Bloody Poetry (1995)

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Poster by Poster Designer

by Howard Brenton

Directed by Peter Medd

Performances: Fri 21st – Sun 23rd July 1995, Prompt Corner


The summer of 1816: the detritus of war still litters the field of Waterloo. Lord Byron's Napoleonic coach pauses briefly there on his exile from scandal. Hot on his heels another coach bears Shelley, his lover Mary (soon to be the author for 'Frankenstein') and Byron's discarded mistress Claire, carrying Byron's child. the England they have left far behind seethes with revolution, shortly to climax with the massacre at Peterloo, and Shelley's first wife Harriet drowns herself in the Serpentine. Her ghost sits on Shelley's shoulder as the foursome settle on the shores of Lake Geneva, hoping with rhythm and rhyme to make a new world, free from Hypocrisy and constraint, spied on with envy and repugnance by Byron's physician Polidori.

Brenton calls his play "a celebration of a magnificent failure", and its complex themes of political and sexual liberation, of creation and responsibility, echo the England of a later age, when Brenton himself must have played with life and words and their possibilities.

(From programme note)




Some review quotes go here


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