A few years ago, I wrote a rather unusual–not to say odd!–piece of writing called Shakespeare’s Last Play, which is a mix of play and novella, set in Stratford, in the last year of Shakespeare’s life. Knowing it was unlikely to attract the interest of publishers, I published it myself as a short e-book through my PressBooks site. It’s available there for reading, free, on a Creative Commons license.
I re-read it the other day and thought it was worthwhile drawing readers’ attention to it again. Here’s the introduction:
I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that in the last few years of his life, Shakespeare retired to his native Stratford and to all intents and purposes never wrote another play, at least not under his own name(there is some indication he may have collaborated with others.) What makes such a great writer, so driven, imaginative and very much a part of London theatre life, suddenly fall silent? What might his life have been like, in those final years at Stratford? These questions, and reading somewhere that not long before Shakespeare’s death, his writer friends Ben Jonson and Michael Drayton and theatre manager John Hemmings visited him in Stratford, were the inspiration for this book.
I chose to write it in an unusual format, half novella, half play, as a way of evoking an atmosphere half-way between the page and the theatre.
You can read the full work here.
Some nice news this week from the Australian Script Centre, which is a wonderful digital repository and shopfront for plays from all over Australia: The Green Prince, the play I co-wrote in 2001 with Christopher Ross-Smith, based on my fantasy novel of the same name, made a few sales in 2014, enough to earn some small but unexpected royalties! It was so much fun and yet such a challenge to write that play, and it was such a wonderful experience to see it in production back then! I’m so pleased that it continues to have a life.
Producers and directors whether professional or amateur are most welcome to go over to the Australian Script Centre and take a look at the play! Would work well as a film too. 🙂 Just sayin’.
Here’s the blurb:
Jack Fisher, an orphan growing up in a small riverside village, is feared and hated because of his webbed limbs and his talent for singing fish out of the water. When he is beaten and left for dead on the riverbank, he is rescued by a strange, puckish creature, Shellycoat, and the merman Vagan. They tell Jack that he has been chosen as the Champion of the Green Kingdom, destined to fight Grimlow, Lord of the Abyss. And thus begins Jack’s enchanted, terrifying, action-packed journey into the lands under the water.
And if you’re interested in checking out the tribute page on Facebook to the original production of the Green Prince, back in 2001, take a look here.