Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Top Ten Reasons to see a performance of Edward IV by Thomas Heywood

#1) The play fictionalizes the exuberance and wanton ways of "The Playboy King". With fifteen plus (alleged) children to his name, you should see this play if only to count the amount of women Edward kisses.

#2) The play’s subtitle reads like a cheap novella. See the play to decide for yourself if the Bastard Falconbridge deserves such small type.

The First And
 Second Partes of King Edward
 The Fourth
His mery pastime with the Tanner of Tamworth
as also his loue to faire Mistrisse Shoare,
her great promotion, fall and miserie,
and lastly the lamentable death
of both her and her hus-

Likewise the besieging of London, by the Bastard
Falconbridge, and the valiant defence of
the same by the Lord Maior and
the Cittizens.

#3) Thomas Heywood penned at least another 219 plays. If you like this one, you'll have a whole new canon of plays to explore.

#4) A crying Executioner? How often are we treated to sights like that in the theatre? Come to experience one of the plays most moving moments as a Headsman grows a conscience.

#5) It has a sequel which has already been written. Unlike "Game of Thrones" you don't have to wait five years to find out what happens next.

#6) Because the sentence "I's quite your gudeness with a bonny nag, sall swum away so deftly as the wind" makes more sense when spoken by an actor than when you have to read it on your own.

#7) Historically, London was indeed besieged by rebels and yet managed to repel them. You need to watch this play to fully grasp the finer points of their defense strategy.

#8) Come and see what Shakespeare's Richard III really means when he says that Edward IV "capers nimbly in a lady's chamber to the lascivious pleasing of a lute".

#9) It is a play which expertly skirts the line between comedy and tragedy.

#10) If none of the above reasons entice, think on this- you might never see it produced anywhere again because it's that obscure.
This might be your very last chance to see Edward IV, Part I.


Sybille Bruun
Executive Director
The Shakespeare Forum