Gary Taylor’s Cardenio: the UK premiere

Our collaborator Gerald Baker has been busy with an interesting production: Cardenio. Don’t miss it!

For more information on the play and Richmond Shakespeare Society see their webpages.


cardenio_imageGary Taylor’s reconstruction of Fletcher and Shakespeare’s lost play, The History of Cardenio, receives its first full staging in the UK next month, in a week-long run from 18th to 25th March at the Mary Wallace Theatre in Twickenham.

Taylor has worked on the script for many years, constantly honing and refining it in the light of new scholarly research as well as feedback from practical experience in readings and productions. Unlike other attempts to reconstruct the play, Taylor does not merely extend Double Falsehood, he has fully and imaginatively engaged with deep questions of the styles, themes and dramaturgy of both the original writers. His reconstruction has been built within very strict parameters. The result is a play that is passionate, romantic, challenging and comic. It invites the same kind of attention and questioning as an early modern play. It is without doubt both the most credible vision of the lost play and a lively theatrical experience.

The History of Cardenio has had no exposure in the UK, apart from a reading in 2011 in Globe Education’s Read Not Dead project and publication of a version of the script in 2013. That changes in March when the Richmond Shakespeare Society in association with Cutpurse presents the latest iteration of Gary Taylor’s work, with revisions made specially for this production taking into account very recent work (to be published in the NOS Critical Reference Edition) on the play’s linguistic strata.

Richmond Shakespeare Society has mounted at least two Shakespeare productions every year for over eight decades, both indoors and open air. It is the only non-professional group specializing in Shakespeare to have its own venue, the Mary Wallace Theatre by the Thames in central Twickenham. The play’s director, Gerald Baker, has staged many productions and readings of Shakespeare and early modern plays as well as work by Brenton, Marber and other contemporary writers. As both director and independent scholar he has been in dialogue for the last five years with Gary Taylor on the Cardenio project.

In addition to the run of the play, Taylor will participate in two events associated with it. On Wednesday, 15th March he will give a talk “Why Does Cardenio Matter?” at the Mary Wallace: it will be free but ticketed. Details are in the News section of the RSS website, www.richmondshakespeare.org.uk. And after the performance on Sunday 19th he will be taking a Q and A session with the Sunday audience—-tickets for Sunday cover this session too.

All the booking information is also in this PDF flyer: thoc-flyer

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About kingstonshakespeareseminar

Kingston Shakespeare is the home of KiSS, and its offshoot KiSSiT. Both explore the world by thinking through Shakespeare.
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One Response to Gary Taylor’s Cardenio: the UK premiere

  1. Pingback: KiSS Cardenio Excursion, March 23 | Kingston Shakespeare Seminar

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