Going Beyond Shakespeare – A (Revised) Mission Statement
Beyond Shakespeare there was a lot of stuff going on in the British Isles during the old days. (For arbitrary neatness we have decided that the old days ended in 1642, when the theatres were closed.) Apart from a few noble exceptions these plays are often passed over, ignored or simply unknown. Much is simply lost. This is a mouthpiece/online placeholder for the work of the Beyond Shakespeare Company, an holistic theatre company, who specialise in the repertory beyond Shakespeare, about the plays, fragmentary and extant, that shaped the theatrical world and our dramatic history – it will explore this world through the words and the sounds of those words. Though these plays do get performed occasionally, they are often not recorded, they disappear from sight in a way that Shakespeare does not. So, we are here to create, share, archive, and lobby for recordings of Not Shakespeare. To put Shakespeare in his proper place – IN CONTEXT!
Accompanying these recordings will be additional material, discussion and talks on the plays and anything else that comes to mind at the time. We’ll hopefully be joined by other actors, directors, academics, to help create new recordings and feed your interest. We hope that others will join in, creating their own versions and sharing them for the world to hear – for anyone who’s interested in what isn’t Shakespeare.
We’re not rejecting Shakespeare totally either. We do love his work, but he is eclipsing. So much so that the only way to draw attention to his predecessors and contemporaries is to conjure up his name. Shakespeare is a colossus, but that doesn’t render his co-workers pygmies. We invoke his name so as to pull other playwrights from underneath his long shadow.
We are unapologetic in recording extracts or spending time on plays that are very obscure. There are two reasons for this – 1. There is so very little material surviving from the medieval and early Tudor periods that every scrap is precious. 2. Other people have or are already doing the obvious Not Shakespeare, so we don’t need to. You want a version of Doctor Faustus – try searching on Amazon, that’ll get you where you need to go.
There’s a whole heap of other stuff happening online and this blog may struggle to keep up – the best place to get up to speed will probably be our twitter feed @BeyondShakes
The Podcast can be found here.
Our Patreon can be found here.
You can make a one off donation to our work here.