Christopher Marlowe’s play Edward II, written in the 1590s plays fast and loose with the history of that king, the subject of one of our final-year special subjects. The student company Drame Fatale are currently reaching the end of a short tun of performance at the Oxford Playhouse, the play staged against a 1980s brutalist concrete background.
Queen Isabelle, Edward II and Peter Gaveston (Rosa Garland, Calam Lynch and Sam Liu): acknowledgments to Drame Fatale and Daniel Kim.
Thursday’s matinee performance was followed by a roundtable at Worcester College, “Edward II and ‘Edward II’ – Breaking New Ground,” which involved Oxford scholars and students, Professor Sir Jonathan Bate, Professor Emma Smith, and the play’s director, Charlotte Vickers, and Dr Philip Morgan from Keele. The discussion considered issues about the politics and literary contexts of the 1590s as well as the early fourteenth century, and the 1980s.
The play finishes its run on Saturday 28 January. Set, sound and lighting design were terrific, and the gender-blind casting (Edward II’s brother becomes his sister, and the archbishop of Canterbury is a woman) was delivered by some fine acting.