A historical romp with real bite, Stephen Jeffreys’s The Libertine has received several major stage productions and was filmed with Johnny Depp and John Malkovich.
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, is the Libertine. Poet. Friend and confidant of Charles II. Notorious rake. An anti-monarchist Royalist, an atheist converted to Christianity, his contradictory morals are never more tested than when he falls in love with the actress Elizabeth Barry.
Thoroughly modern in its attitude to Rochester’s sexual indulgence, with all the wit, flair and bawdiness of a Restoration comedy, the play is an incisive critique of an age of excess.
Originally performed on stage at the Royal Court Theatre in 1994 as part of Out of Joint’s UK tour, The Libertine was given its American premiere by Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company, was adapted for radio, and became a film starring Johnny Depp and John Malkovich. This edition of the play was published alongside the production at Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, in 2014.
Included in this edition is Mickey Gallagher’s music for the original Out of Joint tour.
Stephen Jeffreys is a playwright whose work has been produced by the Royal Court, Paines Plough and Out of Joint, amongst others. He also wrote the screenplay for the 2004 feature film adaptation of his play The Libertine, starring Johnny Depp and John Malkovich.