This month’s featured new production from the Touchstone listing of performances of Renaissance plays (www.touchstone.bham.ac.uk) is:
The Woman in the Moon by John Lyly at the Rose Playhouse, London, 16 September – 4 October (020 7261 9565).
“Mixing astrology, myth, magic and farce, Lyly sets his play in Utopia, and boldly rewrites Genesis – here the supreme creator is female, Nature herself.”
The Woman in the Moon is Lyly’s last known work, his only play written primarily in verse and the first one to carry his name on the title page.
This is the first professional performance in recorded history – previous modern productions were by university drama groups. The most notable was a production at Bryn Mawr College in 1928 starring the student Katharine Hepburn who later wrote about the experience in her autobiography.
The Rose Playhouse is a performance space on the site of the excavated remains of the original Rose, the first Bankside playhouse, built for Philip Henslowe in 1587. Archaeologists have been gradually uncovering the site since the 1980s and the dig area is open for viewing, with red rope lights indicating the outline of the main features. The Rose Theatre is currently raising money to continue its work revealing, preserving and promoting the site. www.rosetheatre.org.uk
Kate Welch, Information Assistant