journals.


The Bardathon is his experimental review blog, covering productions of (or based on) all early modern plays. The aim is to combine immediate reactions with the detail and analysis of the academic review.


Theatre criticism always needs more voices. Please comment with your own views and contributions!

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