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A tale about the dark perversity of love



Preview by Paul Nelson

THE New Year will be welcomed in at the Union Theatre by Earwig Arts' new production Edward's Presents by Sally Llewellyn. It is a story of the Earl of Oxford, Shakespeare and the dark perversity of love.

This exciting new play tells a story of intertwined love triangles, set in Elizabethan London around the time that A Midsummer Night's Dream and the Sonnets were written.

The central character is Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. The play's premise is that Edward de Vere used the pseudonym, William Shakespeare, and was the true poet of the Sonnets, and the Dream. William 'Shakspere', of Stratford, appears as a sharp director and dodgy entrepreneur.

The plot revolves around Edward's relationships with his daughter, his mistress, and the young Earl of Southampton. Always looming in the background is his stormy relationship with his all-powerful former guardian and father-in-law, Lord Burghley.

Edward's Presents grew from Sally's combined interests in literature and psychology, being inspired by Freud's view that 'Shakespeare' was the pseudonym of Edward de Vere.

 

This production is timely: 2004 is the 400th anniversary of the death of Edward de Vere; an appropriate time to re-evaluate his life, and to consider whether he might have written one of the most famous plays in the world.

Sally Llewellyn studied English at Sussex University, and trained as a psychotherapist at Regent's College, London. She has written several shorter pieces and this is her first full-length play, developed through the Writing For Theatre course at Chelsea Theatre.

Kirrie Wratten will direct the play. Kirrie has been directing plays at her local theatre in Tunbridge Wells and on the London fringe for the past seven years.

She has directed a range of classical and modern plays, as well as new writing.

Highlights of her career have included an open air production of Much Ado About Nothing, and The Dresser, by Ronald Harwood, both at the Trinity Theatre and Arts Centre, in Tunbridge Wells, Drinking to Remember, a new play by David Varela at the Rosemary Branch, and W;t, by Margaret Edson, at Pentameters. Jane Churchill will design the show.

January 6 - 24, 2004, Tue - Sat at 7.30pm at the Union Theatre, 204 Union Street, Southwark, London SE1, Tickets 020 7261 9876.

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