Our great project for 2018 is a recital-within-a-play, entitled "A Rehearsal of the Life and Death of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex", researched and written by Jenny Hill.

The play tells of the rise and fall of the Earl of Essex, his relationship with Queen Elizabeth, and something of the politics and cultural influences of the latter part of the 16th century.

It takes the form of a dialogue between a lutenist, Richard (loosely based on Richard Mynshall, whose lute book survives, and who is known to have been an admirer of Devereux) and singer Susannah (who is fictional), as they rehearse for a concert to mark the launch of Gervase MarkhamÕs book in memory of Devereux, "Honour In His Perfection", which was published in 1624.

Each of the 14 short scenes culminates in a lute song, settings by Dowland, Campion, Rosseter and Bachelar, of poems by Devereux himself and by members of his circle.

The performance is costumed; it requires minimal props and lighting, which makes it suitable for many types of venue, though it is perhaps best fitted to the more intimate spaces, as we use no amplification.

Merry Melancholy

spacer Last updated: Sun, Dec 3, 2017