Dr José A. Pérez Díez

Dr José A. Pérez Díez

Research Fellow

+44 (0) 113 343 9756

Summary: Jacobean drama, John Marston, John Fletcher, William Shakespeare, Performance studies, Anglo-Spanish cultural relations in the Renaissance

Location: Room 7.G.03 - 7 Cavendish Road


Dr José A. Pérez Díez, Licenciado (Complutensis), MA, PhD (Birmingham), PG Cert in AP (Open), FHEA

After studying physics and English language and literature at the Complutense University of Madrid, I moved to the UK to read for an MA in Shakespeare and Theatre at the Shakespeare Institute of the University of Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, where I stayed on to undertake my doctorate. My thesis was a modern-spelling critical edition of John Fletcher and Philip Massinger's 1615 comedy Love's Cure, or The Martial Maid, which was based on a Spanish comedia of the same period, La fuerza de la costumbre (The Force of Custom) by the Valencian dramatist Guillén de Castro. I was appointed Research Fellow at the School of English of the University of Leeds in 2015 to work on the new critical edition of the complete works of John Marston (1576-1634), due to be published by Oxford University Press in 2020 under the general editorship of Professor Martin Butler (Leeds) and Professor Matthew Steggle (Sheffield Hallam). I have particular responsibility over the old-spelling text that will be published as part of the Oxford Scholarly Editions Online (OSEO) alongside the modern-spelling edition.

I am also the Membership Officer of the British Shakespeare Association

At Leeds I also convene The Playhouse Lab, a forum to experiment with Renaissance drama from a practical point of view, offering a series of unrehearsed script-in-hand performances of plays from the period in the Workshop Theatre. Our aim is to support teaching and research in the School of English, scheduling plays from our undergraduate modules (Level 2 Renaissance Literature, Level 2 and 3 Jacobean Drama, and Level 3 Shakespeare), as well as plays being edited by members of the School.

Research interests

As an editor and bibliographer, I have a keen commitment to editing the drama of the English Renaissance, particularly beyond the works of William Shakespeare. My main historical research focuses on the use of Spanish literary sources by the dramatists of the Jacobean period (1603-1625), particularly with respect to John Fletcher (1579-1625) and his circle of frequent collaborators (Francis Beaumont, Nathan Field, and Philip Massinger). My interest in Anglo-Spanish cultural relations in the period extends to the study of influential diplomatic and literary connections. For instance, I have conducted extensive archival research on the literary connections of Diego Sarmiento de Acuña, 1st Count of Gondomar (1567-1626), who was twice ambassador from the King of Spain at James I's court (1613-18 and 1620-22).

My other main field of research is performance studies, particularly with respect to the analysis of modern productions of Shakespeare and other Renaissance drama. I am Associate Editor for England of Reviewing Shakespeare, and I have published reviews in Shakespeare Bulletin, Cahiers Élisabéthains, and Shakespeare (British Shakespeare Association). I am Company Dramaturg of FRED Theatre, and I worked as Research Assistant to Gregory Doran, Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, while he was developing his productions of Richard II (2013), 1 and 2 Henry IV (2014), and Henry V (2015). As an actor I have taken part in staged readings and workshops focused on English Renaissance plays, and have performed in some twenty productions of Shakespeare and other Renaissance drama, both in amateur and in fringe theatre. I have also been able to incorporate my theatrical experience into my research on the stageability of Renaissance plays as part of the process of editing them for a modern readership.

Recent and forthcoming activities

I delivered the Rarely Played Lecture on John Fletcher's Love's Pilgrimage at Shakespeare's Globe on Sunday 12 June 2016, followed by the Read Not Dead staged reading of the play at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.