Marlowe: The Performers' Playwright

Marlowe: The Performers' Playwright



well thank you very much indeed that warm welcome I'm going to justify the fact I'm going to sit down for quite a lot at the time main because looking at my height I'm in remarkable proximity to the beam of that baby which feels rather oppressive so I pull probably sit down but I'm also going to give you a thoroughly dramatic reason for doing so because I'm going to talk about dr. Faustus who's revealed sitting in his study so I'm going to do my best to emulate dr. Faustus at least for some at the time so if you don't mind I will sit down but I might stand up and leave about you know occasionally when I become impassioned what I wanted to do today was to say a little bit about Christopher Marlowe as you probably know I'm the chairman of the Marlowe society and that's a very interesting role to fulfill and some years ago we had a conference at Kingston where we talked about Marla and Shakespeare and one of the researchers described Shakespeare as Marlowe's PhD student and I rather like that so I might go along with that for the rest of my career but I'm particularly interested in the fact that you know in 1587 your theatre Marlowe created a sensation with Tamblyn it was the talk of the town if you like the most spectacular success and I'd like to try and talk about why that was but also why he is such a great playwright but before I go into the detail of Marlowe I just want to say one thing when you say playwright you have to remember that the word is spelt pla y WR IG HT meaning a maker plays not a writer of plays and the problem with poor old Marlowe has been that most people waffle on about his ability with blank verse the fact he invented you know the deck of syllabic line or may have done a little babies wonderful language all the time very often overlooking the fact that what really I think account of his success where he was a great maker of plays and nothing more so than the fact that he was beginning to make use of what were the first real purpose-built professional player houses of which you represent the most important possibly and so you know we're talking about an age when there had never be permanent professional player houses before and suddenly here there are here they are and a real playwright a maker of plays will not only exploit such buildings but will also write plays that will help to shape the future of such buildings but at the same time a playwright of this caliber must be able also to write a play that can be performed in what we now call a found space because once you know play has been performed at the Rose that was not the end of its life it had what Jonathan Miller called an afterlife and that may well have been in some country in it may well have been in a court as we have here because as you probably know most histories of the theatre this Inn is the illustration they usually choose to show the similarity between others beats and play house and Elizabethan in so you're sitting in the very spot where who knows some of these found spaces may have happened so it's that kind of interest I want to look at you know a number of things that have prompted me to do this I don't want to bore people who heard this before but my first encounter with Marlowe was as a drama student in the 1950s where I just fell in love with the fact that it was to me a kind of visceral passionate drama that I'd never encountered before and as an actor it was so rewarding and so insightful into the human psyche that I found myself immediately wanting to spend my life in Marla and it's interesting a few yeah years ago that's many years after my first encounter I was invited by The King's School in Canterbury which is the school that Marlow attended I live in Cantonese other way so I'm you know I bring Marlo in my bones as it were the King's School in Canterbury is where Marlo went to school and I was invited to judge their public speaking or oratory competition III didn't know nothing about it except I knew there were four houses wonder which was called Marlo and instead it was the competitors of Samara house actually won the competition but what I noticed on a brochure has given me was that the competition was founded in I think it was 13 82 so by the time Marlo was there it was well-established and it was very very clearly documented that the king's school was a great place where plays were performed and read and the part of the headmaster of the King's School had to find a collection of books than any other place in the country including the two universities so Marlo had access to some of the greatest plays in world dramatic literature even as a boy the thing that I found very interesting is that if you think of a play like the massacre at Paris which is a sort of scrappy play which I was involved with the production of it in Canterbury Cathedral few years ago that players generally agreed to be a slightly corrupt text the text seems you know the places for example where it's inconsistent where obviously the person who started off wrote righty and forgot what was coming coming Yanks or and so on and this clearly cobbled together by from the memories of actors that's what it seems it's a very much an actors play that's what I'm fascinated by the play and we've seen the massacre at Paris or work on the massacre pass you just feel these actors work you feel the nine who created this play was not someone who wrote some was it a few go do that it was only knew the theater from the very inside