Abigail Rokison-Woodall


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I currently supervise PhDs in a range of areas connected to the history of Shakespeare in performance, contemporary theatre practice, and Shakespeare and mental health. I am interested in supervising PhDs in areas of Shakespeare in performance, Shakespeare’s language, Shakespeare and adaptation, Shakespeare for young people and applied Shakespeare.


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Personal profile

Research interests

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 Shakespeare in Performance at The Other Place and am working on a project on Teaching Shakespeare to D/deaf Children.


I began my career as a professional actor, my acting work including numerous roles in theatre, and, amongst other television roles, Primrose Larkin in TV’s The Darling Buds of May. Following a degree with the Open University, undertaken whilst acting, I went on to take an MA in ‘Shakespeare: Text and Playhouse’ at the Globe Theatre/ King’s College London. I completed my PhD in ‘Shakespearean Verse Speaking’ in the English faculty at Cambridge University in 2006 after which I became a lecturer in Drama and English in the Education Faculty in Cambridge and Director of Studies in English and Drama at Homerton College, Cambridge. I joined the Shakespeare Institute in January 2013.

I was on the board of the British Shakespeare Association from 2002-2010 and Chair from 2008-10. My first monograph, Shakespearean Verse Speaking was published by Cambridge University Press in January 2010, and in July 2012 won the Shakespeare’s Globe First Book Award, as a result of which I was invited to give public lectures at Shakespeare’s Globe, Cheltenham Literary Festival and the Shakespeare Institute.  Following these lectures Shakespeare's Globe and The Shakespeare Institute collaborated on a series of Verse Speaking Symposia - 'The End of Shakespeare's Verse?' in which Giles Block I presented our ideas about verse speaking in venues in Staunton Virginia, New York, Stratford Ontario, Stratford upon Avon and at Shakespeare's Globe in London. 

I completed a second monograph – Shakespeare for Young People: Productions, Versions and Adaptations for Bloomsbury Arden in 2013 and a third – Shakespeare in the Theatre: Nicholas Hytner for Bloomsbury Arden in 2017.

In 2017, I was appointed one of the general editors of the new Arden Shakespeare Performance Editions with Michael Dobson and Simon Russell Beale.  I have edited A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet for the series.

I have contributed chapters to King's College Cambridge 1415-2015 (Harvey Miller), Shakespeare Beyond English (CUP), Shakespeare in Stages (CUP), The Children’s Literature Handbook (Routledge), The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare’s Poetry (OUP) and The Great Shakespeareans: Gielgud, Olivier, Ashcroft, Dench (Bloomsbury Arden) and the supplementary material on Much Ado About Nothing for the Greenwood Companion to Shakespeare.

I have written a number of journal articles including the only interview given by David Tennant on his performance as Hamlet.  In 2013 I edited a special edition of Shakespeare journal for Routledge on  ‘Shakespeare and Authenticity’.

I am currently working on a book about The Other Place (RSC) for Bloomsbury Arden and a project about Teaching Shakespeare to D/deaf Children with RSC Education.

I am represented for academic presenting work by Sara Cameron at Take Three Management. I acted as an academic advisor/ interviewee on the first, second and third series of Shakespeare Uncovered (Thirteen/ BBC/ Sky).


2006 - PhD in 'Shakespearean Verse Speaking' - Trinity Hall College, Cambridge

2002 - MA in Shakespeare: Text and Playhouse (with Distinction) - King's College London and Shakespeare's Globe

2001 - BA Hons in Humanities with Literature (First Class) - The Open University

1998 - LLAM Teaching Diploma in Drama

1996 - Diploma in Acting (Three Year Course) - LAMDA

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Shakespearean Verse Speaking, Trinity Hall College, Cambridge

Award Date: 1 Jan 2006

Master of Arts, Making the Point: The Punctuation in Hamlet, King’s College London

Award Date: 1 Jan 2002

Bachelor of Arts, Open University

Award Date: 1 Jan 2001


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