What happens when two bawdy, Early Modern word-nerds sit down to talk about all things Shakespeare? You get "The Hurly Burly Shakespeare Show!": an irreverent mix of entertainment and scholarly content suitable for novices and hard-core “Bardolaters” alike. Jess (The Scholar) and Aubrey (The Teaching Artist) discuss the plays of William Shakespeare and his contemporaries, as well as other fascinating aspects of the Early Modern period’s lively theatre and print culture. “The Hurly Burly Shakespeare Show!” features the latest “Shakes-bubble” gossip, Burbage Breaks, a Rhetorical Device of the Week, and absolute havoc as Jess and Aubrey attempt to summarize each play in five minutes or less. Oh, and we also make all our sound effects live, because original staging conditions are a thing. Come for the Hurly, stay for the Burly: we guarantee you’ll learn something new with every episode.
10 Things We LOVE About Shakespeare (And Us)
1:07:15Well, friends, this episode marks the last for the pod. We give you a short list of things we love about Shakespeare and about making this podcast together, we play a few games, and we say our goodbyes. With lots of bird-walking and rabbit holes along the way because when we promise Vintage Whamlet, we deliver. Thank you for making the last 6 years so fantastic. Whamlet OUT!
10 Things We Hate About Shakespeare
1:03:00This week, for our penultimate episode, we decided to get some sh*t off our chests and make a list of 10 things we hate about Shakespeare. That’s it. No other segments. Oh and we list our bottom 5 plays in the canon, too. But don’t worry, as the saying goes, hatred isn’t the opposite of love, it’s indifference. We bitch because we love.
House of Desires 101
1:06:50For our final 101 episode, we take you back to the Spanish Golden Age with House of Desires and its proto-Mexican, female playwright Sor Juana (a nun!). We tell you a little about this Metal AF nun in Meet the Contemporary, and we summarize the play and read a very silly cross-dressing scene from the second act for A Taste of Text. We compare translations of the scene a little bit, and then gossip a lot about yet another Oxfraudian, anti-Stratfordian overture made by the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition (aka SAC - which, like, LOL at your dumb acronym, bros). Listener beware: if the authorship “debate” fills you with white-hot rage, you may just want to skip the last 15 minutes of the episode. That aside, someone please produce House of Desires so we can go see it. We think it’s a delight and we hope you agree.
A King and No King 101
54:58CW: Today’s episode involves one of our classic tangents, this time into the topic of incest and incest porn. That said, today’s episode is a 101 all about dynamic playwriting duo Beaumont and Fletcher’s “tragicomedy” A King and No King. We summarize this bonkers play for you - spoilers: it’s only a fake incest plot to lure you in - and ready a portion of act 3 for a Taste of Text. We talk a little about why incest tropes are so popular in modern media, particularly in pornography but also in early modern drama, we gossip a little about the still-unraveling Cleveland Playhouse debacle, and call it a day. Also, there’s a minor character in the play whose name sounds like BI-CURIOUS, so start the fan fictions engines NOW.
Love's Labour's Lost 201
53:18It only took us 4 years, but we have finally circled back to Love’s Labour’s Lost for a deep dive into what some fussy Victorians - Hazlitt and Tennyson - had to say about the play, plus a little bit about the moral implications of the ladies’ “homework” for the boys at the play’s conclusion. There also may or may not be some extensive bird walking into a little-known whodunit called The Moonstone #sorrynotsorry. We gossip a little and also deliver A Big Announcement About the Podcast.
Henry VIII 201
1:24:38Our winter break is officially over and we hope you did your homework because Dr. Yasmine Hachimi joins us to talk about Henry VIII (the man, and sometimes Shakespeare’s play) and his most infamous wife, Anne Boleyn. In this longer-than-usual conversation we focus on the Netflix miniseries Blood, Sex, and Royalty, but also several other TV series and books that feature Anne and other Tudor queens. We examine why Anne in particular is the subject of this type of historical hyper-focus (spoiler alert: it mostly boils down to sexism…) and why we feel the need to sexualize historical queens at all. Yasmine also graces us with a fantastic reading list and tons of other recommendations if you’re interested in learning more. Thanks for joining us, Yasmine!
City Nightcap 101
1:01:55This week we’re talking about The City Nightcap by Robert Davenport, a bewildering play by an even more bewildering (read: mysterious) author. We try to help you Meet the Contemporary, but Bobby Davs left us very little to go on; our Taste of Text is sure to amuse (and confuse) you; we talk a LOT about all the kicking happening in this play, as well as why it - among other things - is so problematic (read: sexist AF). If you have the chance to see this play, awesome, but if you don’t you’re not really missing much aside from a unique barnyard-themed masque and the most hilarious not-a-bed-trick bed trick of all time. Have a great holiday season and we’ll see you in January!
Twelfth Night 302
53:46This week we return to the classic romantic comedy, Twelfth Night, to talk about the recent production at the American Shakespeare Center (directed by the amazing Jenny Bennett) and how it's a great example of how queering your casting and production concept can unlock new takes on a well-known, popular play. We also gossip about Jess's experience at the recent Early Modern Trans Conference, as well as some...um...highly questionable choices made by a certain theatre company for their ill-fated production of Romeo & Juliet. Bottom line, when in doubt: queer it up and say NO to Nazis.
Troilus & Cressida 201
10/31/2022Well, we hope you like feminist rants, because that’s what most of this episode devolved into. In this 201 we go off on Troilus and the rest of the men of Troilus and Cressida to interrogate why the Greeks and Trojans hinged all of their masculinity and self worth on Helen and Cressida’s status as chaste virgins. We also take a brief birdwalk to examine the folio text of this play to check an odd prose-to-verse switch in act 3 scene 2. Finally, we dust the cobwebs off of a favorite game, Line Roulette, and find out why a line about Achilles’ Mermidons cries encapsulates this entire play full of whiny boys.
1:02:50It’s our first ever 101 for a Spanish Golden Age play! Today we’re talking about Lope de Vega’s Fuenteovejuna and all the wild, wonderful customs and traditions of the early modern Spanish theatre. Our Meet the Playwright segment takes you through de Vega’s impressive (and horny) biography; Jess delights with her multitude of voices in A Taste of Text; we take you through the real event that this play is based on - true crime, again, huzzah! - and Aubrey compares the structure and culture of Spanish playhouses to the English ones we usually talk about, plus the added layer of textual instability that comes with second-language translation. The differences may surprise you! Not only that, but this play gives you the perfect excuse for your mistakes and/or crimes: just say “Fuenteovejuna did it!”