Five Reasons To See ... Bloody Poetry
Date: 1 February 2012
Howard Brenton’s Bloody Poetry is currently being revived at Jermyn Street Theatre, where it continues until 25 February. The play is the story of the Romantic writers Byron and Bysshe and Mary Shelley: the genius, the agony and the ecstasy. Here, the company give us five reasons to go along…
1. An incredible true story
The play tells the true story of the lives and loves of the Romantic writers Bysshe and Mary Shelley, Mary’s step-sister Claire Clairemont, and the legendary Lord Byron. In the summer of 1816 this creative and brilliant quartet set up a commune by the shores of Lake Geneva: all rules of society were broken, and the four inspired each other to write, live, and love as freely as they wanted. The play follows the characters from Switzerland to London and Venice as they follow their dreams.
2. One of our favourite writers.
Bloody Poetry is widely regarded as one of Howard Brenton’s finest, funniest, sexiest and most accessible plays. Brenton won the Whatsonstage.com Best New Play Award a year ago for Anne Boleyn, and he’s written dozens of award-winning plays for the NT and Royal Court. He was also responsible for many of the early series of the BAFTA-winning Spooks on TV, and Bloody Poetry is a fast, furious, freewheeling play which celebrates the bravery and passion of an incredible group of people. Many people think it’s his best work.
3. Byron – the greatest romantic hero of them all.
David Sturzaker, who plays Byron, is about to play Henry VIII in Howard Brenton’s Anne Boleyn. But meanwhile he is busy bringing to life one of the greatest romantic heroes of all time. Lord Byron, ‘mad, bad, and dangerous to know’, was maybe the most famous man in Europe at the time of the play. His poetry was scandalous and brilliant, but his life was even more outrageous: he had love affairs with men and women including his own sister, Augusta.
4. Frankenstein’s monster brought to life.
It was while living by Lake Geneva that Mary Shelley dreamt up the story of Dr Frankenstein – modelled on her lover Shelley – and his monster, whom he creates and brings to life with electricity. Bloody Poetry tells the famous story of the night of ghost stories when the monster came to life…
5. An acclaimed company and theatre.
Primavera’s productions under their director Tom Littler have been widely praised. In 2009, Saturday Night transferred to the West End on the back of rave reviews, and recently the Evening Standard said: ‘Tom Littler and his ambitious production company Primavera are names to follow.’ The pocket-sized powerhouse of Jermyn Street Theatre was recently named The Stage’s Best Fringe Theatre 2012.
Find out more at www.bloodypoetry.com