Entries by Peter Bradbury (Dramaturge)

Mutability: the plague in Shakespeare

One of the best known sentences in Shakespeare, indeed in all of literature, is Mercutio’s curse as he dies at Tybalt’s hand: “A plague on both your houses”. And one of the major reasons for the deaths of both Romeo and Juliet is the failure of Friar Laurence to let Romeo know the details of […]

Shakespeare and Verona

Shakespeare set about thirteen of his plays wholly or partly in Italy. An incomplete list includes: The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Julius Caesar, The Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado about Nothing, Two Gentlemen of Verona, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Winter’s Tale, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, and of course Romeo and Juliet.  We […]


Why we still love to do Romeo and Juliet

While you’re reading this article you might want to listen to an excerpt from the Fantasia-Overture of Romeo and Juliet (1880) by Peter Tchaikowsky: https://youtu.be/izfAH-edobk. The performance speaks to the global presence of Romeo and Juliet. The composer was Russian, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is from Amsterdam, and the conductor, Elim Chan, is from Hong […]

A Queer Reading of Twelfth Night

“Queer has been defined theoretically as ‘whatever is at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominant …, as that which is ‘not yet conscious’ …; as the very status of unthinkability’.” Clara Bradbury Rance, Lesbian Cinema After Queer Throry, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2019, p.10 In my post on this website, Master-Mistress: Love, gender […]


The use of pronouns might seem random in Shakespeare’s plays, and it is sometimes, perhaps often, the case that usage depends on the actor or prompt who wrote down or marked the original script. However, it is useful to note that there were subtle class and social distinctions between apparently ordinary or neutral forms of […]