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THE WOMAN IN THE MOON at The Rose Playhouse

The Woman In The MoonNew theatre company The Dolphin’s Back presents John Lyly’s astrological sex comedy THE WOMAN IN THE MOON at The Rose Playhouse, Bankside, the first professional production of the play in four hundred years.

Newly formed theatre company The Dolphin’s Back presents The Woman in the Moon – an astrological sex comedy by Renaissance playwright John Lyly, directed by James Wallace, at the Rose Playhouse, Bankside from 16th September to 4th October 2014. First performed before Queen Elizabeth I around 1590, this is the first professional run in 400 years of this neglected but extraordinary dream-play by John Lyly, the first great playwright of the Elizabethan theatre.

Mixing astrology, myth, magic and farce, The Woman in the Moon is set in Utopia, where Lyly boldly rewrites Genesis – here the supreme creator is female, Nature herself. When four shepherds beg for a mate, she breathes life into the first woman, Pandora. Jealous of her excellence, the seven Planets take turns to revenge themselves on her while she is pursued by the four love-struck men, causing chaos.

Bella Heesom stars as Pandora, one of the largest and the most extraordinary parts in Renaissance drama. John Lyly (c1553 – 1606), was the most successful writer of his day and the leading playwright of the 1580’s. Scholar, wit, courtier, satirist, pamphleteer, politician, he is nearly completely forgotten today. All of his eight surviving plays were performed before Elizabeth I, as well as at the indoor theatres at Blackfriars and St Paul’s. He is Shakespeare’s biggest influence for comedy, and Shakespeare’s own A Midsummer Night’s Dream owes a lot to this fast paced comedy, where human desire and supernatural forces collide.

The Dolphin’s Back is a new theatre company committed to rescuing forgotten plays and bringing them back into contemporary performance. Founder and director James Wallace has spent sixteen years working with Shakespeare’s Globe on their Read Not Dead project, which presents public staged readings of little or unknown plays by Shakespeare’s contemporaries. Wallace has directed over fifty forgotten treasures of Early Modern theatre, including this one, which he also took to last year’s Glastonbury Festival. This is a return to the Rose for Wallace, who directed England’s first professional run in four centuries of Christopher Marlowe’s The Massacre at Paris at the venue in March 2014, to critical acclaim.

The Dolphin’s Back presents The Woman in the Moon, Written by John Lyly
Directed by James Wallace Tuesday 16th September – Saturday 4th October 2014
Tuesdays – Saturdays at 7.30pm, Sundays at 3pm
Running time 90 minutes
Tickets – Full £12 / Cons £10 (Friends of the Rose, OAP, Student or Equity. £9 Southwark resident)
Purchase online at www.rosetheatre.org.uk or telephone The Rose Playhouse box-office: 020 7621 9565
The Rose Playhouse, Bankside
56 Park Street, London SE1 9AR
+44 (0)20 7261 956

Thursday 28th August 2014


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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