Where Late the Songbird
It's 1613 and William Shakespeare has retired from the London stage and returned to the family mansion in Stratford, hoping for a quiet, pleasant life in the country as a gentleman. But all is not well at home: his wife Anne is distant and his two adult daughters troubled, Susanna still bruised from being falsely accused of adultery and Judith hostile at her father's long absences. How will he reconcile the gulf?
None of the women in his lfe seem overly impressed by his status as England's greatest living playwright and nor do the parochial citizens of Stratford, who are deeply anxious about the future of their farms and see Shakespeare, a believer in the enclosures, as the enemy.
On top of all this, Shakespeare is under pressure from his London players to write a new comedy, a stage version of Don Quixote. But his health is rapidly declining and The Fool keeps appearing in his fevered sleep, reminding him of his mortality and the urgent need to sort his life out.
Where Late the Songbird is the latest play from Newcastle's award-winning playwright, Carl Caulfield. This production is directed by Carl Caulfield and Felicity Biggins with set by Brian Lowe and costumes by The Scissor Sisters, with lighting by Dave Grinstead. The cast includes Claire Williams, Carl Caulfield, Phil McGrath, Angela Diaz, Angela McKeown, Alexandra McKeown, Barney Langford, Brian Randall and Theo Rule.
It opens at the Playhouse on April 22, the night before Shakespeare's birthday and plays to May 2, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights, with matinees at 2pm on Saturday.