Anouska Lester

Anouska Lester


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

My research focuses on the material culture of early modern performance in England, 1558-c.1595. I am the recipient of the Before Shakespeare studentship (funded by AHRC) and my writing-up year is funded by FfWG. My thesis uses the materials of early modern drama to consider the relationship between performance and its evidence. Each chapter considers a different set of materials, props, costumes, or effects: magic mirrors, fruit, snow and hail, starch and ruffs, paper monsters. 

I have a particular interest in researching dramatic texts alongside so-called "lost" plays, which survive in other kinds of documents, such as plots, inventories, and accounts. My research combines various forms of performance, such as plays, masques, pageants, and entertainments.

The idea of investigating the materials and evidence of performance grew out of my placements and positions with various theatrical and heritage organisations, such as: Shakespeare's Globe, National Theatre, Victoria and Albert Museum (Theatre and Performance), Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Oxford University Dramatic Society, Milton Keynes Museum, and Living Archive Milton Keynes.

In 2020, with Sierra Carter at the University of York, I founded the Revels Office, a virtual network for early modern PGRs and ECRs. We meet regularly online to share ideas and give feedback (and debate the proper way to eat scones, #CreamFirst). All PGRs and ECRs of early modern studies welcome, please contact for more information.



Education/Academic qualification

Medieval & Renaissance Studies, MA, University College London

English Language & Literature, BA (Hons), University of Oxford