The English Channel
Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 3m, 1f
The English Channelexamines the murky relationship between great writers and their proclivity to “borrow” ideas and material, tracing Shakespeare’s relationship with the Earl of Southampton, the Dark Lady of the Sonnets, and Christopher Marlowe during the turbulent months before Marlowe’s death.
The English Channel examines the murky relationship between great writers and their proclivity to “borrow” ideas and material, tracing Shakespeare’s relationship with the Earl of Southampton, the Dark Lady of the Sonnets, and Christopher Marlowe during the turbulent months before Marlowe’s death. The first piece in a trilogy of plays by Robert Brustein about the life of Shakespeare. The second installment is Mortal Terror, followed by The Last Will.
- Nominee! 2008 Pulitzer Prize
Reviews"Robert Brustein is the rarest of rare amphibians: a powerful theatre practitioner who is also a powerful critic [...] Savvy, fearless, opinionated, and fathomlessly curious, he is at once steeped in the classics and alert to the most recent tremors on the cultural seismograph." - Stephen Greenblatt
"How did Shakespeare do it? It’s an irresistible question for scholars, artists and critics, and while Robert Brustein, one of the true Renaissance men of the modern stage, has played all of these roles, he approaches the subject with humility." - The New York Times
"Including digressions into religious, political and social debates of the day, the play imagines Shakespeare as a man very much of his time, preserving the mystery of his genius while presenting him as willing to do anything in the service of his art. It illustrates something Mr. Brustein once wrote: 'Playwriting is not so much a craft as an obsession.'" - The New York Times
- Mild Adult Themes
- Minimum Fee: $90 per performance
- Time Period: 16th Century / Elizabethan
- Duration: 90 minutes
- Setting: The action takes place during the plague year, 1593, in a room in the Mermaid Tavern.
- Features / Contains: Period Costumes
- Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
- Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
- Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)
HENRY (HAL) WRIOTHESLEY (pronounced “Rizley”), Earl of Southampton, 19
CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE (KIT), 29
EMILIA LANIER, 23
- Ensemble cast
- Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)