The Play’s the thing – ‘Shakespeare’s Rebel’ takes to the stage

I’ve been holding off sharing this. Contract still to sign, and so forth. Haven’t even cracked the champagne. But since this I am going to the second read-through on Monday, and the play’s been announced on the theatre’s website…

… I suppose this thing is happening – my adaptation of my 2012 novel, ‘Shakespeare’s Rebel’ is having its world premiere at the very successful Vancouver Shakespeare Festival, Bard on the Beach, Summer 2015.

ActualcoverI am totally thrilled on so many levels. It’s my first play since ‘Touching Wood’ had a staged reading in London in 1999. I began my writing career as a playwright, with three productions of two plays: ‘A Cage Without Bars’ (Vancouver New Play Centre, 1993 Finborough Theatre, London, 1998) and ‘Glimpses of the Moon’ (Lunchbox Theatre, Calgary 1996)

Then there’s the special place that ‘Rebel’ holds in my heart. A play about actors, Shakespeare, Hamlet, London… swords! For those who’ve not read the novel, you can read more here:

Essentially it about Will’s fight choreographer and oldest friend, John Lawley, who only wants to get sober and reclaim his wife and son but gets drawn into the last tragic act of Elizabeth’s reign –  the rebellion of her last great love, the Earl of Essex.

It was hard work getting a novel compressed into a play – many of my darlings slain in the process! But I had the brilliant help of Martin Kinch, one of the top play development people in Canada. And the encouragement and support of my friend, Christopher Gaze, the artistic director at Bard. To be returning to that theatre is a thrill (I played Oberon in ‘Dream’ there in 1991, my first job in Canada). And having the play put on by people I know means that I can be involved in that vital first production – attending rehearsals,working with the players, honing the script up to and including its first contacts with the public. Hope you can all come. It promises to be fun!

And I will tell the story of how this all came about in my next post!




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1 Response to The Play’s the thing – ‘Shakespeare’s Rebel’ takes to the stage

  1. I wondered why you hadn’t said anything! I was in the theatre on closing night 2014, when Christopher made the announcement about the 2015 season, and the inclusion of this play in it. I loved Elizabeth Rex, which is also about the end of Elizabeth I’s relationship with Essex, and which they staged at Bard in 2013. And I was reading Jack Absolute when the announcement was made, so there was a confluence of “yay, things I like!” in that announcement for me. Congratulations on progress made thus far; I’m sure the contract will come. I am really looking forward to seeing this onstage!

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