The Rose Playhouse

A Zoom event beginning at 7.00 pm

Delighted to offer us a 'first', Re-Shake Theatre are visiting us again with a performance of The Tragedie of Gorboduc, specially adapted and introduced by Prof. Ken Pickering for this online event. The evening will feature a performance of the abridged play by Lizzie Willis and Doug Gardiner, followed by a Q&A session.  

Written by Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville, sometimes known as Ferrex & Porrex and first published in 1561, The Tragedie of Gorboduc, an overtly political play, was performed for both the public and Queen Elizabeth I quite early in her reign. It is a drama of great historical importance, because it is both England's first true history play and the first English play to utilise blank verse. It is often said to have been written in direct imitation of Seneca.

With later echoes in Hamlet and King Lear, and family power struggles, including many of those in Shakespeare’s history plays, it rivals any of our modern soap operas.

Join us for what promises to be a unique evening.


Re-Shake Theatre

ReShake Theatre is the company-in-residence at St Mary's Arts Centre, Sandwich, Kent. The company was formed by Doug Gardiner and Lizzie Willis, whose aim is to produce innovative versions of Shakespeare and other classic plays at the Centre and beyond. Re-Shake was formed after several years of collaboration with other companies and individuals, including the RSC’s Associate, Michael Corbidge.

Other productions include an acclaimed, unique, yet faithful version of Macbeth inspired by tales of feudal Japan, and Marlowe's Women in association with Ken Pickering, Sally Elkerton and The Marlowe Society, which they shared with The (Virtual) Rose in May 2020. They have also provided many workshops with industry professionals for the local community and surrounding areas.

For further information, please take a look at our Facebook page or email us: reshaketheatre@gmail.com.

Ken Pickering

Ken retired as Chair of The Marlowe Society two years ago, but is still, happily, a guiding hand. Early in his career, he was the very first examiner of GSCE drama and was then heavily involved in music and drama therapy. Ken became Professor of Communications Arts at Gonzaga University, USA and Chief Examiner for Speech, Drama and Communications at the London College of Music and at Trinity and Guildhall Schools. He is now Hon. Professor of Drama at the University of Kent. Ken is well known as one of the foremost directors of large-scale medieval dramas. He has added to his impressive publications list with his most recent book, Monologues from Early Modern Drama.


Tickets are £10 and can be booked through TryBooking by clicking here. You will receive a link to this Zoom event via email. Any additional contributions for The Rose Playhouse will be much appreciated and go towards funding the Rose Revealed Project.

Please note that booking for this event will close at 6.00 pm on 16 February.

The Rose is an indoor archaeological site; it is advisable to dress warmly because there is no heating. There are no toilets, so please use those at Shakespeare’s Globe, which is 200 metres away.

Booking Information

Box Office

020 7261 9565