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EDOX publications update

We have been busy publishing some of the fruits of our EDOX research.  Here are a few of our publications –  on Bale, Goffe, Grimald, Gager, and much more! – with links to download them where available:

  • Stephanie Allen, Elisabeth Dutton and James McBain, ‘Rehabilitating Academic Drama’, in The Routledge Companion to Early Drama and Performance, ed. Pamela King (London and New York: Routledge, 2016) 221-36
jacket, The Routledge Research Companion to Early Drama and Performance
  • Drama and Pedagogy in Medieval and Early Modern England, Swiss Papers in English Language and Literature vol. 31 ed. Elisabeth Dutton and James McBain (Tübingen: Narr, 2015).  This volume draws on the conference of the same name hosted at the University of Fribourg, and includes an essay by our own Stephanie Allen: Ulysses Redux (1591) and Nero (1601): tragedia nova. 131-58.

drama early modern england

  • James McBain, ‘ “Attentive Mindes and Serious Wits’: Legal Training and Early Drama’, in The Oxford Handbook of English Law and Literature,1500-1700, ed. Lorna Hutson (Oxford: OUP, 2017)


On John Bale:

  • Elisabeth Dutton, Maria Sachiko Cecire and James McBain, ‘Staging and Filming John Bale’s Three Laws’, in Shakespeare Bulletin 32.1 (2014) 65-84


  • James McBain, ‘Recycling Authority: John Bale at Magdalen?’ , Medieval English Theatre 36 (2014) 24-47


On Thomas Goffe:

  • Elisabeth Dutton, ‘ “Looking after them, reading in Homer”: Thomas Goffe’s Turk Plays in Oxford’, European Medieval Drama 22 (2020 for 2018), 171-88.


On Nicholas Grimald:

  • Elisabeth Dutton, ‘Protestant Place, Protestant Props in the Plays of Nicholas Grimald’, in Enacting the Bible in Medieval and Early Modern Drama, eds Chanita Goodblatt and Eva van Contzen, (Manchester: Manchester UP, 2020) 155-74.


  • Elisabeth Dutton and Stephanie Allen, ‘Seeing and Recognizing in the Sacred and New: The Latin Scriptural Plays of Nicholas Grimald’, in Staging Scripture: Biblical Drama 1350-1600, ed. Peter Happé and Wim Hüsken (Leiden: Brill, 2016) 204-34

On William Gager and Matthew Gwynne:

  • Stephanie Allen, Ulysses Redux (1591) and Nero (1601): tragedia nova. 131-58.


On William Gager’s Dido:

  • Elisabeth Dutton, ‘Elizabeth, Dido and Oxford: Staging Power in the University Drama’, in Théâtralisation des arts et des lettres de la Renaissance anglaise, ed. Yona Dureau (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2018) 195-206.


  • Elisabeth Dutton, ‘A Manifesto for Performance Research’, in The Methuen Drama Handbook to Theatre History and Historiography, eds Claire Cochrane and Joanna Robinson (London: Bloomsbury, 2019) 249-60.

On St John’s College Drama, Narcissus and Grobiana’s Nuptials:

  • Elisabeth Dutton, ‘The Christmas Drama of the Household of St John’s College, Oxford’, in Household Knowledges: The Home Life of Information in Late Medieval England and France, eds Glenn Burger and Rory Critten (Manchester: Manchester UP, 2019) 100-128.


More on Grobiana’s Nuptials:

  • Elisabeth Dutton and James McBain, ‘Fart for Fart’s Sake: Fooling through the Body in Grobiana’s Nuptials, Theta XII, Théâtre Tudor (2016) 149-70.


More on Narcissus:

  • Elisabeth Dutton, ‘ “My boy shall knowe himself from other men”: active spectating, annunciation and the St John’s College Narcissus’, Medieval English Theatre 36 (2017) 68-83.

On Caesar’s Revenge and Jasper Fisher’s Fuimus Troes:

  • Elisabeth Dutton, ‘The Oxford Ghost Walk: Staging the Supernatural in Oxford University Drama’, in Theta XIII, Théâtre Tudor (2018) 145-70.


Performance: “Supposes” by George Gascoigne

In 2017, we collaborated with the Young Actors’ Company and their Director, Sam Plumb, to produce a version of George Gascoigne’s 1560s Italian comedy “Supposes” set in 1950s London.

For a documentary film about the production, the Director’s Notes, and the performance text of Gascoigne’s play, go to ‘Texts’ and then ‘Supposes Performance Text’, or copy and paste the link below:


Supposes Poster Corrected-1

This Week in 1566

From this week, in 1566, we bring you news of a “totering…tipling” President!

Episcopal Visitation to Corpus Christi College

(17 October) (Charges of Jerome Reynolds, fellow, against Thomas Greenway, president)

…Item he hath in progress as I have hard minstrells and women to the

infamy of our Colledge & diminution of our goodes. Item he resorteth to

bullbeytinges and bearebeytinges in London and commenndeth his man to

put yt on another score. Item in Christmas last past he cumming drunck from

the Towne sat in the hall amongst Schollers untill j of the Clocke totering

with his Legges, tipling with his mouth, and hering bawdy songes with his

eares as, my Lady hath a prety thinge, and suche like, In thende drawinge to

bed cold not be perswaded that yt was yet ix of the clock where indeade yt was

past ij / And in like sorte at Candlemas last he was notoriously drunck…

(REED: Oxford, p. 145)                            Return to Homepage

Performing Dido Film

The EDOX project is delighted to launch its latest film, developed from the ‘Performing Dido‘ event at Christ Church, Oxford. Directed by Maria Sachiko Cecire, the film features background information about the plays and their staging as well as footage from both the productions and rehearsals. The film can be viewed here.

