Word of the Week: Scrivener

This week’s word of the week is ‘scrivener’. An Elizabethan word referring to a scribe or notary, it’s inspired by R.E. Pritchard’s book ‘Shakespeare’s England: Life in Elizabethan & Jacobean Times’.

Pritchard’s book is an intriguing and fascinating collection of excerpts from some of the best, wittiest and most unusual writing of Shakespeare’s age.  A ‘scrivener’ is mentioned in the chapter on Education, in which Pritchard reveals ‘writing was usually taught by peripatetic scriveners’.

It is brought to you from the Shakespeare-inspired Books About Town bench outside the Globe.

Word of the week: ‘Scrivener’ (n.); ‘A clerk, scribe, or notary’

Voiced by Alison Jordan

Alison is the Globe Education Assistant for Learning.

Psst! Farinelli and the King casting


We’re delighted to announce that Mark Rylance will star as Philippe V, King of Spain in Claire van Kampen’s new play with music, Farinelli and the King, premiering in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in February 2015. The role of the castrato Farinelli will be sung by celebrated countertenors Iestyn Davies and William Purefoy.

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Shakespeare Outside In

PhD Researcher Neil Vallelly reflects on the ‘Globe Outside In’ performances in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse…

From 1609—after Richard Burbage took possession of the indoor Blackfriars playhouse—the King’s Men performed all year round: Globe in the summer; Blackfriars during the winter. Consequently, much of their repertory crossed the divide (or the Thames, more precisely) between outdoor and in. Jonson’s ‘Catiline’, for instance, was first performed at the Globe, then Blackfriars in 1611. Webster’s ‘The Duchess of Malfi’ was originally performed at the Blackfriars, before moving outdoors to the Globe in 1614. The first Shakespeare play to cross the river may have been ‘Coriolanus’ in 1608, but ‘Cymbeline’(1609), ‘The Winter’s Tale’ (1610), and ‘Henry VIII’(1612-13) were seemingly performed at both the Globe and Blackfriars. How, then, did the transitions from outside to in, and vice versa, affect dramatists, playing companies, and the composition of plays in early modern London?


A section from Hollar’s Long View of London From Bankside (1647) showing the Globe and Blackfriars.

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#ShakespeareOr ?


Word of the Week: Infamonize

Turn to any page in David Crystal and Ben Crystal’s Shakespeare’s Words: A Glossary & Language Companion and you’re likely to come across a word from Shakespeare you haven’t seen or heard before.
This week’s word ‘infamonize’ is one such example and means ‘to brand with infamy, defame’.  The book also includes the play, act and scene in which the word appears, the character who says it and to whom, and the precise quote for context.

It is brought to you from the Shakespeare-inspired Books About Town bench outside the Globe.

Word of the Week: 'infamonize' (v.); 'brand with infamy, defame'.

From Shakespeare’s Words: A Glossary & Language Companion by David Crystal & Ben Crystal. It’s available to buy in the Globe shop.

Voiced by Hannah Smith
Hannah is the Globe Education Assistant for events.

Doctor Scroggy’s War 
Written by Howard Brenton, Directed by John Dove 

From 12 September 
For details and tickets visit our website: http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/theatre/whats-on/globe-theatre/doctor-scroggys-war

Interviews with Howard Brenton and John Dove, and actors Will Featherstone and James Garnon.