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Dr Eleanor Rycroft


I was appointed Lecturer in Theatre and Performance in September 2013 and have a special interest in practice-based research into Tudor and Stewart drama.

Following a DPhil on beards and masculinity in the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, I was appointed as the Research Assistant on ‘Staging the Henrician Court’.  The project staged John Heywood’s The Play of the Weather in the Great Hall of Hampton Court Palace in order to investigate the politics of space at the court of Henry VIII.

Between 2011-12 I was Lecturer in Early Modern Literature at Lancaster University, and directed The Late Lancashire Witches at Lancaster Castle as part of the 400 year anniversary of the Pendle Witch trials.

From 2012-2013 I worked as a Research Fellow at Edinburgh University on 'Staging and Representing the Scottish Renaissance Court', playing a key role in the first staging of Sir David Lyndsay's A Satire of the Three Estates since 1554 at Linlithgow Palace. Film of this production can be found at

My work draws on a wide range of practical methods, printed sources, historical records and material objects in order to present fresh ways of thinking about the late medieval and early modern theatre. Alongside a research specialism in the gendered subjectivities of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and especially how manhood and boyhood were constructed during the period, I have recently started research into the embodiment of walking on the early modern stage.

I am an elected trustee of the British Shakespeare Association and Chair of the BSA Honorary Fellowships Committee.


Selected recent papers include:

'Hair and the Semiotics of Difference in the BBC'S The Hollow Crown: Wars of the Roses' (British Shakespeare Association conference, 2019)

'Drama and/as Other', roundtable discussion, Leeds International Medieval Conference (2017)

'Engaging Twenty-First Century Audiences', invited plenary paper, RECIRC conference, NUI Galway (2017)

'Hairs, heirs, and airs: Locating Masculinity in Hamlet and Macbeth', invited speaker, Leicester Early Modern Research Seminar, University of Leicester (2016)

‘Space, memory, and transformation in the 1540 and 1554 versions of Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis’, Shakespeare Association of America Conference, New Orleans (2016)

'Facial Hair and Liminal Masculinities on the Early Modern Stage', Framing the Face symposium, London (2015)

‘Practice-based research in the Great Hall of Hampton Court Palace and the ruins at Linlithgow’, Society for Renaissance Studies conference, Southampton (2014)

‘Place and Space in the Late Medieval and Sixteenth Century Drama: The case of the Satire of the Three Estates’, Sogang University, Seoul   (2014)

‘Kings on-stage in Scotland and England’, Scottish Medievalists conference, Croy; Renaissance Society of America conference, New York (2014)

‘iShakespeare: New Media in Research and Pedagogy’ workshop, Shakespeare Association of America conference, Boston (2012)



Department of Theatre

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