In 1609 Shakespeare's Sonnets were published with a purchase price of sixpence a copy. They were badly proof-read, the typeset was clumsy, and they were riddled with errors. There are no contemporary references to them. There are only thirteen known copies in the world. They were never published again in the poet's lifetime, though earlier poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece ran into several editions. It is as if they were withdrawn immediately after their publication. Had they been published against the poet's wishes? Had they offended somebody? Were they never intended for publication? Three mysterious characters run through the Sonnets, that have never been conclusively identified, a fair young nobleman, a rival poet, and a dark enigmatic woman, whose capricious behaviour drives the poet "frantic mad". She liveth. And in living pervadeth every breath this poet sighs. He doth love her. He doth detest her. He doth pant for her, as one doth pant for air. He doth hold her close unto him, yet he doth cauterise her from him, as he would a canker. She is manna in his wilderness. Yet she is famine. She is all his longing, and his despising. She is an angel, she is a devil. This play does not claim to be a precise factual reconstruction of the events that took place around the publication of the Sonnets, but it does reserve the right to say of itself; much is true; most is probable; all is possible. Tony Haygarth.Performers Harry Burton (The Poet), Stephanie Street (The Lady), Cornelius Booth (Doctor Astronomer).
Author Tony Haygarth. Company The Sticking Place. Director Adam Meggido.