Cast 7 male 2 female
Licence UK & Ireland only
William Shakespeare, in his mid-twenties, an aspiring playwright without a foothold in London, is desperate to make his mark. The greatest obstacle to his achieving the success he believes he richly deserves is the prominence of Christopher Marlowe, the “superstar” of the Elizabethan theatre. So formidable is his envy against this charismatic playwright that he persuades himself the only way to achieve his goal is to remove Marlowe from the scene. To this end, he musters the support of Robert Poley, a man who detests the atheistic, homosexual young Marlowe. Poley and his cohort Ingram Frizer proceed to devise the plan which will dispatch the detested anti-Christ. Will’s wife, Anne Hathaway, constantly rails against her feckless husband, who can provide no support for the family and who is wasting his time and measly talents in “playmaking.” To elude the abuse of his embittered Stratford wife, Will finds solace in his mistress, Emilia, without realizing that she is Marlowe’s mistress as well. The fateful day of the murder arrives: the site, Eleanor Bull’s Tavern where Poley, Frizer and another accomplice zero in on the hapless Marlowe. Sodden with drink, woozy and unsuspecting, the Cambridge poet is brutally murdered. After the fatal blows have been struck, Will reveals himself to Marlowe as the arch conspirator who has masterminded his downfall. With his last gasps, Marlowe condemns the paltriness of his dramatic rival, proclaiming his artistic superiority to Shakespeare. Marlowe’s supremacy in the Elizabethan theatre has been successfully eclipsed by the conniving Shakespeare. His posters are torn from their hoardings, and Shakespeare’s star rapidly begins to rise.