First Post! Finally…

So I’m slightly ashamed that it’s taken me this long to write my first post. I signed up to WordPress way back in September, had fun picking out a pretty theme, and then couldn’t decide how to introduce myself. It’s now nearing the end of January, and I’m still not sure how to start. Right now, however, I have an important paper to write, and so writing a blog post is an extremely appealing form of procrastination. So, at long last, here is my epic introductory welcome-to-my-life blog post…


My name’s Ella, and I’m currently studying for an MA at The Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon. All seems to have gone well so far. I spend a lot of my time reading, writing, and thinking about Shakespeare and the early moderns, and when I’m not doing that I’m usually eating, sleeping, or occasionally doing other interesting things. Like touring the many, many coffee shops of Stratford-upon-Avon. Or having Harry Potter marathons. Or spending unreasonable amounts of time decorating cakes and icing biscuits (some of which are Shakespeare-themed). All of my favourite things! Anywho, I’m enjoying the course so far; I’m learning a lot and meeting plenty of interesting people, and I’m looking forward to making my way through Term 2 and (eventually, hopefully…) graduating at the end of 2016.

I’ve been based in Kings Norton, Birmingham, for a few months now. I moved in with my partner (Sam) after finishing up my BA in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Warwick, and have traded the white-washed high street of Leamington Spa for the bubble-wrap Selfridges building in Birmingham city centre. I think I’m pretty much settled now – I have a favourite local Indian takeaway, and I’m an expert in the platform numbering systems of the local train stations. (This is more complicated than it sounds. Birmingham New Street now has colour-coded ‘lounges’ for accessing different platforms, and trains leave from platforms 1 and 4 at Kings Norton. Never 2 or 3. I rest my case.) My undergrad degree was great: I discovered my love of early modern theatre, conference organisation, and archiving, and I got to work on lots of cool side-projects as well as studying a varied range of theatre-related topics. I wrote a blog about it all during my last two years at Warwick – you can find it here if you fancy a look.

Warwick Collage 2

Various bits and bobs from my BA at Warwick

I’m still a big lover of side-projects. Right now I’m a committee-member for the Society for Theatre Research’s New Researchers’ Network (STR NRN for short!), which involves organising academic events for PhD students and early career researchers, and I’m also Chair of the 2016 British Graduate Shakespeare Conference (more commonly known as BritGrad). Plus I’m working on losing a few pounds with Slimming World. So far I’m 23.5lb lighter than when I started, but hopefully I’ll shrink a little more over the next few months. We shall see!

I guess this eclectic mix of interests and projects will result in an equally varied collection of blog posts. Write-ups of archive visits and study days will probably sit alongside cheesecake recipes and photos of Shakespeare in biscuit form, but I think that’s okay. This blog’s as much for me keeping a record of my life as it is for sharing what I get up to; I have big plans for the next few years, and I’d like to keep track of it all here as (or rather, if!) things unfold. I’m very much hoping to start a PhD in September, I have two-thirds of an MA to get on with in the meantime, and at some point I intend to travel the world. Not much to wish for, right? For now, I guess I’d better get this paper finished…

Check back soon for post #2!