Abstract

Abstract:

This article draws on ethnographic fieldwork undertaken amongst audiences for outdoor Shakespeares. The Willow Globe is a living willow theatre modelled on the reconstructed Globe in London. Planted on a working, organic farm in mid-Wales, the Willow Globe is powered by renewable energy produced on-site and serves as a meeting place for a rural community with interests in Shakespeare and ecology. Here, I encounter audiences at All's Well That Ends Well and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Through the voices of audience members, I go on to present the recurring suggestion that whilst the pleasures of the performances as expressed by audience members were often yoked to a perceived connectedness to "Shakespeare's day"—approximating the present conditions with perceptions of Elizabethan performances past—this longing was located within a wider theme that encompassed nostalgia for "Nature" more broadly, emerging from within the immediate, embodied experience of the weather. Without losing sight of the uncomfortable relationship that tethers Shakespeare and nostalgia, then, responses to the case study performances can also be read productively within the framework of Kate Soper's "provocatively contradictory avant-garde nostalgia" (23), materially entangled with the act of venturing out not to "hear" or to "see" but to "weather" a play.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1931-1427
Print ISSN
0748-2558
Pages
pp. 409-427
Launched on MUSE
2018-10-31
Open Access
No
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