and that's exactly fascinating when you think how these plays met maybe pass on by word-of-mouth rather than in written forms at some stage the other thing I want to say just like turn of general introduction before we look at some detail is that the whole process of writing a play is dependent upon your understanding of the theater and I often find myself for my sins because I've had a some modest career as a playwright being asked to judge playwriting competitions and I read these plays I mean hundreds of them hundreds of them come in people because hundreds of people think they can write plays interesting you might be just know the latest statistic from my publisher is that one in every six hundred players submitted will be published that's considered to be generous so you look at the thing I think you've ever been in the theater ever thought what you're asking of the theater when you write that you have plays where a three-bedroom Terrace house is on stage for about two minutes immediately to be substituted by a street outside in heavy traffic to be followed by a scene in an underground station really being in a theater they know how it works they know what a theater feels like how you operate it I mean it is fascinating that you know and it is that kind of knowledge of theater for the inside that is gonna make a player how Marlowe precisely acquired this of course we don't actually know but we do what we do know is by the time he had graduated and immediately graduated from Cambridge with his degree after some dodgy business about being refused his degree because he'd been involved in spying activities he produces two blockbusters you know Tamblyn part one which is so successful that they want Tamblyn part two almost immediately so I mean that that's pretty good going I wish my career Billa so let's take a little about some of the things that make these great plays I've chosen five characteristics of Marlo's playwriting as it fits in a theater building and then we'll see well I said I was going to justify my sitting here the beginning of Doctor Faustus is a very fascinating prologue in which on comes a course figure talking about the muse talking about this character Doctor Faustus that the play is going to be about and then at the very end you sent me says and this the man that in his study sits in other words tada areas now what does that tell us about the way that played again fal'cie is already there here's the he is already sitting at his desk and then I think fascinatingly he says settle life studies Faustus which could be an actor's cue for closing his book standing up coming forward because if he was revealed sitting in what we call by that call the discovery space which I'll talk about in a minute then he doesn't want to stay there to act the scene he wants to come out of its discovery space okay so let's think about this word discovered we'd find this word peppered amongst many players in the Elizabethan age we get three very fine examples in Mark there's first of all this where Marlowe introduces Doctor Faustus but then we have this extraordinary discovery in Dido queen of Carthage which some people think was an earlier play some people think was a later played whatever whether this here it goes here the curtains draw and there is discovered Jupiter dandling Ganymede upon his knee and mercury lying asleep so in other words at the very beginning of the play as two players begin with figures already in situ in what must have been some form of discovery space we think at the back of the stage so your Rose Theatre I think must have had a discovery space of some kind and the discovery spaces is frequently used in Shakespeare as well and you probably remember right at the end of his career Shakespeare wrote The Tempest where okay Miranda and Fernando discovered playing chess for example you know there was you know that was probably at the Blackfriars theater of course which is a different design altogether but the fact is that the Rose almost certainly must have had somewhere where characters could have been revealed but that the genius of using the discovery space is that it creates the impression that the stories already began yeah no it'll be going on you know and so you drop in to the action of the play and realize that the story's already underway and here there are the characters now there is a third example of that and that is in tan Berlin where which of course is the the first play that we know was performed at the Rose so this may have been the first ever use of the discovery space in Tamblyn Zanotti who is the the daughter of the sole the nerves of Damascus horribly relevant that play I'll talk about that in the moment because it's all about massacres in Syria and about the Muslim world in conflict with the Christian world in conflict with the Jewish world in conflict with a tyrant and it's all about people being forced into marriage about massacres it's chilling chilling stuff and remember perhaps a play written shortly after the publication of the first ever world atlas so last you have a playwright who can actually look and see what the world really looks like if you look to old world atlases it's a wonderful museum and aunt were full of atlases and if you look at the atlases that were published so before Marla was alive that they start the show Jerusalem in the middle of the world of course and they have they're just pure fancy fancy they've been no resemblance to the geography we know it but about two years before Marla graduated the