Bingo: Scenes of Money and Death, Patrick Stewart‘s latest play, opens tomorrow at the Minerva Theater in Chichester.
In Bingo: Scenes of Money and Death, Stewart takes on the role of William Shakespeare, in the last days of Shakespeare’s life.
“Suddenly he finds himself in the same situation as one of his greatest characters, Lear. Using contemporary documents and what is known of him as a writer and a man, Bond shows that the contradictions of Shakespeare’s life and time are uncannily close to those of our own. He, too, lives in crisis.”
Shakespeare sides with landowners who intend to drive off tenants on land that they wish to enclose, some of which he owns, after the other landowners guarantee his income. His ability to generate his own income through writing is gone, as he is no longer inspired to write.
The decision of Shakespeare and his fellow landowners leads to riots, which spread from town to the countryside. Seeing with his own eyes the suffering of the people as a result of his and his fellow landowners’ actions, Shakespeare feels guilt, and wanders on the heath as his character Lear had done before him.
Shakespeare’s poetry returns and he is driven “to his last fateful decision.”
Bingo: Scenes of Money and Death will run from April 15-May 22.
To see some rehearsal pictures, head to the link located here. The photos are on the right hand side, about halfway down the page, and can be accessed by clicking on the photo beneath the “photos” heading.