CAST King Edward II

Cape Ann Shakespeare Troupe’s spring production is Christopher Marlowe’s history drama “King Edward II,” The troublesome regime and lamentable death of Edward the Second, King of England, with the tragic fall of proud Mortimer. Well, no problem with spoilers here since the story of this fourteenth-century queer king was well-known to Elizabethan audiences. The play was first performed in 1593 and proved very successful with the educated upper class seated in the galleries and the groundlings standing in the pit.

Unfortunately, the twenty-nine-year-old author did not do as well as his creation. He died from a knife wound received that same year in an altercation shrouded in mysterious circumstances. Marlowe, who lived openly as a homosexual and atheist, had as complicated a life as his kingly subject.

The play opens with news of the death of King Edward I, and his son, Edward II, recalling his banished favorite/lover, Piers Gaveston, home from exile. This did not go over well with the powerful English barons, Edward’s peers, nor his wife, Queen Isabella. The peers threatened, and Isabella pleaded, but King Edward proved unrelenting, and the result was a civil war that left most of the factions beheaded, stabbed, or hanged leaving young Prince Edward to be crowned Edward III.

“King Edward II” will be performed at the historic Annisquam Village Hall, 34 Leonard Street, Gloucester April 27 – 30 and May 4 – 7; Thursdays Saturdays 7:30 PM, Sundays 3 PM. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for seniors, and $10 for students available at the door or reserved at eventbtite.com.

Not recommended for those under 15 years of age.

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