As the play begins, Ada, the Countess of Lovelace, who was Byron's only legitimate daughter, is writing her will. She is thirty-six (the same age at which her father died) and dying of cancer. While she had been estranged from her father during his lifetime, and had reviled his memory, now, as her own end is drawing near, she is seized with a desire to know more about her profligate father. Stimulated by the drugs she is taking for her illness, she summons him to life and, in sharp, sarcastic exchanges, probes into the truth behind the myth. Aided by a chorus of six other actors who impersonate a variety of characters, the life and art of Byron are unfolded; his tempestuous youth; his incestuous relationship with his sister; his homosexual escapades; the scandal surrounding his brief marriage; and his castigation by the society of his day. In the end the private man, the public figure and the protean poet are reconciled, and the rare dimension of this remarkable figure, who became the symbol of the Romanticism of his time, is made movingly real.
A brilliantly inventive and perceptive portrait of one of history's most controversial and fascinating figures—Lord Byron—which enjoyed the unique distinction of major productions by the Virginia Museum Theatre and the Actors Theatre of Louisville prior to its Off-Broadway presentation by New York's distinguished Circle Repertory Company. "…a brilliant, witty, searing work that seeks and finds the man behind the romantic legend." —Variety. "The Museum Theatre has presented nothing in the last three seasons that is more polished, eloquent or deeply moving than this work." —Richmond News Leader. "It's a tremendously exciting play, this CHILDE BYRON…it marks the arrival of an awesomely gifted American playwright." —Louisville Courier-Journal.