Who really wrote Hamlet?
That is the question!
Could it possibly have been the work of an untravelled, unschooled, tax-dodging grain-merchant, who could barely sign his own name?
Or was Gulielmus Shakspere a cover for a secret writer, whose life seems to be reflected in his works and who was a true and tragic Soul of the Age?
With a brilliant script and a five-star performance from award-winning actor George Dillon, The Man Who Was Hamlet reveals the comical, tragical and utterly scandalous history of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, the courtier, swordsman, adventurer, playwright and poet who many believe was the true author of the works of 'William Shake-speare'.
subtle, spellbinding , compelling,
charismatic, wry and moving.”
Worth seeing both as
education and entertainment.”
by a fantastically talented actor.
“Easily one of
the best shows on the fringe.
“It’s easy to see why
have made him the toast
of the Edinburgh Festival.”
British Theatre Guide
“One of the most compelling
performances I have seen
at the festival.”
“O God! What a wounded name, Things standing thus unknown, I leave behind me! In this harsh world draw thy breath in pain, To tell my story!”
Hamlet / Edward de Vere
Who really wrote Hamlet? Could it possibly have been the work of a barely literate Stratford grain merchant and money lender? Or was it really the dramatic autobiography of a disgraced and disgraceful nobleman?
THE MAN WHO WAS HAMLET, written and performed by George Dillon, tells the comical, tragical, romantic and utterly scandalous history of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, the leading alternative candidate for the authorship of the works of ‘William Shakespeare’.
Most people accept the fairy-tale story of ‘the man from Stratford’ - an unschooled glove-maker’s son who abandoned his shrewish wife to become a player and upstart writer in London and made a fortune before he retired to idleness and litigation, leaving his second best bed to his wife in his will. But what most people don't know is that there is actually very little evidence to connect the merchant of Stratford, William Shaksper (sic), with the poetic works attributed to him.
But who was Edward de Vere?
A brilliant but disgraceful aristocrat whose life and character strikingly echo Shakespeare’s most famous character, Edward de Vere was a courtier, swordsman, adventurer, playwright and poet, who killed a servant, made love to Queen Elizabeth, abandoned his wife, got his mistress with child, was maimed in a duel, travelled in Italy, was captured by pirates, fought the Armada, was imprisoned in the Tower of London, kept two companies of players, but disappeared from history for fifteen years before he died virtually bankrupt. In youth he was hailed as the best of the secret court writers, especially for comedy, but no plays bearing his name have survived and his poetry suddenly stopped after the first invention of... 'William Shake-speare'.
So was de Vere the inspiration and role model for Hamlet... or was he really the author?
The dying Dane’s last words summon from hell the ghost of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, to draw his breath in pain, tell his own story and restore his wounded name in George Dillon’s seventh solo show THE MAN WHO WAS HAMLET, with original music by Charlotte Glasson, directed by Denise Evans.
“This actor, on the stage for an hour and a half, gave one of the most compelling performances I have seen at the festival. I've known George for many years and this performance is amongst the best I have seen - a lesson in the art of acting for any up and coming thespians.”
“MUST SEE! A clever script... a masterful performance!”
“ Truly masterly... amazing... wicked!”
FringeReview (in Edinburgh)
“ Transporting, subtle, spellbinding and human... It's very cleverly done... a fascinating play... compelling, charismatic, wry and moving.”
“ Excellent one-man show... wonderful acting... great wit and wonderful gags... worth seeing both as education and entertainment.”
“This exceptional piece of theatre entrances the audience from the beginning. A gripping Shakespearean performance by a fantastically talented actor.
“ Easily one of the best shows of the Fringe... cannot be admired, complimented and recommended more.”
“ Absorbing and thought-provoking... the evening's a romp, and a clever one.”
“ An engrossing solo show well worth one’s time and attention.”
“It’s easy to see why Dillon’s performances have made him the toast of the Edinburgh Festival... direct and absorbing... A virtuoso display of dramatic range.”
British Theatre Guide
"A big production in a small
theatre and a cut above your average one-man show."
"An exciting piece of writing, witty and sharp, ironic, comedic and sometimes philosophical and, as usual, a masterclass in delivery and individual performance."
"Makes a good drama even without the Shakespeare theory."
"A thought-provoking evening to anyone with even a passing interest in Shakespeare and an enquiring mind."
"Very imaginitive... brilliantly scripted, the writing is witty and extremely well researched... Dillon's performance is excellent... keeps the audience engaged throughout even if you have only a passing interest in Shakespeare."
"A man. A stage. A time for perfect theatre... An evening of theatrical pleasure that leaves you inspired."
For hi res images, suitable for publication, click here.
www.doubtaboutwill.org (Sign the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt!)
The Sussex Rapier School
George Dillon's Tour Dates
(as of Friday, 10 July 2020)