by James Shirley
“All great men know, the soul of life is fame.”
The state of Navarre is in crisis. An unscrupulous Cardinal has the ear of the King and is hungry for power. The Duchess Rosaura longs to marry the Count D’Alvarez, but the Cardinal wants her for his brutish nephew. To tighten his grip on the Kingdom, the ruthless Cardinal will stop at nothing to secure the marriage. But in the Duchess it seems he has finally met his match…
Hailed as James Shirley’s tragic masterpiece, The Cardinal (1641) was one of the last plays staged in England before Oliver Cromwell’s ban on theatre. With remarkably lucid and fast-paced dialogue, it is the captivating story of a religious monster and his relentless pursuit of power.
Starring Stephen Boxer (King Lear, National Theatre), directed by Justin Audibert (The Jew of Malta, Royal Shakespeare Company) and produced by Troupe (After October, Flowering Cherry and The White Carnation, Finborough Theatre).
The Press on actor Stephen Boxer:
‘Stephen Boxer is superb…combining grief and courage with moments of farcical humour.’ The Telegraph on Titus Andronicus
‘Stephen Boxer’s absorbing central performance.’ The Times on Shadowlands
The Press on director Justin Audibert:
‘Justin Audibert’s exemplary period-dressed revival.’ The Telegraph on The Jew of Malta
‘Director Justin Audibert makes an RSC debut of notable confidence, offering a lively and admirably clear reading of the text.’ Evening Standard on The Jew of Malta
The Press on producer Troupe:
‘An ebullient production of infectious energy.’ Evening Standard on After October
‘It is a mystery why this play has not seen the light of day in London…engaging and fast-paced.’ The Independent on After October