Dr Andrea Smith

Lecturer in English and Creative Writing

+44 (0)1473 338123
School of Social Sciences and Humanities
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After nearly thirty years in journalism, a long-held love of literature and a desire to help young people develop their talents and skills led Dr Smith to change career and move into teaching. Her research focuses on radio drama, specifically Shakespeare, and how texts intended for the stage can be translated into an audio-only medium. Her career prior to joining the University included working for two Suffolk newspapers and the BBC, as well as setting exams for the National Council for the Training of Journalists. She is an occasional contributor to programmes on BBC Radio 3 and a passionate advocate for access to Higher Education.

PhD: ‘Look with thine ears’: A Century of Shakespeare’s Plays on BBC Radio. University of East Anglia, 2022.

MA in English (distinction). Open University, 2019.

BA in English Literature (2:1). Open University, 2016.

Dr Smith has two main interests: theatre and non-fiction prose. She teaches the undergraduate modules on theatre (Staging Scandal) and Shakespeare at the University, as well as modules relating to employability, such as Professional Practice, which includes journalism, writing for Public Relations and social media. In addition, she teaches the Writers in Residence module on the MA Creative and Critical Writing, helping students to work with organisations in the community.

Dr Smith’s primary research interest is in audio productions of Shakespeare’s plays and other early modern dramas. She is keenly interested in how listening to these plays, rather than watching them, can help unlock their texts, both for a school/undergraduate audience and at a deeper level for research scholars. She is also interested in exploring what such productions might be able to tell us about the auditory experience of the original theatrical stagings and the primacy they placed on Shakespeare’s language.

She is currently working on turning her PhD into her first monograph, as well as co-editing a special edition of Journal of Adaptation in Film & Performance on radio drama.

She is keen to share her research with an audience outside academia and has written blogs for the British Shakespeare Association and the BBC History Research website, as well as talking about her work on radio, notably in a five-part series, The Beeb and The Bard, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 2022. She has also curated a playlist of more than one hundred Shakespeare radio plays for Learning On Screen.

Selected publications (see ORCID ID: 0000-0002-6700-8280 for full listing)


Selected publications (see ORCID ID: 0000-0002-6700-8280 for full listing)

“More Fair Than Black”: Othellos On British Radio’, in Shakespeare Survey 75: Othello (2022) 49-59. DOI:10.1017/9781009245845.004

‘Radio Plays’ in Forgotten Treasures: The World’s First Great Shakespeare Library (2022). ISBN: 978-1-905036-85-1

‘Cathleen Nesbitt: Britain’s First Radio Drama Producer’ in Women’s History Today, 5.3 (2022).

‘Reviews of Shakespeare’s Othello (Directed by Emma Harding), BBC Radio 3, 19 April 2020 and Henry IV, Part 1 (Directed by Sally Avens), BBC Radio 3, 26 April 2020’ in Shakespeare, 18:2 (2021), 246-254. DOI: 10.1080/17450918.2021.2012244

‘Noise, narration and nose-pegs: Adapting Shakespeare for radio’, Radio Journal, 19.1 (2021), 41-58. DOI: 10.1386/rjao_00033_1

‘“See how the blood is settled in his face”: Shakespeare’s Warwick – Fiction’s first pathologist’, Brief Encounters, 4.1 (2020). DOI: 10.24134/be.v4i1.203


Radio Drama panel discussion at BBC at 100 Symposium (2022).

‘Reversing the tradition of the boy player’, Britgrad (2022).

‘Making Early Modern drama with a mattress and a microphone’, All The World’s A Stage (2022).

‘Cinematic Shakespeare in Sound Only’, British Shakespeare Association Conference (2021).

‘Noise, narration and nose-pegs: adapting Shakespeare for radio’, Britgrad (2020).

‘Shakespeare productions on BBC Radio: Reflecting the nation?’, British Shakespeare Association Conference (2019).

Fellow of Advance HE.

Member of the British Shakespeare Association.

Member of the Wolsey 550 Project Board (celebrating the 550th anniversary of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey).

BBC Radio 3, The Essay: ‘The Beeb and the Bard’. Five-part series Broadcast from 24-28 October 2022. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001d66z

BBC Radio 3, Free Thinking: ‘Shakespeare, history, pathology and dissonant sound’. Broadcast 20 April 2022. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0016bbx

Interview about Radio Shakespeare with Dr Varsha Panjwani, Women and Shakespeare podcast (2021). Available at: https://womenandshakespeare.buzzsprout.com/891835/8012683-s2-e2-andrea-smith-on-radio-shakespeares

Interview about Twelfth Night on Georgy Jamieson's Big Night In on BBC Radio Suffolk (2021).

Introduction to Love's Labour's Lost for The Show Must Go Online (2020). Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYUgqkpf5FE