Kevin Quarmby was awarded his 2008 by King's College London. Quarmby's first monograph, The Disguised Ruler in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries, was published in 2012 by Ashgate, now a Routledge imprint. His present research interest, a book project titled Misappropriating Shakespeare, concerns the twenty-first century interest in Shakespeare as a social justice construct. In prisons, schools, among food or climate change activists, or anti-establishment occupiers of international financial districts, Shakespeare’s influence seems ubiquitous. Fundamental to this ubiquity is a belief that Shakespeare addresses all people for all ages, regardless of race, gender, or social standing, with Shakespeare acting both as tool for reform and creative beacon for redemption and revolution. Misappropriating Shakespeare interrogates what I term the “Bardwashed” image of Shakespeare by highlighting those who misappropriate his name, his performative power, and his creative heritage to further their political and social justice agendas. Intent on relieving socially aware Shakespeare scholarship from what Eleonora Belfiore calls the stench of “academic bullshit” emanating from its core, this project offers a welcome alternative to the bovine excremental rhetoric that has developed around Shakespeare’s work and name. As part of this project, a recent article on Shakespeare and food justice – ‘“Bardwashing” Shakespeare: Food Justice, Enclosure, and the Poaching Poet’, published in the Journal of Social Justice (2015) – invites a reappraisal of Shakespeare’s public portrayal and traces its appropriation to those most affected by his aggressive agrarian capitalism. In addition, an invited paper for Shakespeare Globe London and the 2016 Shakespeare 400 celebrations explores Shakespeare's multicultural misappropriation for South American political ends. Misappropriating Shakespeare offers a snapshot of twenty-first century social justice activism and asks for a reappraisal of Shakespeare’s social justice credentials, while inviting new ways to consider Shakespeare as a valid weapon against social injustice.



Quarmby's practitioner experience gives him invaluable insights into the behind-the-scenes machinations of the theatrical profession. His theatre reviews and interviews with actors, directors, and playwrights bring performance to life. Not scathing critique but sympathetic, light-hearted, and knowledgeable observation and commentary, Quarmby's freelance writing represents a significant addition to theatre history worldwide. Quarmby is a proud member of the UK's National Union of Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists.