To W.H. is a play that examines the potential sexuality of William Shakespeare and the identity of "W.H." who has been referred to a number of times in Shakespeare's work.The play was written by Stuart Draper, directed by Anton Krause and first played in Hobgoblin Pub Theatre in London in spring 2006.
The play has received a great deal of attention, due both to its playwright/actor and because of its content. The British Theatre Guide wrote, "Funny and poignant, To WH takes the audience through Shakespeare's life, from his first ill-fated meeting with WH, to his death in Stratford. Punctuated by blues-style renditions of the sonnets from the Dark Lady herself, To WH finally bangs the nail into the coffin of Shakespeare's heterosexuality",while The Stage reviewed and wrote, "Anton Krause’s production is rather rough around the edges but it’s performed with warmth and humour". Indie London opined, "To W.H. combines the soul and passion of Shakespeare’s sonnets (the majority of which were written to a Mr W.H.) with the exuberance and bawdiness that characterise his most exciting comedies.", while the UK Theatre Web writes, "Stuart Draper has written a pacy romp which interlaces a large amount of Shakespeare’s writing...", and "Draper plays Shakespeare with gusto, delighting in the fact that, like the bard, what’s the point if the playwright doesn’t give himself the best parts? Alongside his clowning and wit, he shows the loneliness and despair to give a rounded character"
Christopher Marlowe, also known as Kit Marlowe, was an English playwright, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. Marlowe is among the most famous of the Elizabethan playwrights. Based upon the "many imitations" of his play Tamburlaine, modern scholars consider him to have been the foremost dramatist in London in the years just before his mysterious early death. Some scholars also believe that he greatly influenced William Shakespeare, who was baptised in the same year as Marlowe and later succeeded him as the pre-eminent Elizabethan playwright. Marlowe was the first to achieve critical reputation for his use of blank verse, which became the standard for the era. His plays are distinguished by their overreaching protagonists. Themes found within Marlowe's literary works have been noted as humanistic with realistic emotions, which some scholars find difficult to reconcile with Marlowe's "anti-intellectualism" and his catering to the prurient tastes of his Elizabethan audiences for generous displays of extreme physical violence, cruelty, and bloodshed.
The Oxfordian theory of Shakespeare authorship contends that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, wrote the plays and poems of William Shakespeare. While historians and literary scholars overwhelmingly reject alternative authorship candidates, including Oxford, public interest in the Oxfordian theory continues. Since the 1920s, the Oxfordian theory has been the most popular alternative Shakespeare authorship theory.
Sir Tom Stoppard is a Czech-born British playwright and screenwriter. He has written for film, radio, stage, and television, finding prominence with plays. His work covers the themes of human rights, censorship, and political freedom, often delving into the deeper philosophical thematics of society. Stoppard has been a playwright of the National Theatre and is one of the most internationally performed dramatists of his generation. Stoppard was knighted for his contribution to theatre by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997.
William Shakespeare was an English playwright, poet and actor. He is regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including collaborations, consist of some 39 plays, 154 sonnets, three long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. He remains arguably the most influential writer in the English language, and his works continue to be studied and reinterpreted.
William Shakespeare (1564–1616) wrote sonnets on a variety of themes. When discussing or referring to Shakespeare's sonnets, it is almost always a reference to the 154 sonnets that were first published all together in a quarto in 1609. However, there are six additional sonnets that Shakespeare wrote and included in the plays Romeo and Juliet, Henry V and Love's Labour's Lost. There is also a partial sonnet found in the play Edward III.
Frances J. de Lautour, better known as Frances de la Tour, is an English actress. She is known for her role as Miss Ruth Jones in the television sitcom Rising Damp from 1974 until 1978. She is a Tony Award winner and three-time Olivier Award winner.
Juliet Anne Virginia Stevenson, is an English actor of stage and screen. She is known for her role in the film Truly, Madly, Deeply (1991), for which she was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Her other film appearances include Emma (1996), Bend It Like Beckham (2002), Mona Lisa Smile (2003), Being Julia (2004) and Infamous (2006).
Elizabethan literature refers to bodies of work produced during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603), and is one of the most splendid ages of English literature. In addition to drama and the theatre, it saw a flowering of poetry, with new forms like the sonnet, the Spenserian stanza, and dramatic blank verse, as well as prose, including historical chronicles, pamphlets, and the first English novels. Major writers include William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, Christopher Marlowe, Richard Hooker, Ben Jonson, Philip Sidney, and Thomas Kyd.
Sonnet 13 is one of 154 sonnets written by the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare. It is a procreation sonnet within the Fair Youth sequence.
Sonnet 20 is one of the best-known of 154 sonnets written by the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare. Part of the Fair Youth sequence, the subject of the sonnet is widely interpreted as being male, thereby raising questions about the sexuality of its author. In this sonnet the beloved's beauty is compared to both a man's and a woman's.
Sonnet 23 is one of a sequence of 154 sonnets written by the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare, and is a part of the Fair Youth sequence.
Stuart B Draper is a British actor, playwright and theatre director. He attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and graduated from Durham University, and teaches at the South London Theatre.
Hamnet Shakespeare was the only son of William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway, and the fraternal twin of Judith Shakespeare. He died aged 11. Some Shakespearean scholars speculate on the relationship between Hamnet and his father's later play Hamlet, as well as on possible connections between Hamnet's death and the writing of King John, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, and Twelfth Night.
David Eldridge is a British dramatist and screenwriter, born in Romford, Greater London, United Kingdom. His plays have been produced in the West End and on Broadway. He has written for stage, screen and radio.
Shakespeare's influence extends from theater and literatures to present-day movies, Western philosophy, and the English language itself. William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the history of the English language, and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He transformed European theatre by expanding expectations about what could be accomplished through innovation in characterization, plot, language and genre. Shakespeare's writings have also impacted many notable novelists and poets over the years, including Herman Melville, Charles Dickens, and Maya Angelou, and continue to influence new authors even today. Shakespeare is the most quoted writer in the history of the English-speaking world after the various writers of the Bible; many of his quotations and neologisms have passed into everyday usage in English and other languages. According to Guinness Book of World Records Shakespeare remains the world’s best-selling playwright, with sales of his plays and poetry believed to have achieved in excess of four billion copies in the over 400 years since his death. He is also the third most translated author in history.
Sonnet 109 is one of 154 sonnets written by the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare. It's a member of the Fair Youth sequence, in which the poet expresses his love towards a young man.
Gretchen Egolf is an American theater, film and television actress.
Don Nigro is an American playwright; his plays Anima Mundi and The Dark Sonnets of the Lady have both been nominated for the National Repertory Theatre Foundation's National Play Award. He has won a Playwright's Fellowship Grant from the National Endowment For The Arts, grants from the Mary Roberts Rinehart Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council, and twice been James Thurber Writer In Residence at the Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio.
Theatre of United Kingdom plays an important part in British culture, and the countries that constitute the UK have had a vibrant tradition of theatre since the Renaissance with roots going back to the Roman occupation.
The Nevillean theory of Shakespeare authorship contends that the English parliamentarian and diplomat Henry Neville (1564–1615) wrote the plays and poems traditionally attributed to William Shakespeare.