We are a cooperative comprising five doctoral researchers based at the Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham.
Meryl Faiers works on the commercial aspects of the professional London theatre industry during Shakespeare's working lifetime. Her research focuses on company structure and personnel, operational and financial practice, and individual and corporate earnings. Meryl came to the Shakespeare Institute following a career as a producer/general manager of commercial theatre, mostly in the West End and Australia. Her work considers, in particular, two of her Early Modern predecessors, Philip Henslowe and John Heminges.
Lucy Holehouse is working on an M4C-funded thesis, ‘Disguising the King’s Men: 1595-1630’, which looks at the development of disguise tropes across the Chamberlain’s and King’s Men’s repertory to show how close readings of specific tropes across a company’s repertory can inform our understanding of a company’s commercial identity. Her research interests cover disguise, repertory systems, theatre history, and theatrical practice. She is also a part of the Reading Early Plays (REP) research team, looking at the sharers in the Chamberlain’s and King’s Men’s company, with a special interest in comic roles and Nicholas Tooley.
Héloïse Sénéchal set up the KW project following research into the lives of the actors who first brought London commercial drama to life, and has worked extensively on the Heminges family network and litigation that involved them in the 1620s-1630s. Her research interests include playhouse culture and personnel 1594-1642; palaeography and archival work; editing plays; the development of Early Modern English. She is currently preparing a critical edition of Thomas Dekker's Satiromastix. Héloïse is an experienced teacher who has worked with KS3-5 learners, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Jodie Smith researches cultural memory and the materials of the stage in early British drama. More widely, she is interested in the development of the repertory system from the rise of commercial playing in the 1590s, and with exploring this in relation to inter/intra-theatricality and memory. She is currently, with REP collaborators, working on the individual biographies of those involved in playmaking and on their familial and community networks.
Jennifer Moss Waghorn works on the music written for the King's Men from 1609 to 1642, and on the relationships between composers and the company. She has advised on music history for RSC productions, and has worked with the Historical Dance Society on Jacobean court masque entertainments, as well as producing educational material for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the British Library. Further research interests include early modern musical crime, ballads and alehouse music culture, and maritime music. As a member of the REP research group, she explores the lives of the men, women and children responsible for the sustained success of the King's Men. Jennifer has written and performed music for over thirty theatre productions, as well as TV documentaries and short films. She performs regularly as a solo singer-songwriter, and with folk bands Greenman Rising and the Company of Players. Named Stratford-upon-Avon Musician of the Year in 2018, she plays a variety of instruments, including violin, guitar, mandolin, accordion, piano, hurdy-gurdy and rebec.