first ever world atlas republished it actually looks remarkably like the world we know so in that play anyway the knock QWERTY who has married Tamblyn the great tyrant who rules the world I don't know what you know about Tamblyn he still recognizes a hero in one of the starves Tajikistan I think that's all correctly but there is that he's worshipped there's a statue to him Timur the lame he was known as but Anne Boleyn this man who swept across the world massacring murdering killing Emperor's killing virgins killing old cities conquering the world playing off Emperor's against Empress's playing off superpowers against superpowers bragging boasting strutting about bellowing Sherlock rity his wonderful bride dies and the death of the Lochte is there's the first moment in the play where the curtains draw to reveal her on her deathbed is a very moving moment it is incidentally also one of the great moments now becoming about to where music is used so the use of the discoveries face the inner space within the theater is very very important in all of Marlo's plays and he exploited absolutely brilliantly but let's move on the other thing that we say about a theater is that they were fascinating in their uses of entrances and exits because suddenly we now have stages which can represent the world because of their size and their openness they're not the little platforms of medieval drama they're not the little mansions at that time these are spaces with access from doors possibly possibly at the rear of the theater which enable free movement across the big space they're not stages with wings which are absolute disaster for trying to do big battles in because you have to walk in sideways to be seen what you want if you want to do a battle scene or great forces move is as much flexibility as that in that big open space as you can possibly get and so if you look at and I'll give you some examples here if you look at some of the entrances and the things that people say in the plays and you'll see how movement these huge Suites of movement are represented by some of the stage directions for example in the door of altar there several times says exit on the one side and on the other or it says exeunt severally everyone going out incidentally if people pay more attention to help you win off stay they would get Matt Farah metric reductions very often people are very good at coming on but not so good at going off funny thing was when I was a drama student very very old fashioned drama school and we were taught how to come into a room because it was assumed this place we were being would have canvas flats with doors in them where we were taught how to open the door without the flat wobbling so they looked at as made of canvas well I mean nowadays it's incredible to think of that but very well and if you think that of the way that people came on and went off and there's lots and lots implications when it says alarms within and then they all go belting off in all sorts of directions if you look at for example the opening of the king of with the second his fearsome play about a homosexual affair and and the corruption of power it begins with characters pouring in from all directions to case of kaleidoscope of characters now you can only do that on a stage like the Rose and they eventually the globe that that's why your theater was so important because it gave the work I gave a new concept so not only did it probably have a discovery space at the rear of the stage it also would have had entrances and exits on either side at the rear which enabled processions to come in and out and move across the stage so the movement would be largely circular row or diagonal rather than across all forwards and down and that is a way of creating a sense of a universal drama and so in the play of tambala and where you have armies raging across the plains incidentally it's a lot of it is set in Gaza you think of the Gaza Strip now the desperate place is it so happens that my daughter married a man from Gaza so I visited gardener on quite a few occasions and that's an experience which I would rather not share with you because it's 2 or F 2 horrendous but there's plays to be written about that but I mean that the point is you're trying to create a sense of a great wilderness a great desert we characters moving across it then the big open spaces of the rows are going to make you a playwright and your playwright is going to write plays for that space and it's that combination of a writer understanding his theater that's give it create that sort of success so this is a second point so we've got his discovery we've got the entrances and the exits and then one of the most interesting sage directions I always think is the station into above above up there somewhere and there are some wonderful scenes which in fact depend upon their having been some fall of upper level the most famous possibly is the Jew of Malta do you know that plane yeah so both of us the do the Jew has had all his possessions confiscated his house is turned into a nunnery finally insult unfortunately all his treasure is concealed between beneath the floorboard upstairs in the in the house what does he do about him well he gets his daughter to become a nun and there's this wonderful scene where she appears a barb up in the upstairs and he calls out the instructions to brick floorboard to go to to find the treasure and so the whole thing works by there being an upstairs and a downstairs now you know we win all of us at some stage we've looked