Edward’s Boys, a wonderful acting troupe from King Edward VI School in Stratford, present Thomas Middleton’s rarely performed city comedy, Michaelmas Term (1605)
Thomas Middleton is one of Shakespeare’s fellow playwrights and his work is fast, funny, dark and complex, and brutally, shockingly, thrillingly honest about human weaknesses. Ground-breaking in its innovation and daring, Michaelmas Term, a satirical city comedy, exploits and richly celebrates many of the theatrical resources of the time, including disguise, parody, dance and music.
This rarely performed city comedy is Edward’s Boys fourth staging of Middleton, following A Mad World My Masters, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside and A Trick to Catch the Old One. Not only is this the first performance by a boys’ company since its original production in around 1606, it is very probably the first production by anybody since that time.
About Edward’s Boys
Edward’s Boys, an all-boy theatre company comprising students from King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon (“Shakespeare’s School”), have received critical praise and popular success as a result of their work exploring the repertoire of the boys’ companies from the early modern period.
In the words of Professor Emma Smith, Hertford College, Oxford the Edward’s Boys Project, “is the most sustained attempt to re-imagine what we think boy companies could do – and it will really re-write the academic theatre history books.”
“Edward’s Boys are a firm fixture on the map of the English theatrical scene—and they have also changed the map of how we think about early modern theatre (not just boys’ company plays). The boys – of all ages – are simultaneously innocent and knowing in performance, keeping city comedy teetering on the brink of send-up and making revenge tragedy able to confront its own excess.”
Professor Laurie Maguire, Magdalen College, Oxford
“They are our modern day “Little Eyases”, as the companies of boy performers were referred to in Hamlet. But in fact the exercise is much more than that, and should I think be seen, as it deserves to be, in the wider context of Shakespeare study and performance worldwide…for me as a Shakespeare director, with particular interest in the repertoire of his contemporaries, these productions have proved invaluable… Forgive me for going on at length, but I think the school is producing something rather miraculous, and I suspect it is too easy for that to go unsaid.
So I am saying it.”
Gregory Doran, former Artistic Director, Royal Shakespeare Company
Tickets: £15; Concessions: £8