The Poets

Alternating moments of black comedy with bleak nihilism, ‘The Poets’ tells a startling new story about Byron and Shelley in Italy. As such it is not so much a play about Romanticism but a vision of Romanticism that incendiarises the tinder-dry facts of history.

Thus Shelley attacks not only religion but also an Abbess in a priory and contributes to the eventual death of Lord Byron. Indeed, as their relationship violently unravels in ‘The Poets’, Shelley and Byron confront us with a set of crucial dilemmas: is idealism a sickness or a cure? Is real love compatible with romance? How much, if anything, should we sacrifice in the pursuit of truth in human relationships?

In the world that the ‘The Poets’ recreates, wit is razor-sharp, vanity thin-skinned, and only a literal knife-edge ever separates love from treachery. Add to this a dissection of the nature of God and Truth in a battle between art and orthodox religion and ‘The Poets’ reveals the timeless relevance of such questions to modern consciousness currently challenged by contemporary cultural emergencies to find out exactly what it believes in.


Price: £7.95

The Poets in performance

The Poets' received its premier performance at the Bedales Olivier Theatre, Hampshire 2005, with Lucas Motion, Olivia Grant, Isobel Davids and Gabriel Bruce in leading roles.