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Shakespeare and Scandinavia: International academic conference

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Time: 8.00am - 4.00pm
Venue: Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 1HL
Price: See booking link

Shakespeare and Scandinavia: International academic conference

The international academic conference on Shakespeare and Scandinavia (SaS) is an interdisciplinary exploration of Shakespeare in the North organised by a committee of Nordic and European Shakespeare scholars in collaboration with Kingston University, The Rose Theatre and David Garrick's Temple to Shakespeare.

In the 16th century troupes of London actors toured around the Baltic, as Hamlet records. But it was Queen Anne of Denmark who may have been responsible for Kingston's special Shakespeare and Scandinavia connection. Shakespeare's Scottish play is believed to have premiered in 1606 at Hampton Court Palace during the state visit of her brother King Christian IV. Then, in 1767, another Danish king, the ‘mad' young Christian VII, was entertained by David Garrick at his nearby Shakespeare Temple, and applauded his host's interpretation of the Prince of Denmark. Today, both Kingston University and the Rose Theatre have strong links with Scandinavia.

Shakespeare and Scandinavia will celebrate these Kingston connections, but also the diversity of Shakespeare in study and stage across the Nordic nations. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries the plays were widely acted and adapted in the North, and Shakespeare translations of national significance appeared in Norway and Finland. Many of Scandinavia's greatest modern cultural figures, such as Kierkegaard, Ibsen and Sibelius, took inspiration from Shakespeare. In the 21st century Nordic Shakespeare combines tradition and appropriation in highly distinctive ways, and acclaimed Shakespeare productions, such as those of the Icelandic ‘Vesturport' company, perform regularly in the UK.

Shakespeare and Scandinavia will be the first event of its kind ever held in the UK. The conference will draw its inspiration from the rich history of Kingston cultural exchanges and historic encounters, but with contributions from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, will aim to reconsider the many Shakespearean connections between the UK and the Nordic countries, from the commissioning of Hamlet up to the present day. On the eve of Shakespeare's 400th anniversary, Shakespeare and Scandinavia will be a fanfare for the Bard of the North.

Shakespeare and Scandinavia will be an interdisciplinary conference, and will consider cross-cultural Shakespeare connections from the perspectives of art history; literary criticism; drama, film, music and performance studies; philosophy; and translation and reception studies; as well as within wider discourses concerning constitutional history and national identity. The conference aims to map all these diverse aspects of Shakespeare in the North, but also to reinforce the current standing and development of Nordic Shakespearean and early modern studies.

Shakespeare and Scandinavia will be held at the Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames, which was opened by Sir Peter Hall in 2008 to be a ‘teaching theatre' modeled on the Elizabethan Rose playhouse. The conference will include Shakespeare performances at the Rose and receptions in the nearby Hampton Court Palace and Garrick's Shakespeare Temple.

Organising committee

Delilah Brataas (Sør-Trøndelag University College), Roy Eriksen (Agder University), Nely Keinänen (Helsinki University), Charles Lock (Copenhagen University), Aneta Mancewicz (Kingston University), Rupert Nichol (Garrick's Temple), Claudia Olk (Freie University, Berlin), Anne Sophie Refskou (Kingston University), Martin Regal (Reykjavik University), Chantal Schutz (Université Paris 3-Sorbonne Nouvelle), Per Sivefors (Linnaeus University), Frank Whately (Kingston University), and Richard Wilson (Kingston University).

Booking is essential to attend this event.

For further information about this event:

Contact: Anne Sophie Refskou


Directions to Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 1HL: