(University of Birmingham)
Russell Jackson is Emeritus Professor of Drama and Theatre Arts in the University of Birmingham. After reading English at Wadham College, Oxford, he studied for the degrees of MA and PhD at the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute. He then held appointments as lecturer at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama and at the University College of North Wales in Bangor. From 1978 to 2004 he was a Fellow (and subsequently, Director) of the Shakespeare Institute, before joining the Department of Drama and theatre Arts as Allardyce Nicoll chair in 2004. He has worked closely with actors and directors as text consultant on many theatre and film productions. These have included Kenneth Branagh’s Shakespeare productions on stage, radio and film, and stage productions by Michael Grandage in Sheffield and London, including productions of King Lear with Derek Jacobi and Hamlet and Henry V with Jude Law. He worked with Kenneth Branagh on Macbeth (Manchester International festival and Park Avenue Armory, New York), The Winter’s Tale and Romeo and Juliet in the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s 2015-16 season at the Garrick Theatre, London, and Hamlet directed by Kenneth Branagh for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art/KBTC in September 2018. His most recent theatrical work was with the director Christopher Luscombe for his RSC production of Twelfth Night for the Royal Shakespeare Company in the autumn 2018 season, and he was a consultant for Kenneth Branagh’s film about Shakespeare in retirement, All is True (2018).
From 1985 to 2004 he was an editor of Theatre Notebook, the journal of the Society for Theatre Research, and from 1994 to 2005 he contributed reviews of the RSC’s productions to Shakespeare Quarterly. Since 2011 he has contributed an annual review of books on Shakespearean performance to Shakespeare Survey. In 1999 the Society for Theatre Research published his translation of articles by the German novelist Theodor Fontane, under the title Shakespeare in London, 1851-58. With Jonathan Bate he edited The Oxford Illustrated History of Shakespeare on Stage (2nd edition, 2001) and he collaborated with Robert Smallwood on two volumes in the ‘Players of Shakespeare’ series for Cambridge University Press. His other publications on Shakespeare in performance include The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on film (2nd edition, 2007). Shakespeare Films in the Making: Vision, Production and Reception (Cambridge 2007), Shakespeare and the English-speaking Cinema (Oxford, 2014) and Shakespeare in the Theatre: Trevor Nunn (London, 2018). He has also published widely on other aspects of theatre and drama, with critical editions of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (1981) and An Ideal Husband (1983), and an anthology of documents of the Victorian Theatre (1989). Theatres on Film: how the Cinema Imagines the Stage was published by Manchester University Press in 2013. Noël Coward: The Playwright’s Craft in a Changing Theatre, the first critical study to draw extensively on script material from the dramatist’s archive, will be published by Methuen Drama in Spring 2022.