The Cambridge University Marlowe Society Production of 1958

  • George L. Geckle
Part of the Text and Performance book series (TEPE)


This production was the first Edward II directed by Toby Robertson (who had himself successfully played Edward II in a 1951 Cambridge A.D.C. production directed by John Barton). It starred Derek Jacobi as the King, although no one in the audience supposedly knew that fact since the casts of Marlowe Society productions traditionally maintain anonymity. The open-air production was well-received, as Gareth Lloyd Evans in the Manchester Guardian of 13 August 1958 demonstrates:

Marlowe’s lyric intensity is beautifully conveyed in the verse speaking as is the unsuspected dramatic directness of the language. The nerve-racked, hopeless love of Gaveston and Edward is intensely moving. This Gaveston is live, arrogant, and shifty like a scared terrier, but in Edward’s presence he has a fawning humility which striking against the king’s obsessive need for him creates a sense of royalty tainted and humanity degraded. He who plays Edward moves superbly from angry, petulant weakness to withered, bent dignity. He gives the king the royalty of pain withstood and the tragedy of constant frustration. Never was anonymity less justified.


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Copyright information

© George L. Geckle 1988

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  • George L. Geckle

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