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The Magna Carta Plays

The Magna Carta Plays

Timberlake Wertenbaker, Howard Brenton, Anders Lustgarten, Sally Woodcock

Oberon Books

“If the evening has an overall message, it is that we need to act urgently to protect our vanishing freedoms... a bold evening that had the citizens of this beautiful, sedate-seeming city, which houses its own copy of Magna Carta, endorsing the radical idea that the old text desperately needs a new update.” –Guardian


Four new short plays inspired by the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta by internationally renowned playwrights Howard Brenton, Anders Lustgarten, Timberlake Wertenbaker and Sally Woodcock.

Ransomed by Howard Brenton
In the sleepy Cathedral City of Melchester, a crime has been committed. The Cathedral’s prize possession, a copy of the original Magna Carta, has been stolen in a daring heist. Who is responsible and what price will the British Government be prepared to pay for the document’s safe return? As the plot thickens, Detective Inspector Ellie Baxter seeks to find the truth in this brilliant new Magna Carta comedy.


Kingmakers by Anders Lustgarten
Ten years after the signing of Magna Carta, the barons' takeover isn’t quite going to plan. With the peasants grumbling about enormous castles and broken promises, the threat of rebellion hangs in the air. Perhaps the solution is to distract and deflect by bringing the confused and humbled king back into the fold? What about a royal wedding? A royal baby? All at the common man’s expense, of course… A fictional story from the 13th century that may just be about now.


We Sell Right by Timberlake Wertenbaker
In 1215, when the King of England abuses his extraordinary power, the barons’ take action. In 2015, when the kings of global business and finance abuse their extraordinary power, who will take action and what will confrontation look like? In the decades that follow, what will remain of the values we hold most dear? A gripping drama about the consequences of confronting power on a global scale.


Pink Gin by Sally Woodcock
In 21st century Africa, a visionary President stands on the cusp of greatness. With international investors poised to develop large tracks of land, the financial future looks bright. But why has it been raining for 97 days, and who is leading the angry mob in the streets outside? A compelling contemporary allegory throwing light on the oft overlooked companion to Magna Carta, The Charter of the Forest.


Timberlake Wertenbaker is herself an eminent playwright. In 1985 The Royal Court staged her 'The Grace of Mary Traverse' which won her the Plays and Players Most Promising Playwright Award. She also received the 1988 Olivier Award for Play of the Year for 'Our Country's Good'.


Playwright Sally Woodcock grew up in Kenya and was educated at Cambridge University and RADA / Kings College London. Sally continues to divide her time between Kenya and the UK. Fanta Orange is Sally's first full-length play.

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