at those pictures of the Globe Theatre I mean there is only one but school school books are full of pictures of the Globe Theatre there's some kind of naive idea that by putting a picture The Globe Theatre in it children will actually understand Shakespeare more I've never really quite follow the logic of that because actually that very famous picture of the globe you know all the Swans right in this one's ear that which is what we think about it doesn't actually tell you very much it's really helpful because there's a realm of faces looking out from the gay thing who are they eyes over the audience are there's a band I'll what are they out there you know so we don't really know this be honest but we do know that this play will only work if there's a some kind of gallery at the back of the stage presumably so someone need you to get up there but if you want further illustration of the need for a higher level then look again act Tamblyn because in tumblin the whole of me when they're outside the the Damascus besieging Damascus the whole edifice really revolves around the idea of the city walls and there are scenes in which people are hung from the walls and shot from the walls as you probably know the only occasion I think in this basement theatre when someone actually died on stage was when someone hanging from the walls of Damascus was literally shot at the orders of Tam Berlin by mistake of course the Japanese father arquebus but so that you know so there is this intention and it's very very difficult this to mount this scene because you need the idea that the walls are there with all these bodies on it so there's got to be some upper level now when I was out some years ago to direct this play in the grounds of the Kings Hall in Canterbury the first thing I'll do is to combine Part one and Part two it all into one evening which took some doing because each half lasts about three hours so we sort of condense it that's how do we staged this and I found the only way area to do it to create a great scaffolding and have the characters moving around on levels of scaffolding them on planks and I do think ever you any of you remember I'm sure none of you were so deccan to do this I used to watch program called gladiators on television where people's to knock each other off with huge punch balls and do you remember that thing no well anyway I thought that base the production on this because the only way to get the feeling of sheer roll violence was the unique people being knocked off those walls falling down and that play is full of the the need of an upper level now you know we can speculate about that upper level that we see illustrated on the famous do with picture of the swung and the subsequent drawings and models of the globe there's been a lot of scholarship and I'm not going to get into that I mean their whole heart now whole organizations devoted to arguing about whether you know the back door was one with yard to the left or to the right and people right Charlie emails to each other because they get it wrong you know there's actually a new organization isn't there called art stands for Association of replica theaters which because you know there's a bit of a passion these days for building replicas of Elizabethan theaters all around the world are the most recent one I visited where my daughter-in-law comes always gdansk in Poland and you know there's a huge amount of speculation as to you know exactly what the dimensions were I probably the bed don't get bogged down into that but the point is that that upper area may have served a number of purposes I think you would have done I mean any imaginative theater director will use an upper level for those sorts of different reasons all we know is that if you want to stage Tamblyn and I mean certainly when he staged it at the Rose he certainly needed lots of upper levels because you no matter the drama with rolls around that and I'm pretty sure that when he came to write you have Malta he had that potential in mind you know that I must be have an upstairs so we can play that scene on two levels now if you look at most of his plays you'll find that there's a huge demand for upper levels and I suppose while we talk about levels and above we ought also to talk about the one thing I hadn't said you know his trap door is the trap door because lots of it he's going down as well for example at the end of Doctor Faustus he descends to hell of course down into some trap door presume presume anyway there's a downwards than upwards so that this theater existed on a whole number of different levels and that's where the stimulation of the acting comes from that's why that's what actors nowadays like this thing called the found space because you know suddenly being sent into a gas works or into a place you've never been to a railway siding to put on the play suddenly opens up all sorts of possibilities I mean I must say whenever I walk into room I think I could do something in here you know I'd quite like to stage Doctor Faustus in here yeah I wouldn't have you all sitting looking me like that but I find a way of having that and actually on next Saturday at the Marlow society's meeting in London we've got that little pub we have to go we go to where we're doing a play and I've been talking to the actress who's going to do the play and we find a space within it and then find an audiences get direct contact you know you want that sort of feeling don't you of the rightness of the space well the other two other things I want to talk