‘a highly entertaining success for the Hope theatre’
In its sixth in-house production, the Hope Theatre presents the world premiere of Robin Hooper’s ‘Foul Pages,’ a comedic and beguiling look at the backstage squabbles and sexual politics preceding a performance of Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’.
It’s 1603, and Sir Walter Raleigh is imprisoned for treason. His lover, Mary Sidney, invites William Shakespeare – the ‘Poet’ – and his players to Wilton House to perform for the new King, James I, in the hopes that he will take mercy on Raleigh and release him. But as the king quickly becomes infatuated with one of the boys, jealousies manifest offstage, leading to a near fatal conclusion.
This is a rollicking comedy with a big heart, exploring love, gender politics and the art of the stage. Excellently performed by a tight ensemble, with James King as Mary’s dog, Chop, deserving a special mention for his impressive physicality: the comedic timing all round is on point, and Parker’s direction shows invention, and a great respect for the writer’s material.
Highly entertaining, Hooper’s play is an amusing delight, especially for Shakespeare fans, and another success for the Hope Theatre.
Editor’s Note: You can read our interview with the writer of FOUL PAGES, Robin Hooper, here
FOUL PAGES by Robin Hooper
The Hope Theatre, Islington 20 Feb - 17 Mar 2018
Reviewer Dionne Farrell currently works in Television and Film production, with a real passion for theatre. When not spectating, she is either performing with a local am-dram group, or trying to write for the stage!