Dido (Alex Mills) and Aeneas (Chris Williams) from Gager's Dido

In addition to the virtual launch of the film, we will shortly be releasing details of a collaborative event at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, at which the film will be officially presented and discussed. Please follow our website and twitter feed for announcements in due course.

King Edward's Boys perform Marlowe's Dido

“University Fools” at Tours

EDOX researchers Elisabeth Dutton and James McBain were invited to speak at the XIVth Tudor Theatre Round Table, held on the 3-4 September at the Centre d’études supérieures de la Renaissance in Tours.

Wee Three Loggerheads

Wee Three Loggerheads, c. 1600-25.

The conference continued its recent theme of Folly, this time focusing on “Folly’s Family, Folly’s Children”, and Dutton and McBain presented “University Fools”, a paper developed from research into Grobiana’s Nuptials, which was staged at St. John’s College in January 1637. The original performance is notable for having been securely documented; the play is mentioned in a letter from Richard Baylie, Vice-Chancellor of the University as well as President of St. John’s, to William Laud, Chancellor and notable St. John’s alumnus, thus:

Young Charles May presented us with a mock-shew on Saturday last, ye subject was slovenrie it selfe, ye marriage of Grobian’s daughter to Tantoblin; but ye cariadg and acting soe hansom and cleane, that I was not better pleased with a merriment these many yeares.[1]

As one might expect from Baylie’s brief description, and indeed from its engagement with the pan-European tradition of Grobianism, the play contains more than its fair share of scatological and ‘uncivil’ humour. But, as the EDOX paper argued, it is simultaneously an extremely clever and inventive work that develops references to a wide range of intertexts, drawn from professional theatre and popular literature as well as more conventional scholarly material.# Above all, Grobiana’s Nuptials is insistently metatheatrical, considering what it is to perform whilst delighting in playing, and it therefore deserves to be considered alongside more familiar defences of the value of academic drama.

Little is known about Charles May, other than some details of his family and that he matriculated on 4 July 1634 aged 15 and then took his BA in 1638. The play, complete with its extensive references, is all the more impressive as the sole extant work of an Oxford undergraduate. The full research will be published in a forthcoming volume of essays, edited by Professor Richard Hillman.

# Visitors directed here via our Twitter feed might well have recognised that the quoted line from Tantoblin’s soliloquy, “Is shitten come shites the beginninge of love?”, is developed from a proverb – a category of reference that spans both learned and popular sources. Incidentally, in a diary entry of 17 April 1661, Samuel Pepys records how he met with Mr Allen of Chatham at the Mitre and “did get of him the song that pleased me so well there the other day, ‘Of Shitten come Shites the beginning of love’”. Pepys might well be referring here to a ballad later printed as “The Youngman’s careless wooing…All done out of old English Proverbs”, and so Tantoblin’s line might also be derived from popular song.

[1] REED: Oxford, 1, p. 556.

Stephanie Allen joins EDOX

We are delighted to announce that Stephanie Allen has joined EDOX. Prior to taking up a doctoral post at Fribourg, where she will be supervised by Prof. Elisabeth Dutton, Stephanie read Classics and English at Oxford and subsequently gained an MSt in Early Modern English, with a thesis on Oxford Academic Drama.


Further information about Stephanie’s research interests and contact details can be found here.

Due to the generous support of the Swiss National Foundation for Research, we are delighted to announce that James McBain has also been appointed as a post-doctoral researcher at Fribourg University in order to pursue EDOX work.

Drama and Pedagogy Conference

On September 12 – 13, the University of Fribourg hosted the Fourth SAMEMES (Swiss Association of Medieval and Early Modern Studies) International Conference on Drama and Pedagogy, an event which brought together an exceptional field of participants, including some of the leading scholars in the field: plenary lectures were given by Professor Lynn Enterline (Vanderbilt), Professor Alan H. Nelson (UCLA, Berkeley), Professor Michelle O’Callaghan (Reading), and Mr Perry Mills (King Edward’s School, Stratford). The fifth keynote speaker, Professor John McGavin (Southampton), was sadly unable to attend the conference in person, but his paper was superbly delivered by Professor Margaret Bridges.

Dido at Fribourg

A unique feature of the conference was an evening reception at , which included a performance of William Gager’s Dido, a play written and first staged by the students of Christ Church, Oxford, in 1583. (Information about EDOX’s staging of the play in its original location can be accessed here.) The Fribourg production, directed by Elisabeth Dutton and translated from the Latin by Lizzie Sandis, was presented by an all-male company, which included actors from Oxford as well as students from Fribourg. It was an arresting focal point for the conference attendees, many of whom had not before seen early modern plays performed (as originally) by all male casts, and most of whom had not previously seen a university play presented. The evening was thus not only a highly enjoyable interlude, but also an academically stimulating and memorable occasion, which furnished stimulating and insightful conversation. (The images here are taken from performance and rehearsal respectively.)


Elisabeth Dutton and James McBain are currently editing a volume of essays developed from selected papers at the conference. The work will be published by Gunter Narr in 2015 as a guest issue of the refereed journal, Swiss Papers in English Language and Literature (SPELL).