about I've talked about discovery I've talked about entrances and exits I I've talked about the use of the above but I think one of the things you I find most fascinating about all of our those plays is that there are dense is sound with sound effects within the use of instruments the use of instruments to underscore and to make all sorts of interesting contributions to the drama now there are basically three ways in which Marlowe uses musical instruments the first the most obvious is as a symbol of violence because trumpets and drums senate's as they're often called or flourishes those two words both mean fanfares of crumpets drums they're there to represent kind of military conflict and the rhythm of the scene is punctuated by percussion and I think it's very fascinating that if you take any scene from tambaram and underscore lots of drumming it suddenly comes alive you know it actually doesn't work in silence you've got to have this pounding drumming throbbing drumming have you seen the current touring production of Macbeth from the National Theatre as they came to Canterbury the other day took my grandson to see his first experience of a Shakespeare play she loved again they really underscored it with robbing drums you know those throw down near that scene that have seen a battle scene at the end I'm having Shakespeare obviously learnt a lot from Marlowe about how to write a battle scene you know I'm not even going to even touch the authorship problem at the moment far as I'm concerned Marlowe wrote the plays that Marlowe wrote I mean that's on today that's my view today but Marla if you look at Shakespeare's plays he's right here battle scenes they have clearly derived from what Marlowe achieved you know or clearly you know that they've been after food that's riveted from that kind of input so yes that there's that use of music that's throbbing that kind of all that sort of drive underneath but you've also got underscored music of a different kind the death of Zanotti in tamil and he calls for solemn music so we we know there must have been vials lutes viola da gamba perhaps we don't we've lost the music we don't know what the music was but we know that there was music there and quite what role it played we can't be absolutely sure but the without the music the players seem bereft so you need to think about how that music was used where it came from some people say that all performances in those be thin theaters were announced by the sound of a trumpet from a high point somewhere new the show was about to start there's all sorts of wonderful expressions like a Senate or parlay as my favors you know Polly Polly of instruments you know so it's a discourse between instruments now nowadays people who own sort of trendy music groups of players obscure festivals call themselves a parley of instruments certainly you never call them selling like the Pickering ensemble or anything was boring as that there's a part of the adventure well if you look at the the stage directions here it talks about a Polly from time to time a group of musicians playing may it may well have been of course that the players themselves were skilled players of percussion whether they could play trumpets a lot I don't know the other instance we get specified are hot boys it was the oboe the precursor of the oboe and we we don't have an actual specification saying the viol but we're pretty sure the violins there I mean the other thing that I supposed to say about the period we're talking about is that you know people say well what was the Renaissance in England in Italy we know what are they sauce was what what was the great skill of being it's what we contribute to European culture and most people I think would know about this would say it was the lute song which is greatest contribution to music because the ability and a great Jordan writes very interesting the honors pointing out that the the English language is a fine language for setting to the the simple short phrases that would be played on a lute now if you try to compare that with Arabic music which is accompanied by the old which is a very different kind of instrument use you'll see the difference the lute underscores salt syllables and and you know a lot of English poetry is made of short syllabic words without being derogatory about German try setting German as a lute song and you'll see what the problem is it's it's great as leader you know it's but it's not good for the sort of fool thousand five five are the lies of his bones his God all made those are pearls that were his eyes nothing more Jim but what a gift for a lieutenant you know because each little phrase can be said you know it's a very rate of ball game now I wouldn't claim that Marlowe took this to the ultimate extreme there's a very fine new book by Professor Shapiro about the authorship I've used called something to do his will anyway where he points out that actually shakes his later plays which almost certainly performed that the black fires theater and again this is an example of the relationship between the writing and the theater that he uses very extensive music coming The Tempest is actually dates with music much of it in to mental or vocal a much of it real cut requiring some pipes and flutes or flute like instruments so very very subtle you so the I mean Marlo's set the trend and show what could be done but but he didn't actually develop it as well as a Shakespearean certainly in his later plays well now if you look again at the theatres in which Marla's