‘Lost’ Shakespeare play to be shown on stage again

Thursday, January 13, 2011

LONDON - “Double Falsehood”, a Shakespearean play, reportedly lost after it was last played in 1793, is to be staged again.

The play will be held by the Mokitagrit Theatre company in London.

Although the play is far from being a household name, director Phil Wilmott said there is something for everyone.

“There’s lots of action, cliffhangers, romance, betrayal, friendship, rape and revenge… an action-packed story which everyone will enjoy,” he told Sky News.

“Double Falsehood” is a tragicomedy thought to be based on Cervantes’ “Don Quixote”.

It was first staged at London’s Theatre Royal in 1727 - 150 years after it was written by Shakespeare. It was last shown in Covent Garden in 1793.

Actor Simon Callow said it was a good production but nowhere in the league of “King Lear” or “Macbeth”.

“It’s a very good, well-crafted, strongly-written today play but it is not one of the masterpieces of human literature,” he said.

In the Elizabethan times, when Shakespeare lived, many plays were written in collaboration - “Double Falsehood” was written along with John Fletcher.

But it was later reportedly tinkered with in the 18th century by pantomime writer Lewis Theobald.

Experts, however, said Shakespeare’s writing shines through.

“No one’s claiming it is a lost masterpiece. There are some clunky moments in it but there are also some extraordinary magical moments where you go, ‘Oh, yes, that bit is definitely by Shakespeare’,” Wilmott said.

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