It is amazing how much the quality of the Southwest Shakespeare company productions has improved this year. And thank heavens it did, because Equivocation needs a very good cast or it could be a disaster. Fortunately, this cast was up to the job.
This play is a Shakespeare junkies delight, with so many references to the plays, the author, the myths and in jokes, that those who know the plays can feel smugly in the know. But those who do not get all the little literary in jokes, will still enjoy the plot and the characters. Shakespeare has been commissioned to write the history of the Gunpowder plot. But how to write a play about about something that did not happen? and what did really happen anyway? who is plotting against whom? and what were the logistics of the plot? not something I had ever thought about, but now I want to know the answer.
Another player of the plot is the trials and tribulations of dealing with actors and running a company of actors, with houses and families and mortgages. Artistic directors ( in fact managers) everywhere will recognize the same issues today that Shakespeare and Burbage had to deal with in 1605. Author Bill Cain was the founder of the Boston Shakespeare company and clearly writes from experience.
I definitely want to see this play again!