played informed there's one other factor that strikes me all the time and that is the relationship between the actors and the audience now my colleague Hilda Schulte who runs the Mar text she loves to talk about shared light jog and fray in other words we're all together on in the same light I can see you you can see me yeah I remember once when I was a young actor I used to perform in the blue-rinse matinee at the Winter Gardens Margate which meant that you know I the stage would be brightly lit and the auditorium will be in darkness and I would peer out and I might see a couple of heads in the audience but you know I was tempted to go saying is there anybody because it was a great theatre you know and there was no way that I could establish any plan of rapport but these people other than sort of acting in to avoid because that was my idea and that's why of course that kind of theater intend to invite plays where the convention is that they're just watching you doing a slice-of-life onstage but where this back bangs down of course and I'm working backwards here if you just go to a pantomime still you'll get moment is it but Sir the aside as we call it talking aside to somebody so you you know one moment you're saying I see you there oh no I don't what do you think about all this ability thinking it's rubbish the aside now actually I'm not going to claim that Marlowe wrote invented the aside but you'll find that there are more sides in Marlowe's plays than any other play that precedes his of virtue follows SSO as good as well saying Polly invented it the use of the aside is very very familiar in the drew of Malta where and in Dido queen of Carthage where characters are all the time muttering revealing something about their inner thoughts as the same time as being something else that it's been like that wonderful motive Macbeth when he says look like the flower that be the serpent under it look like one thing but be something else and if ever you wanted examples of characters who dissemble and who pretend not to you know to be something other look at the dew of Malta for example look at looking Dido see if I can find where it's an actual one I can actually give you the the very one nine sixty page 66 that I've been directing a scene from this Dido queen of Carthage do you know the play right and line sixty okay so what's going on here is Dido is dying of love what's actually happened is Aeneas has been told by the gods or the goddesses he's got to leave Dido need for Saints Dido she dies of love she when she runs into the fire commits suicide it's a scene which is very much like the death of Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra but I think superior and I think it's a wonderful moment and she's waited on by Anna and Dido says because he's loathsome sight offense by an eye and in my thoughts he's shrined another love Oh Anna didst thou know how sweet love will fall soon would tell her this single life and she says poor soul I know too well the star of love in other words you might think that I don't know but I do know so he shares her inner thought now what I think is so fascinating about the kind of drama that Marlowe wrote is that although these are early examples he somehow has a way of showing the inner life of the characters and that is what makes drama riveting it's not the great declamations it's not the fact that you know in that Tamblyn can solve the air with great speeches which are wonderful it's not that Faustus will say was this the face that launched a thousand ships and burnt the topless towers of ilium sweet Helen make me immortal with a kiss her lips suck forth my soul I mean that's pretty good stuff and things like that you know when Tam Berlin you know speaks over the dying zone aqua tea I mean one of the most moving speeches but this great oratory is nothing compared with the inner life of the characters that are revealed within the action and that's often done through asides through the tiniest remarks and I don't know how how much you understand that I'm not being condescending but I'm not sure how ritual varied your theatrical experiences but I must tell you I mustn't name drop out when I was in a production some years ago directed by a very famous polish director and we were in a play called WITSEC and he set one of the actors the part of a void SEC and he worked very hard and the director said Roger all I see is Roger trying to be void SEC I do not see the inner life of void SEC poor Roger how many were put down actually that unhappy Isis and what it was rather flames that was also loved all the time but anyway the fact is that you know it is the revealing of the inner life of characters so in a way if we go back to where we begin at the beginning of Doctor Faustus you know and he's in his study sitting there and he's surrounded by books settled I study Faustus and begin to sound the depth of that thou will profess having commenced to be a divine in show yet level at the end of every art and live and die in Aristotle's works sweet analytics tis thou has ravaged me you know he's sharing this Eli's life with you and then he takes you on his journey because at that point he then begins to explain but actually each of these philosophies each of these things he's read have proved inadequate that they're not what he hoped they were he built them up but no he's got in further he's got to find something something beyond so he despairs of theology despair and eventually comes down to magic – black magic – – divining spirits you know