The Politician

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University College Dublin | University of Sussex

Staged Reading

[blockquote_right]Thu 4th April 2019 at 4pm in the Main Space[/blockquote_right]

Written and performed in Ireland during the 1630s, James Shirley’s ‘The Politician’ is a neglected classic of Caroline theatre, styled in the tradition of the great drama of Shakespeare’s time.

The Politician tells the story of Gotharus, a sly and ambitious Norwegian politician who tries to manipulate the king into making Haraldus, the son of his formidable mistress Marpisa, heir to the throne, by marrying her to the gullible ruler. What ensues – assassination plots, forged letters, poisonings – puts Norway through a turbulent time before order is restored.

What makes this particularly interesting in the Irish context are the echoes of the situation of King Charles II’s poor rule of Ireland through the strong arm of Lord Deputy Wentworth, and the veiled critique of the sexual morality of Charles’s court.

Written by James Shirley
Edited by Andrew Hadfield and Duncan Fraser
Directed by Kellie Hughes

Age suitability 14+
Running time : Approx. 2 hours 15 minutes with interval

[cta headline=”Free Admission”]Just drop in![/cta]