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The Big Secret Live: 'I am Shakespeare' Webcam Daytime Chatroom Show

By Jenny Tiramani and Mark Rylance


In this production Tiramani works reflexively with her existing body of work at Shakespeare's Globe, her research on questions of attribution and identity in Shakespeare studies, and her long-standing collaboration with Mark Rylance, to address the relationship between the bid for authenticity in modern productions of Shakespeare plays, and long-standing debate on the authenticity of 'William Shakespeare' as the author of those plays. In this production, Tiramani's costume work returns to a recurrent theme of her research, namely that attention to the contemporary character of clothing, and is relationship to class and status, is the best approach to addressing the 'authenticity' of costume. In this production, the use of anachronism and the mixing of modern and Shakespearean costume is used to dramatise the research process itself, with its bid to establish firm boundaries between academic probity, conspiracy theory and popular opinion. Tiramani's use of costume is aligned with the mingling of traditional theatre techniques, new technologies and audience interaction in this production, which fields the Shakespeare authorship question as a public debate that is continued in webcast material contextualising the production. Tiramani used primary evidence from surviving documents in the archives of four figures from the Elizabethan period (William Shakespeare, Edward de Vere 17th Earl of Oxford, Francis Bacon and Mary Sidney Countess of Pembroke) to construct their wardrobes on stage. 'I am Shakespeare'has been widely reviewed, and is both unique and controversial in aiming to engage and include theatre audiences, academics and the wider public within a discourse on research sources in Shakespeare. A forty-five minute discussion on the set of 'I am Shakespeare' on 8th September 2007, included contributions from Mark Rylance and Dr William Leahy, Head of English at Brunel University and Director of the first MA in Shakespeare Authorship Studies

Topics: Theatrical Wardrobe Design
Year: 2007
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Provided by: UAL Research Online
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