I am a postdoc at KCL, working on the AHRC-funded project ‘Shakespeare in the Royal Collection.’ Before rejoining KCL in September 2018, I taught at Central School of Speech and Drama, Brunel University and Queen Mary University of London. My PhD thesis, titled ‘Still Shakespeare: Performance, Photography and the Limits of the Shakespearean, 1850-2016,’ was examined in July 2016. An adapted version of it was published as Still Shakespeare and the Photography of Performance (Cambridge UP, 2019).

‘Shakespeare in the Royal Collection’ uses the holdings of the Royal Collection and Royal Archives as the basis for a material-culture-driven look at the interwoven histories of two hegemonic institutions – Shakespeare and the royal family. Having done my PhD on Shakespeare and photography, I come to this from an interest in theatre archives, their authority and their relationship to the “live”. The Royal Collection sometimes functions as a performance archive; meanwhile, Shakespeare’s plays, particularly his English histories, have often been treated as a kind of alternative archive for royal history. This project will create a website (whose pilot version is here) and an online exhibition (coming summer 2021). I am also working on a book based on this research, with the tentative working title Shakespeare and the Royal Actor.



PhD English, King’s College London, 2016. ‘Still Shakespeare: Performance, Photography, and the Limits of the Shakespearean, 1850-2016’

MA Early Modern Literature: Text and Transmission, King’s College London, 2011.

BA English, University of York, 2010.



Still Shakespeare and the Photography of Performance, Cambridge University Press, 2019.



‘Photographing Titus Andronicus: textual fidelity, spectacle and the performance tradition,’ Theatre Journal 69.4 (December 2017), pp. 555-571.

‘Site-specificity, archaeology and the empty space at the contemporary Rose Playhouse,’ Shakespeare Bulletin, 35.2 (Summer 2017), pp. 207-226. 

‘Agincourt, Waterloo, Normandy: Screening Henry V and re-organising British history for the royal family.’ Shakespeare Bulletin, forthcoming 2021.    

 ‘“Never did nor never shall”: Shakespeare quotation and nostalgic politics in 2016,’ EMC Imprint, forthcoming 2021.



I edited with Nora Williams a special issue of Borrowers and Lenders (13.1) ‘Shakespeare and Politics Between Media.’


Reviews (Books)

Titus Andronicus: The State of Play, ed. by Farah Karim-Cooper (Arden, 2019). Theatre Journal 72.2, pp. 255-56.

Photography and Other Media in the Nineteenth Century, ed. by Nicoletta Leonardi and Simone Natale (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2018) and Paper Promises: Early American Photography, ed. by Mazie M. Harris (Getty Publications, 2018). Times Literary Supplement, 22 February 2019, p. 29.

Shakespeare by McBean by Adrian Woodhouse (Manchester University Press, 2018). Times Literary Supplement,11 January 2019, p. 5.

Antitheatricality and the Body Public by Lisa A. Freeman (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017) and Theatre and Governance in Britain, 1500-1900: Democracy, Disorder and the state by Tony Fisher (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Times Literary Supplement, 23 February 2018, ‘Theatre,’ p. 33.

The Story of Drama: Comedy, Tragedy and Sacrifice from the Greeks to the Present by Gary Day (Bloomsbury, 2016); Dramaturgy and Dramatic Character: A Long View by William Storm (CUP, 2016) and Theatre Criticism: Changing Landscapes ed. by Duška Radosavljevic (Bloomsbury, 2016). Times Literary Supplement, 26 May 2017, ‘Theatre,’ pp. 32-33.

Shakespeare for Everyman by Don-John Dugas (Society for Theatre Research, 2016). Times Literary Supplement, 21 April 2017, ‘Literary Criticism,’ pp. 10-11. 

Julia Margaret Cameron by Tristram Powell (Pallas Athene, 2016). Times Literary Supplement, 7 October 2016, ‘In Brief.’

Singular Images, Failed Copies: William Henry Fox Talbot and the Early Photograph by Vered Maimon (University of Minnesota Press, 2015). Times Literary Supplement, 17 June 2016, ‘In Brief.’

The Drowned Muse: Casting the Unknown Woman of the Seine across the Tides of Modernity by Anne-Gaëlle Saliot (OUP, 2015). Times Literary Supplement, 29 April 2016, ‘Cultural History,’ p.11.

Lewis Carroll: Photography on the Move by Lindsay Smith (Reaktion, 2015). Times Literary Supplement, 1 April 2016, ‘In Brief.’ 


Reviews (Performances)

‘Review of Shakespeare’s Richard II (directed by Joe Hill-Gibbons) at the Almeida Theatre, London, 18 December 2018,’ Shakespeare, 15.2 (2019), pp. 200-02. 

‘Review of Shakespeare’s Macbeth (directed by Rufus Norris) at the National Theatre, London, 26 April 2018,’ Shakespeare 14.3 (2018), pp. 424-26.

‘Review of Francis Beaumont’s The Knight of the Burning Pestle (directed by Adele Thomas) at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London, 27 February 2014,’ Shakespeare, 10.3 (2014), 349-352.

My online theatre reviews are available here. 

Blog Posts

Sally Barnden

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