and so that's why there's this sense of the journey of his soul and then when he gets into dialogue with mefist awfully sue because was a fallen angel you know and then why this is hell nor are we out yeah I think hell's available says hi this is hell nor we are thinks now that I who saw the face of God and not tempted not tormented with ten thousand hell's are being deprived of a lasting bliss don't you think I feel hell every minute of my life you suddenly feel sorry for the devil I mean that's what's amazing you identify you actually understand when it would be the fallen angel I who saw the face of God you know they're now been chucked out I think of the way old God does that in the dream Durant just Chuck down Chuck down knocked down yet the poetry so what of playwright is able to do it seems to me is to use this theater use this space use this architecture use this shape to engage with his audience to showed huge dramas but to show small personal dramas at the same time to show the progress of nations and empires at the same time is showing that the progress of a conscience within the use of this space also showing us how people can wound each other how they can love each other how they can care for each other how they can be so cruel to each other how they can create a Syria how they can do all of those things in yet also can create bliss and understanding and he does all this in these big open theatres we're there with that discovery spaces with their entrances and exits all these things that enable the actors to work in them now what we don't know of course is precisely where Marlowe's plays went on tour there are records of several companies that did tour we know for example that quite a lot of Shakespeare's Kings Ben's company came to Canterbury to perform a country in Canterbury we do know that precisely where we're not too sure there are records of it the same will be true of Marlowe in many places but we've got actually rather flimsy records of how he adapted us the plays for other spaces but what I'm pretty sure is is that the sheer state craft of the plays enables them to work almost in any empties an open space you can find with a few levels you know it doesn't require the sort of illusions that some that some plays do and it doesn't require technicality what it does require are spectacular sounds spectacular effects very very very physical play and great deal of sound and moon and music the physicality of the plays is almost overwhelming and I'll finish here with last two years ago we performed the massacre at Paris which is a doubtful play because of 23 murders on stage throughout the play all of this back to an hour and a half – anything murder if I did one simple actually why I digress who they literally which others was with one two three so you counted them because it was so laughable they keep dying and of course whoever wrote down the play at one point gets it wrong to the wrong person kills the wrong person but anyway the sheer physical dexterity was required of the cast to perform that play in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral where we did it the sounds were really ghostly in there because I have actually acted in that space before that time that I think I'm the last English actor to have been murdered in the cathedral nightly and that I shall never forget dying on that cold stone floor the high level of act twos it were waiting a she carted off having been murdered quite early on Daz you know in the play but anyway this year that the training that we had to give the actors in physical theater was quite revealing I was surprised by you know we had to teach them all forms of combat lots of lots of violence and of course the play is full of every conceivable form of death poison porridge poison gloves poisoned it's poison that daggers during here swords going here you know I mean all sorts of horrendous ways of doing away with your enemy and you have to make it not tedious how do you do you know all those over 20 murders without boring the pan topic well you know I got security gets worried one well all I can say is the man stagecraft was superb and if it's true and it is speculative if it's true that the text that's come down to us he's really a memorized text but actors because it is so full of inconsistency then it just goes to show how much they like that play that they could actually remember it and put it together for memory to tour later on because you probably know there was a huge amount of coming and going as regards theater tours and so on because of the plague I'm the closing of the theaters by the Puritans and so yeah okay plays laughter they were running then they weren't there there now they're you know it wasn't an easy life running a theater company and Marlowe Theatre Company the one he wrote wrote for worth subject to all sorts of changes a little insight into the way your theatre that's why you're here your rows people aren't you and you know you're the champions of the road survive and flourish with your future that's true his plays were published well after his death in about 1700 we're well after is in individual players were appearing throughout the latter half of the sixteenth century but it was a long time before he won character no one did for Marlo what they did for Shakespeare there was no folio edition and that's been one of the problems to be honest they've come down to us in all various forms yeah but by the time we got the 19 to go there's a long gap O&P like Tennyson work we're