Murder, mayhem, and manhunts abound in this dramatic examination of the underbelly of London's Elizabethan theater, and the conspiracy surrounding the true authorship of the works of the Bard. More…
'The Shakespeare Conspiracy' spotlights two conspiracy theories that have fascinated historians for centuries: how could William Shakespeare become England's greatest playwright virtually overnight when he was just a nameless actor who had never written anything before? And how could Christopher Marlowe, known spy and the previous reigning playwright in England, be suspiciously murdered and quickly buried in an unmarked grave just days before he was to be tried for treason?
Part of the Fledgling Theatre Company and the Caravan Theatre Company's first annual 'Battle of the Bards' festival, honoring the work of Christopher Marlowe.
"The clever and most entertaining production reveals superb direction and adroit acting by the ensemble...The arc of Bacino’s and Cadigan’s play solidly develops this adventurous intrigue with rationality so there are few logical gaps...Almost apologetically described as a gay romp, the tone of the play is comedic. However, there is underlying depth and emotion...The actors are invested so the humor appears fluid and facile...I heartily recommend this production as a must-see." Full Review
“With quite a few twists and turns and eventual murder/suicide the Conspiracy unfolds. It’s very much of a thriller and much better than Agatha Christie's murder mysteries...Throughly engrossing. The whole ensemble is wonderful...Karafin has done an enormously brilliant and superb job directing this very complicated and difficult play. He has created an atmosphere of darkness and shadows which are perfect for the mood of this play...A beautiful, sensitive and delicious accomplishment.” Full Review
"An imaginative representation of this time period and the questions arising from it...The plot has more twists and turns that bring it to quite a surprising ending. Strong acting develops the characterization on stage which is so crucial to the story line. Under the direction of Karafin, suspense and downright scary moments at times develop the plot and makes it very believable...A superb production to see." Full Review
"For those who revel in historical deceptions, the play offers a fair share of intrigue and conspiratorial confirmation...While 'The Shakespeare Conspiracy' has a good deal of melodramatic twists and turns to hold one's interest for most of the two-hour running time, it is not likely to change the mind of people who believe that Shakespeare did indeed write Shakespeare's plays...The characters are too thinly drawn and the periodic plot holes quickly skirted to make a compelling case." Full Review
"This clunky though vigorously performed and presented fantasia posits one of the more arguably outlandish theories of Shakespearean authorship...A choppy series of overheated episodes and vignettes spanning 40 years...with plentiful and heavy-handed dialogue...Karafin has assembled a talented multiracial company who variously perform with classical and contemporary verve...Still, it all does get wearying over the course of two acts...It’s full of sound and fury signifying nothing." Full Review
See it if If you like conspiracies, fourth wall breaking, and Elizabethan English writing, this is the show for you!
Don't see it if Don't like this if you like historical accuracy, and don't like handsome gay men dealing with murder and love.
See it if if you are intrigued by the Shakespeare/Marlowe controversy.
Don't see it if you don't like seeing male affection on the stage or are not interested in the question of how could Shakespeare write those plays?
See it if you like a fun gay romp thru Shakespeare conspiracies; don't worry too much about inaccuracies; enjoy good acting & creative staging.
Don't see it if you're a Stratfordian & authorship conspiracies & literary/historical inaccuracies piss you off; if gay situations make you uncomfortable.
See it if You are interested in Shakespeare, conspiracies, famous figures who may have been gay, English history or handsome men in tights
Don't see it if You are a Shakespeare purist or fussy about staging
See it if you don’t care that a play plays fast & loose with literary history, just so long as it has fun doing it.
Don't see it if you are unable to set aside a preposterous, chronologically impossible conspiracy theory & just enjoy the amusing mayhem it permits.
See it if You are a fan of the mystery behind the Bard and who really was Shakespeare. The show adds to genre with an intelligent and clever twist.
Don't see it if You are not a fan of the English Tudor Era and are a Shakespeare purest.
See it if The interesting concept about Shakespeare and his works is the star of this show. The execution, acting and directing needs some work/help.
Don't see it if This show should be edited especially the 15 - 20 minutes before the intermission get very repetitive. The play is rather clever overall.
See it if Shakespeare &/or Marlowe is your thing. Scenes are a bit rushed which hurts book-comprehension slightly. Some acting could be less cliched.
Don't see it if you don't know about the never-ending conspiracy theories or any of their work. You won't get most of the classic lines used as punchlines.
See it if Despite the period setting, you're up for a fey and at times almost campy modern take on Marlowe et al. A fun stab at revisionist history.
Don't see it if You're not up for a gay farce, regardless of a fine cast well directed in a difficult space or a problematic if well thought out script. Fun
See it if You’re a fan of Shakespeare and open to alternative theories about his identity.
Don't see it if You don’t like tiny productions, don’t care about Shakespeare, or don’t enjoy far-fetched conspiracy theories.
See it if You're a fan of Marlowe, Shakespeare, conspiracies, or some combination thereof
Don't see it if You aren't a fan of small spaces with wooden chairs or are afraid of catching the Black Plague
See it if You appreciate art that recovers queer history, explores complexities of intimacy between men, exposes inhumanity of ideological oppression
Don't see it if You are overly sensitive about challenging the predominant narrative of Shakespearean authorship.
See it if You like a great plot executed by talented, passionate actors. Also if you like conspiracy and appreciate good direction.
Don't see it if If you are a huge supporter of William Shakespeare and/or do not want to see men in romantic scenes.
See it if desire Oxford/Stratford drama 2 be rehashed, entertained by detective work, and look 4 men of color 2 be classically featured on stage
Don't see it if no interest in Shakespeare didn't write it trauma, or period drama, overemphasis on gay aspects, or shoestring production values say no 2 U
See it if you want the Marlowe theory fleshed out. Somewhat amateurish in writing and direction. Mateo D'Amato is a very gay and seductive Marlowe.
Don't see it if can be repetitive and slow. Shakespeare is portrayed as a dolt. The Thomas Walsingham character is fiction, but I liked the Edward W.
See it if Clever premise, promising actors, but a bit sloppy. Characters lacked motivation, switched beliefs, had memory lapses, and lines were miffed
Don't see it if If the Elizabethan era is not your thing, you may lose interest. And if you insist on believability, you're in for a tough ride.
See it if you want an intriguing tale of Marlowe writing Shakespeare's works. Creative idea, but weakly realized: long, slow. Decent acting.
Don't see it if you hope for energy behind thoughtful concept. Direction felt forced/contrived - making production feel tedious despite flashes of talent.
See it if you want to explore the (#fakenews) conspiracy theory about the origin of WS's works; you'd enjoy an Elizabethan gay soap opera.
Don't see it if you respect Shakespeare, Marlowe (both come off rather buffoonish here) or ur time. Note: The wood folding chairs only add to the discomfort
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