I told you about the MOOC on the future of storytelling, didn’t I?
Last week’s creative challenge was to make up a character, and give him or her an online life. So Emma was born, and she has a blog, where she babbles about her obsession for Christopher Marlowe…
Amongst other things, she’s posted about Jospehine Preston Peabody’s play – the one I mentioned here. So I thought I’d make use of her post to explain things a little.
I first came across this play on Questia, of all places, and I love it: it is a quaint affair in blank verse, with perhaps the most likeable fictional Kit I ever found. JPP is unashamedly in love with her hero – and yet, she doesn’t make him too annoyingly perfect. All right, it could be argued that he is a rather idealized Marlowe, but bear in mind the play was written long before most of what are now key Marlowe documents were dug out. So Aunt Josephine writes a fiery, moody, aspiring young man, a victim of his own rashness and far-flung notions, as much as of jealousy, meanness and intrigue – and leaves out most of what is unpleasant and/or controversial.
But, for once, never mind historical accuracy: her Kit is likeable, and as he very much dominates the scene, this is more than enough for me.
I’ll say it again: I love this play. It is the sort of thing you’d stage with old-fashioned costumes, painted scenery, honey-thick
lighting… There is a game I like to play when I surf the Net, singling out bits of scenery, props and stuff I’d use for my imaginary production – and who knows, maybe some day I’ll make myself a JPP toy-theatre.
Besides, last night, while looking up a picture for Emma’s post I found two Marlowe-themed plays I’d never heard about. Nineteenth Centrury stuff, in resounding blank verse, from what I gather: Richard Horne‘s The Death of Marlowe, and James Dryden Hosken’s Christopher Marlowe.
So, isn’t it wonderful? Emma is three days old, has a few friends, writes posts I can use as inspiration, and finds long-forgotten plays I’ll like to read… I am so glad I made her up!
- Festival brings Christopher Marlowe back to centre stage (thetimes.co.uk)
- Christopher Marlowe (uofuhistoryoftheatre.wordpress.com)