saying you know this is this man is the morning star this is the greatest writer of our love in our language we often forget that you know actually there was there's all sorts of reasons why I bother those folks because they're not famously I mean I should guess too much but Canterbury I mean it's taken a long time to acknowledge Marlowe because they're embarrassed by him a because there's the rumors of his atheism he's not is what you wanted a cathedral city and you know he supposed at homosexuality although it's not proven but there's a suggestion here so I I mean I only read a book couple of weeks ago from someone who visited Canterbury apparently in the Vanara 50s and went into the you know the tourist offices there well can you talk about miles now we're desperate to get him on the map you know we've got a milos a sort of marlow center called the kit now you can't remember Marlowe Theatre of course and not that we they ever do any place but Marlowe that's well not until we kick their bottoms two years ago and they did I think they should yeah I think absolutely whatever the relationship between the two and you know people get very hot on the call about that there clearly is a lot of common ground there yeah I mean it's fascinating all this you know the assignment of some of the head of the six players to Marlowe now you know the latest Oxford Shakespeare as soon as the hem of the six claims are written by Marlowe quite categorically people are now arguing about oddness Faversham as whether I mean our Faversham is the next town at the Rovin Canterbury and now Marlo's family would have seen the execution of the murderers of Arden in so yet someone says oh no Marlowe didn't try hard enough Abraham the local story is a good deal of suggestion he could well have done so it's a huge field which I've deliberately avoided a bit but you're happy – happy – prize me Oh Norman that's perfectly true we don't but a lot of people think well there are two things I could tell you about that one is the kid and Marlowe know shared digs and they live together and there was a problem there because kid under torment under torture were confess that Marlowe was writing atheistic tracts and so on so I was going to sort of split between them we now as I said this new assignment studies which do it through an algorithm our computer have demonstrated that Marlowe certainly contributed to the end of the six plays there are people who are convinced that Barlow concluded to others this latest book by Shapiro that came out only this year called something like radical well or something contested will is bit is a beautiful book he looks brother bought the Oxfordian and the bicone Ian's and the people who say that Marlowe wrote Shakespeare but there's some very interesting material about that collaboration no but you're right we don't talk about him a lot as a collaborator but because for most people he stopped writing when he disappeared in Deptford you know but there are people who contest that whole incident there's a lot of scholarship around that whole coroner's report that makes it look very dodgy to be honest now whether Marlo really was smuggled away as I mean I've got a friend change up who worked for mi6 and I was telling about one of the conspiracy theories about Marlo well yes of course of course you could have easily been spirited away it's the way it's often happen dozens of people have been made to disappear but whether yes III cannot come down on any one side there's masses of reading to do around there the most fascinating reading I think is about the corners report and the likely reliability of that room that's that's the most interesting the other thing I find absolutely fascinating is all this business about why Marlowe's degree was withheld and then then suddenly awarded because he had been engaged in his on her majesty's service abroad and what was he up to well for exam one example I find very fascinating which may or may not to is that there's a good deal of evidence that whoever wrote the play ed with the third no one knows who wrote the third some people say Marlowe some people say Shakespeare whoever wrote that clearly based one scene on an account of the Spanish Armada I mean it is almost it is much word-for-word the description of the official report of how they Armada fought which is still in the in the records okay now a lot of people looked at this and I've come to including Marlowe himself was onboard a ship called the non para in the Armada campaign as is by watching the activities of the Armada and he was the person who wrote this of a report of the activity of them are there's a lot a lot of scholarship around that which is very fast as to whether Marlo did witness they are model but with actual board they are murder that's one personating thing I said yeah the other thing about his lack of collaboration with others is that if if by any chance he was spirited away and Rose plays anonymously or contributed he wouldn't have wanted it to be known his name was there but yeah it's a very tricky one this is there's buses to read on it if you want to my wife is that Amish ardent readers now though conspiracy theory every day she comes a new one any other questions like anything uh exhausted you you came to talk to us tonight about Mama's stagecraft and the way in which it would bring her lives his place and basically as our beloved Rose I think you brilliantly tonight also wrote the plays alive for us [Applause]

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