Episodes

Will Shakespeare: Alms For Oblivion (ITV 20 Jun 1978 with Nicholas Clay)

UK / ITV – ATV / 1×60 minute episode / Broadcast 20 June 1978

Writer: John Mortimer / Director: Mark Cullingham

Series: Will Shakespeare / Episode 2 of 6

London 1593: The capital is in the grip of a plague but Shakespeare’s stock is rising. When Mistress Rice dies though it looks like Will’s latest play Henry IV might be shut down if the news gets out. Her manipulative son Jack agrees to keep quiet about the death if Shakespeare lets him play the lead female role in the play.

A strong episode showing how Shakespeare’s fame is growing. In Elizabethan times there were no female actors and the roles were all played by males, Ron Cook is particularly good as the scheming Jack Rice who is determined to get his own way and of course once he (and the rest of the players) have lied, he has Will right where he wants him.

guest cast
NICHOLAS CLAY as The Earl of Southampton
PAUL FREEMAN as Dick Burbage
JOHN NORMINGTON as Alex Cooke
RONALD HERDMAN as Sam Crosse
DEREK ROYLE as William Kempe
MICHAEL HADLEY as Augustine Phillips
RON COOK as Jack Rice
ROGER LLOYD PACK as Jack Heminge
RICHARD CORDERY as Henry Condell
FRED BRYANT as William Slye
IRENE SUNTERS as Mistress Rice
SHIRLEY CHERITON as Kate
MILTON JOHNS as Dr Alcibiades
MATTHEW TAYLOR as Hercules
Musicians played by CITY WAITES





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