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Mortal Terror

Robert Brustein

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  1f, 6m

Mortal Terror is set in 1605, the year of the Gunpowder Plot, a terrorist conspiracy to blow up the houses of Parliament. Shakespeare, delicately balancing his allegiances to assure his own survival, is commissioned by King James to write a play to justify his right to the throne. That play is Macbeth.  
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OVERVIEW

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    1f, 6m
  • Duration
    Duration
    105 Minutes
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Period, Docudrama/Historic
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Appropriate for all audiences
Description
Mortal Terror is set in 1605, the year of the Gunpowder Plot, a terrorist conspiracy to blow up the houses of Parliament. Shakespeare, delicately balancing his allegiances to assure his own survival, is commissioned by King James to write a play to justify his right to the throne. That play is Macbeth.  

Mortal Terror is the second piece in a trilogy of plays by Robert Brustein about the life of Shakespeare. The trilogy begins with The English Channel and concludes with The Last Will
History
Mortal Terror premiered at the Modern Theatre in Boston in September 2011.  
Keywords

Considerations

Performing Groups
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups
Cautions
  • No Special Cautions

Licence details

  • Minimum Fee: £55 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

Specifics

Details

  • Time Period: 16th Century / Elizabethan
  • Duration: 105 Minutes
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Setting:

The time is 1605—just two years after a recurrence of the fearsome bubonic pestilence called The Black Death which had hit London once again. The action moves freely from place to place so the scenery should be spare, suggestive, versatile. 

Casting

1f, 6m
Cast Attributes
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
SIR JOHN HARINGTON
KING JAMES
BEN JOHNSON
MARSTON/GUY FAWKES
QUEEN ANNE
CATESBY

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Materials

Scripts

FORMATS AVAILABLE:

Press

"Will picks up his quill pen in 'Mortal Terror,' a witty and worldly consideration of the compromises made in the name of art, the abuses of power perpetrated in the name of ideology (in this case, the ostensibly divine right of kings), the violence committed in the name of religion, and the multifarious forces that converge to create that mysterious thing called theater." - boston.com

"But even as Brustein thrusts us into the world of England in 1605, complete with quasi-Elizabethan dialogue, he sketches parallels to modern-day America. " - boston.com

"Brustein’s own love of language, and his skill in using it, furnish ample reason to see 'Mortal Terror'" - boston.com 

"Playwright Robert Brustein brings the spirit of William Shakespeare back to the stage with his imaginative story of political upheaval..." - Stage Source 

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Authors

Robert Brustein

Robert Brustein served as the founding director of the Yale Repertory and American Repertory Theaters, and has supervised well over two hundred productions, acting in eight and directing twelve. He has written eleven adaptations for the American Repertory Theater and ...

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