by Keir Alexander

Featuring Paul & Mark McGann

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Weary old Will is in a bad way,
For someone is out to wreck his last play.
To find out his foe and carry his crew,
Can Will brave a Tempest to bring his ship through?

About Rough Magic

In a frantic search for an actor to play the part of Miranda in his last, genre-busting play, The Tempest, William Shakespeare takes in sixteen-year-old Jack, an illiterate but beautiful guttersnipe and former rent-boy, sent by an unknown ’friend’. Not only does this raise hell with Will’s stable of talented but ageing players, it also attracts the interest of the Puritans seeking to tear down the theatre and everyone in it, so that Will ends up fighting to save his play, his brilliant, mad, wonderful company, his reputation, and, as it turns out, his life.

Far from the usual, stuffy, reverential homage to ’The Bard’, it’s a riotous and sometimes heart-rending but always eloquent piece offering a convincing portrait of Shakespeare as the head of his wayward but beloved second family, The King’s Men.

“At last, a play about Shakespeare that is entertaining and funny as much as it is literary and thought-provoking.

“… handles with wit and sensitivity the subject of boy-girl players onstage and off, at a time when alternative lifestyles were enjoyed only by those behind bars or hanging from the gallows.