Records of Early English Drama North-east


Records of Early English Drama North-East (REED N-E) is part of a massive international project to assemble a complete survey of medieval and early modern performance in Britain. The REED volumes are to scholars in literature and theatre what Pevsner is to architects and art historians.

REED-NE will be a critical edition of all surviving records of performance and entertainment in England’s North-East from about the ninth century up to 1642. REED has already made some fascinating discoveries from the archives of the region. Check out the Flowers of the Month in our blog.

To learn more about the work of the Records of Early English Drama North-East Project – its research, publication, outreach and project members – visit the About REED North-East page.


The REED-NE team involves editors from previous REED volumes as well as experts on medieval and early modern history, theatre, the visual arts, dance and music.

Prof. John McKinnell (PI, Durham) is the project director. He is editor of the REED Durham volume. He is organising the Conference and Exhibition in summer 2016. As a producer of medieval drama, he is organiser of the 2016 Summer Festival.

Prof. McKinnell has mounted reconstructions/re-creations  locally and internationally: for instance, plays from mystery cycles (Odense, Denmark, 1998; Durham and York, 1988 and 1992), and the Durham Corpus Christi Plays (at the Cathedral, in 2000). The latter inspired the Durham production of 10 modern mystery plays in 2010, with McKinnell as advisor, which had a significant tourism impact. For all past Durham theatrical performances, McKinnell recruited local amateur singers, actors and stage hands, which made these events locally very popular and ensured good regional media coverage. The photographs above show examples of McKinnell’s productions in the UK and Denmark: these illustrate how local performers will be involved, and what kinds of props and structures – scaffolding, pageant cars &c. – will be used in 2016.

Prof. Barbara Ravelhofer (Co-I, Durham) is the project co-director. She will work with the project’s two PhD candidates. As an expert on early dance, she will work with theatre professionals at the Summer Festival in 2016.

Prof. Ravelhofer plays several early instruments and has been involved in large-scale historical festivals. For 20 years, she has worked closely with a professional choreographer and theatre producer, Lieven Baert. Baert’s productions often involve participants of different levels of artistic competence and yet achieve a homogeneous overall effect, for which he has gained an international reputation (guest teacher at Stanford, producer in Madrid, Bruges, Mexico City &c.). He is artistic director of Germany’s largest historical festival at Landshut, where local amateurs achieve high-quality results after intensive training.

Dr Diana Wyatt (RA, Durham) is editor of the REED East Yorkshire volume and organiser of the Conference, Festival and Exhibition in summer 2016.

Dr. Mark Chambers (RA, Durham) is the full-time research associate for REED NE and co-organiser of the Conference, Festival and Exhibition in summer 2016 (

Prof. Sally-Beth MacLean (University of Toronto) is Director of Research at the REED headquarters in Toronto and General Editor of the REED series.

Prof. Robert Alexander (Point Park University) is editor of the REED Percy family papers volume.

Prof. David Klausner (University of Toronto) is editor of the REED North Yorkshire volume.

Prof. Edward McGee (Waterloo University) is co-editor of the REED West Yorkshire volume.

Mrs Sylvia Thomas (former county archivist for West Yorkshire) is co-editor of the REED West Yorkshire volume.

Prof. Suzanne Westfall (Lafayette College) is editor of the REED Northumberland volume.


Principal Investigator: Professor John McKinnell (
Co-Investigator: Professor Barbara Ravelhofer (
Research Associate: Dr Diana Wyatt (
Research Associate: Dr Mark Chambers (
Webmaster: Dr Alistair Brown (

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