Shakespeare. William Shakespeare.

Vortigern And Rowena

BBC Radio 4 comedy drama. 1 episode in 2010. Stars Lorcan Cranitch, Alex Jennings, Rufus Wright, Ben Crowe, Bruce Alexander, Joanna Monro, Alison Pettitt and David Seddon.

Press Clippings

In 1796, hoping to cash in on public interest in a "lost" Shakespeare play said to have been found in an attic, Richard Brinsley Sheridan had outbid Covent Garden to stage Vortigern and Rowena at his own Drury Lane theatre. Melissa Murray's comedy follows in a fine Radio 4 tradition of tales of historic thespian folk with a backstage account of the play's first (and only) night. Here is Sheridan, peering at his sozzled nose in the mirror; the great actor Kemble, portrayed with just enough 18th-century luvvieness by Alex Jennings; and the cast and crew who know that if the play fails they won't get paid. The performance was a sell-out, for as Sheridan had observed to Kemble, "every Englishman considers himself as good a judge of Shakespeare as of his pint of porter". And he was right.

Laurence Joyce, Radio Times, 3rd March 2010

Melissa Murray's witty play, based on a true story, is about how Richard Brinsley Sheridan (played by Lorcan Cranitch) is, in 1796, a producer down on his luck, needing some. He's been offered the find of a lifetime, a lost play by Shakespeare about an ancient British king and queen. His star, John Philip Kemble (brilliantly played by Alex Jennings) has agreed to take the lead. But what's this? The young man who claims to have "discovered" the play, William Henry Ireland (Rufus Wright) seems suspiciously familiar with the text.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 3rd March 2010