Tiffany Stern (University of Oxford, UK): Puppets, Players and Hamlet in Early Modern Europe University of Cologne, HS XXI (Hauptgebäude), 12.00
As part of the lecture series Lectures on Theatre and Performance, Summer 2015
A number of contemporary puppeteers bear witness to an extraordinary text in Germany: an ancient, farcical version of Hamlet, for puppets, published in 1781. As it turns out, they are referring to a text well known to Hamlet scholars, Der Bestrafte Brudermord. My talk will consider the background of Der Bestrafte Brudermord, and explore how drama in people and puppet form travelled over space (Europe) and time (the interregnum), often in fairs. In asking whether Der Bestrafte Brudermord may or may not have been (or descended from) a puppet show — and in describing director Beth Burns’ current production of the play in puppet form — it will question how ‘literature’ was conveyed from one country to another, and what ‘a play’ actually is.
Tiffany Stern specialises in Shakespeare, theatre history from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, book history and editing. Her monographs are Rehearsal from Shakespeare to Sheridan (2000), Making Shakespeare (2004), [with Simon Palfrey] Shakespeare in Parts (Oxford: OUP, 2007) – winner of the 2009 David Bevington Award for Best New Book in Early Drama Studies, and Documents of Performance in Early Modern England (Cambridge: CUP, 2009) – winner of the 2010 David Bevington Award for Best New Book in Early Drama Studies. She has edited the anonymous King Leir (2001), Sheridan’s The Rivals (2004), and Farquhar’s Recruiting Officer (2010); her articles and chapters explore bibliographical, editorial, theatrical and architectural concerns from the sixteenth century to the eighteenth. Currently editing Brome’s Jovial Crew, and co-editing a book with Farah Karim-Cooper for Arden Shakespeare, The Effects of Performance in the Theatres of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries, she is also a general editor of the New Mermaids play series, and is on the editorial board of the journals Shakespeare Bulletin, SEDERI, The Hare and Shakespeare Quarterly.