Uppermill writer makes Shakespeare subject of his own comedy

THE comedies of William Shakespeare are well-loved around the world – and now an Uppermill author has written one about the great bard himself.

Jan Needle, a novelist and TV writer, has penned ‘Shakespeare – the Truth’ which is written as a memoir of the famous playwright, with input from his wife Anne and associates including Christopher Marlowe, John Webster and E Beaumont-Fletcher.

He explained: “It’s a comedy but might make a few jaded theatre lovers (and bored A-level students) think life’s worth living after all.

“It purports to be a memoir of the great man. Did you know, for instance, that he rode a Norton Dominator motorbike?

“It reveals that young Will, having made a possibly unfortunate marriage to a woman much older than he was decides to run away from Stratford Upon Avon to London, where he gets a job as a reporter on Ye Globe, in Fleete Streete.

“His first assignment is to find out why King Lear, a rather weird old man, has decided to split up his kingdom, and give a third of it to each of his daughters, Goneril, Regan, and the lovely, pouting Cordelia.

“He quickly meets Lear’s press agent, known to everybody as the Fool, and sets out to track the king down in various locations across England.

“His adventures follow some key parts of the actual play and end up in a battle on a beach near Dover where Cordelia has come across from France to claim full title to the kingdom, and never mind her nasty sisters.

“As with many other assignments Will gets to tackle, it ends in tears. There are, not to put too fine a point on it, more corpses scattered round than you could shake a stick at.”

“Although I got my degree in drama at Manchester University I’d hardly claim this is completely serious as a life of Shakespeare. I wrote it because the coronavirus has been so grim.”

The book is the first in a series called Corvid Capers and Jan has already written two more, including ‘Scotch on the Rocks’, in which the Bard gets involved with a weirdo named Macbeth.

‘Shakespeare – the truth’ is available online as a Kindle book for 99p and will be soon available as a paperback: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B088NC2Q77.

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