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I Am Shakespeare! Mark Rylance and friends bring the bard back at Brunel

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Oscar-winner Sir Mark Rylance brought the house down at Brunel last night with a special reading of his play I Am Shakespeare. 

Supported by a cast of his friends and family, the packed-house performance was the first public reading of the play in over a decade.

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Sir Mark, a former Artistic Director at the Globe Theatre, was joined onstage by a cast of family and friends

Set in a Maidstone garage, I Am Shakespeare tells the tale of Frank Charlton, an English teacher who runs a rarely-watched online webcast in which he explores the Shakespearean authorship question.

One night, live on air, he’s visited by William Shakespeare, who seeks to convince Frank that it was indeed he who wrote the works which bear his name.

But before the bard can finish making his case, he’s joined in turn by Sir Francis Bacon, Edward De Vere and Mary Sidney, who each try to convince Frank it was in fact they that, at least in part, penned the plays.

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Shakespeare was joined in Frank's garage by Edward De Vere, the Earl of Oxford, and Mary Sidney, the Countess of Pembroke, played by Juliet Rylance, Sir Mark's stepdaughter

Asked at the end who they thought was responsible for the works, the audience – who were invited to call in to Frank’s webcast throughout the show – was split between Mary Sidney, the Countess of Pembroke, and the bard himself.

The performance of Sir Mark’s play was part of a Brunel’s public Shakespeare Week, which concludes tonight with the debate “Brexit, Trump and The Bard’s legacy: do Shakespeare’s plays still matter?”

For tickets, please visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/brexit-trump-and-the-bards-legacy-do-shakespeares-plays-still-matter-tickets-44029006945

Reported by:

Tim Pilgrim, Media Relations
+44 (0)1895 268965
tim.pilgrim@brunel.ac.uk