THE STORY: As described in Variety, “…is of Shakespeare’s life as a young man in Stratford. Since only fragments of the poet’s life are actually known, A CRY OF PLAYERS is Gibson’s fictionalized creation, perhaps based on published conjecture. The point is, it provides superb theatre. Gibson presents young Will as the high-spirited, strong-willed, responsible husband of the eight-years-older Anne and father of the moppet Susanna and recently born twins. Despite his love for his wife, he was a dallyer with the town tarts, a carefree worker at his father’s trade and an occasional companion of poachers on the local estates. But when a troupe of itinerant actors arrived and he heard the flowery poetry of the stage, it was the siren cry of players in his ears, and he determined to be himself thereafter, even though it meant life away from home, family, comfort and security…None of this is explicitly about Shakespeare or Stratford—neither name is used, although the characters are called Will and Anne, and so on. There is no real attempt to disguise the identity of the callow, impulsive flowery-languaged young man with an articulate, impudent tongue…The audience can lend itself to a rousing tale involving vivid, believable characters in a provocative, basic situation and interesting and ultimately poignant circumstances."
A brilliant work by one of our theatre’s major playwrights, which deals with the early, troubled years of a budding poet of Avon, whose ultimate destiny will prove far greater than his hopes can conceive.
“…written with charm, grace and eloquence…” —New York Post.
“…a distinctive and entertaining play…” —Variety.
“It is a joyful noise in the house.” —The New York Times.