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Shakespeare Ceremony and the Public Sphere of Performance

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/05/2018
Issue number1
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)26-37
Publication statusPublished
Early online date6/04/18
Original languageEnglish


The Globe’s experiments with audience involvement have introduced novel methods of rendering spectators aware of their presence within any performance. Most of this is catered for and rehearsed, but – performance by performance – there is the opportunity for spontaneous gestures and responses. This essay focuses on this self-awareness in the Globe’s 2010 productions of Merry Wives of Windsor, The Taming of the Shrew and All is True (Henry VIII), where the ceremony of distance between on- and offstage and between spectating and participating is questioned. As a result of this, some of Habermas’ assumptions as to what a cultural “Public Sphere” might be are extended to include the theatrical potential both as a result of external factors such as expected conventions before the performance and internal nuances that bring surprise and challenge such traditions.