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William Shakespeare: An Invention in Four Acts cover art

William Shakespeare: An Invention in Four Acts

Written by: Clemence Dane
Narrated by: Anna Grace, Tom Saer, Grace Garrett, Andy Harrington, Leanne Yau, Linda Barrans, Sarah Mitchell
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Publisher's Summary

Performed by The Online Stage

This play is a fictionalized account of the life of William Shakespeare, beginning from his humble origins in Stratford-upon-Avon with his wife, Anne Hathaway, to his life as a successful playwright in London. This play uses several biographical speculations about Shakespeare's life to tell a fascinating tale, such as his relationship with his wife (to whom he famously left his "second-best bed" in his will), his friendship with fellow playwright and competitor Christopher Marlowe, his interactions with Queen Elizabeth I, and even an extramarital dalliance with the queen's maid of honor, the two-timing temptress Mary Fitton (who is speculated to be the "Dark Lady" to whom Shakespeare refers in his sonnets).

Clemence Dane is the nom de plume of Winifred Ashton, an English novelist and playwright, who is best known for her novel Regiment of Women and once won an Academy Award for best story.


Narrator - Anna Grace

William Shakespeare - Tom Saer

Anne Hathaway - Grace Garrett

Christopher Marlowe - Andy Harrington

Mary Fitton - Leanne Yau

Queen Elizabeth - Linda Barrans

Mrs. Hathaway - Sarah Mitchell

Henslowe - Alan Weyman

Child - Becca Maggie

Landlord - Graham Scott

Hawker - Craig Franklin

Drinking Man - Mark Crowle-Groves

Public Domain (P)2021 The Online Stage

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