Equivocation - Stuff That Happens In The Play

An unforgettable play ensues...


Stuff that Happens Before the Play .  .  .
• A group of Catholics, supposedly led by Robert Catesby, attempts to assassinate King James by digging a tunnel under Parliament, filling it with explosives, and blowing up Parliament.  This is known as the Gunpowder Plot.

Stuff that Happens in the Play .  .  .
• The vastly powerful Secretary of State, Sir Robert Cecil, commissions popular playwright William Shagspeare (Shag) to write a play for King James about the Gunpowder Plot.

• Shag interrupts his actors (Nathan Field, Robert Armin, Richard Burbage, Edward Sharpe) in a scene, and they all argue about writing such a controversial piece, but agree Shag is “the man for the job.”

• Shag begins to write but is interrupted by his daughter, Judith.  Their relationship has been rocky since the death of her twin brother.

• Shag and the actors work through a scene focusing on Jesuit priest and conspirator Henry Garnet, but all recognize it doesn’t quite seem to work. When Shag discusses the play with Cecil, Shag begins to have suspicions about the Plot.

• Shag interviews Thomas Wintour, one of the conspirators from the Plot. Wintour reveals that Cecil gave him the Gunpowder for the Plot, that there is a secret room under Parliament, and that Henry Garnet was never in on the plan.

• Shag pities Wintour, who can’t even write a letter because his hands are injured, and writes a letter to Wintour’s wife.

• Burbage insists performing the play is far too risky. Cecil shows up to the Globe with a copy of the new script in hand, insinuating Shag may have a mole, and announces Wintour’s execution.

• As Shag begins to unravel the secrets behind the Gunpowder Plot, his company starts to fall apart.  He must learn to tell the story without telling the truth -- to equivocate.

• Betrayal, discovery, and an unforgettable play ensue.

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