The Roman Actor

Front Cover
Nick Hern Books, 2002 - Drama - 81 pages
1 Review

RSC CLASSICS - a series of rarely performed plays from the 16th and 17th centuries, published alongside their resurrection by the RSC in Stratford and the West End in 2002/03.

Philip Massinger's chilling play of revenge, lust and murder.

Domitian, the tyrannical and insanely jealous Roman Emperor, wreaks havoc and bloody revenge for his wife's infidelity with Paris, the Roman actor of the title. Regarded as Massinger's finest play, The Roman Actor is both a condemnation of tyranny and a defence of the then despised profession of acting.

Edited with an introduction by Martin Butler and preface by Gregory Doran.

The plays in the RSC Classics series reflect the diversity of styles, themes and subjects of the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage, and include a 'new' addition to the Shakespeare canon.

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Review: The Roman Actor

User Review  - Mike Jensen - Goodreads

A strange play by modern standards, but fascinating and great. Revealing about theatre practice in early modern England. Read full review

References to this book

About the author (2002)

Massinger is a prolific dramatist who wrote, or had a hand in, more than 50 plays. His specialty was tragicomedy, in which he imitated John Fletcher. His best-known play is "A New Way to Pay Old Debts" (1621), based on Middleton's "A Trick to Catch the Old One." Sir Giles Overreach reflects the historical Sir Giles Mompesson, a notorious capitalist and extortionist, who was tried in 1621. There is a good deal of snobbery in Massinger's play, and the class hatred of Sir Giles is frenzied and passionate. "A New Way to Pay Old Debts" has had an active theatrical history from its own day to the present, especially as a vehicle for the grandly histrionic role of Overreach.