Abigail Rokison-Woodall

Associate Fellow and Lecturer in Shakespeare and Theatre at The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham
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I joined the Shakespeare Institute in 2013, having been lecturing at Cambridge University for 7 years. I began my career as a professional actor, training at LAMDA and working quite extensively in theatre. Since deciding to move into academia my main research interests have been in the field of Shakespeare in performance, in particular verse speaking, adaptation and theatre history.  I have written three monographs - Shakespearean Verse Speaking (CUP) (winner of the Shakespeare's Globe first book award 2012), Shakespeare for Young People (Bloomsbury Arden) and Shakespeare in the Theatre: Nicholas Hytner (Bloomsbury Arden). I am one of the General Editions of the new Arden Shakespeare Performance Editions, for which series I have edited A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet.  I am now embarking on two new projects - a book about The Other Place (RSC) for Bloomsbury Arden, and a project on Teaching Shakespeare to D/deaf Children with RSC Education.

Research Interests: 

My main research interests are in Shakespeare in Performance. I am one of the general editors of the Arden Shakespeare Performance Editions, for which series I have recently edited A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet. I am currently writing a book about As You Like and another about Shakespeare in Performance at The Other Place and am working on a project on Teaching Shakespeare to D/deaf Children with the RSC.

Teaching And Professional Interests: 

My teaching is largely focussed in the areas of Shakespeare in performance and Shakespeare for young people.  At The Shakespeare Institute, I convene the MA routes in Shakespeare and Theatre, Shakespeare and Education and  Shakespeare and Creativity. I believe that students can benefit greatly from practical exploration of Shakespeare’s work in areas of both original practices and contemporary performance, particularly in terms of appreciating the impact of elements such as space, casting, textual choices, voice, movement, dialect and design.

  • Diploma in Acting from LAMDA (3 year course) - 1996
  • LAMDA Teacher’s Diploma (LLAM) - 1998
  • BA Hons in Humanities with Literature (Open University) - 2001
  • MA in Shakespeare Text and Playhouse (King’s College, London/ Shakespeare’s Globe) - 2002
  • PhD on ‘Shakespearean Verse Speaking’  (Cambridge University) - 2006

Shakespeare’s Globe First Book Award, 2012.



  • 2017 A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Arden Performance Edition (London: Bloomsbury)
  • 2017  Hamlet: Arden Performance Edition (London: Bloomsbury)
  • 2017 Shakespeare in the Theatre: Nicholas Hytner (London: Bloomsbury)
  • 2013 - Shakespeare for Young People: Productions, Adaptations and Re-workings (London: Bloomsbury).
  • 2010 - Shakespearean Verse Speaking (Cambridge: CUP)

Book chapters:

  • 2014 - 'Drama in King's College Chapel' in King's College Chapel, Cambridge (Harvey Miller)
  • 2013 - ‘Shakespeare’s Dramatic Line’ in The Oxford Handbook to Shakespeare’s Poetry (Oxford: OUP)
  • ‘Henry V’ in Shakespeare Beyond English (Cambridge: CUP)
  • ‘Laurence Olivier’ in The Great Shakespeareans: Gielgud, Olivier, Ashcroft, Dench (London: Bloomsbury)
  • 2010 - ‘Authenticity in the 21st Century: Propeller and Shakespeare’s Globe’ in Shakespeare in Stages (Cambridge: CUP)


  • 2014 – Special Edition of Shakespeare Journal (Routledge) on ‘Shakespeare and Authenticity’

Journal articles:

  • 2016 - Interviews with theatre practitioners about texts for performance, Shakespeare Bulletin 34, 1, p. 47-68
  • 2010 - ‘Our scene is alter’d’: Versions and adaptations of Hamlet for young people’ in Literature Compass (Oxford: Blackwell)
  • 2009 - ‘David Tennant: Playing Hamlet’ in Shakespeare Vol. 5 No.3(London: Routledge)
  • 2009 - ‘Romeo and Juliet for the young viewer’ in The New Review of Children’s Literature and Librarianship Vol. 15 Issue 1(London: Routledge) 
  • 2008 - ‘The RSC Histories Cycle: Actor and Audience Perspectives’ in Shakespeare Vol. 5 No. 1 (London: Routledge)
  • 2005 - ‘Shakespeare in Performance at the Second Biennial British Shakespeare Association Conference’ in Shakespeare Vol. 1 No. 2(London: Routledge)