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Edward II Dramatized

 


 

Edward II's story has been depicted as a stage play and as a ballet and has inspired an opera-in-progress. Here are some of the dramatic representations I've run across. As always, if there's something I've missed, I'd love to hear about it.

 

Christopher Marlowe

The most famous telling of the story of Edward II, of course, is that of Christopher Marlowe.  There are numerous editions of his plays available, but if you can't wait to get started, here's an online version of Edward II, edited by Peter Farey.

 

In 1969, Ian McKellen starred in an acclaimed performance of Marlowe's play. The performance was taped for television and is available on videocassette in some libraries.  Some details of the production can be found on IMDb. Why hasn't this been made commercially available?

 

Derek Jarman adapted the Marlowe play, very loosely, for the cinema in 1991. The film is more about twentieth-century sexual politics than a medieval king, and you'll either love it or hate it.  It does have the merit of being widely available on DVD and on videocassette. Here's the IMDb page for the movie.

 

Interested in learning more about Christopher Marlowe? Here's a link to the Marlowe Society.

 

Pressed for time and wanting a chuckle? Here's a 15-minute version of the Marlowe play by a blogger named Neadods.

 

Bertolt Brecht

In the German playwright's 1924 adaptation of the Marlowe play, Gaveston is a butcher's son. Here's a website from the International Brecht Society with more information about Brecht.

 

Maurice Druon

Here's a link to a 2005 adaptation for French television of Maurice Druon's series of novels Les Rois Maudits. See some stills of Edward II and Isabella as portrayed by actors and improve your website French by following instructions like "Cliquez ici."

 

Charles Grindrod

His 1883 Plays from English History (try looking for it on Google Books if this link doesn't work) includes "Edward II," starting with the calls for banishment of the Despensers and ending with the downfall of Mortimer. Isabella bewails that she is "neglected for these miserable boys," prompting Mortimer to vow, "Those wrongs shall be avenged!"

 

Hugh Ross Williamson

Author of Rose and Glove, a 1934 play about Edward II and Gaveston where Margaret de Clare, Gaveston's wife, is the leading lady.

 

John McCabe

Marlowe's play has also inspired a ballet, scored by John McCabe. Here's his website.  There's also a CD of the ballet.

 

Scott Eric Smith

Here's a link to an opera on Edward II (a work in progress) by Scott Eric Smith. It seems to be based on the Marlowe play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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