Shakespeare in Love meets The Breakfast Club in this recent play from bestselling author (and B&B patron!) Linda Needham. The year is 1642, the eve of the English Civil War, and the Puritan Parliament has officially denounced stageplays as ‘… spectacles of lascivious Mirth and Levity,’ closed down the theatres, and condemned actors as ‘rogues and vagabonds.’ Backstage at The Merrie Fool, a fictional theater in civil-war-torn London, a group of strong-willed young women and spirited young men – all of whom are rapidly approaching adulthood – are hell-bent on personal triumphs, and unaware of the obstacles heading their way.
Though breaching the new law may bring dire consequences, each character mounts their own private and ever more public rebellion against family, friends and enemies of the state. Recklessly resourceful, and keenly impassioned in their disparate causes, each faces issues that are just as relevant to young people in today’s political and social climate: freedom of expression, feminism, intolerance, individualism. Loyalties are tested and expectations mature as the young people confront their own fears and form unexpected alliances against unanticipated enemies… and learn that tolerance, just like friendship and honor, is a two-way street.