‘Equivocation’ toys with Shakespeare
CHICAGO – “Equivocation,” a play by Bill Cain about how tricky it is for a playwright to prevail against outside forces demanding he be footloose with the truth, has made a fascinating Chicago premiere at Victory Gardens Theater.
In this case the writer is none other than William Shagspeare (a/k/a Shakespeare), and he’s under intense pressure by Sir Robert Cecil, an emissary of King James, to accept a commission to tell the “true story” – by which he means the sanitized “official version” – about the treasonous Gunpowder Plot masterminded by Guy Fawkes that was intended to kill the royal family and members of parliament.
The new play is due in two weeks and Shag, as he’s nicknamed, tries to get out of it, insisting, “I’m not for sale” and, furthermore, current events just aren’t done on the stage – at least not in 1605. “We do histories. True histories of the past.”
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