Wednesday, June 07, 2006

3rd Shakespeare's Globe Theatre History Seminar: Stage Blood Roundtable

Shakespeare's Globe
10.00am - 1.00pm
Thursday 13 July 2006

Enter in skirmish with bloody Pates
(Shakespeare, 1 Henry VI)

Sertorio brings in the flesh with a skull all bloody, they all wonder
(T.B.,The Bloody Banquet)

Enter Virginius with his knife, that and his arms stript up to the elbowes all bloudy
(John Webster, Appius and Virginia)

Seest thou this goare that cleaveth to my face?
From hence nere will I wash this bloody staine,
Til Ardens hart be panting in my hand
(Arden of Faversham)

Alas, a crimson river of warm blood,
Like to a bubbling fountain stirred with wind,
Doth rise and fall between thy rosed lips,
Coming and going with thy honey breath
(Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus)

Globe Education invites you to a Stage Blood Roundtable organised by the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre History Seminar. 

The staging of bloody spectacle still poses many questions for scholars. Was stage blood used on the early modern stage? If so, in what form would it have appeared? Reading stage directions such as those in 1 Henry VI, The Bloody Banquet and Appius and Virginia tells us something about practice, but they tell us nothing about the materials used to construct stage blood. Was it indeed pig‚s blood as some have suggested? Could they have used more stylised options, such as red ribbons? Are plays like Macbeth and Titus Andronicus perhaps laden with blood imagery because it wasn‚t practical to use Œreal‚ blood on the stage?

The participants - two scholars and two theatre artists - will address these questions and others; they will propose theories and discuss their practical experience in using blood on the Renaissance stage.

For further information about this seminar please contact Farah Karim-Cooper ( or Lucy Munro (

Places are free to bone fide scholars, researchers and theatre practitioners, but must be booked in advance by emailing Susie Walker (Events Officer, Globe Education) at

A performance of Coriolanus will follow the seminar at 2.00pm. Tickets must be purchased from the Globe Box Office on 020 7401 9919.


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