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Shakespeare in Debt

Now in it's second edition published by 

Hammond House

It 's 1595 (so nearly 4.00 o'clock) and box office figures are falling as Will and his motley crew of thespians are up to their eyes in debt. Will has writers block so they don't have a new play or the money to stage one. Now the Monarchy is breathing down his neck and the clock is ticking.  Will the show go on? Or is it much ado about nothing.



A slick Elizabethan farce in Five acts

Run time 2 hours including 20-minute interva

Shakespear in Debt                  World Premier

The world premier production of this hilarious Shakespearian farce, by Hambleton Productions and directed by John Hewer, at the Riverhead Theatre 2015 

“Of noble birth, Mi-lord, but recently fallen on hard times, alas.“  

“Yes, a lass indeed”. 


“Is it better to be innocent and pretend passion, or be passionate and pretend innocence? “

Read all about Pasternalda's latest shenanagins in this weeks "Prithee"

“ I’ve heard you can’t find a horse in Yorkshire for love nor money” .  “Nor a kingdom, for that matter… Hmm”


‘If there are any maidens in distress around here Pasternalda, you’re usually the cause of it.” 



“ Great show, great script and great cast and crew, really enjoyed it.”


“Brilliant! Loved every moment” .


“It was proper belly laugh funny, and I very rarely laugh out loud at shows.”


It was very funny. If you haven't got a ticket, you've missed out on a treat.


“ it was so funny! Superb performance and script !!”   ”.


“A fabulous show “ “Absolutely fantastic, pure talent!!!!!”


“Amazing performance of Shakespeare in Debt. The cast were on fire and you could here the laughter in the foyer.”


"Continuous laughter and spontaneous applause after every scene”.

Anchor 5

Genre: Comedy/Farce



It 's 1595 (so nearly 4.00 oclock) and box office figures

are falling as Will and his motley crew of thespians are

up to there eyes in debt. Will has writers block so they

don't have a new play or the money to stage one. Now

the Monarchy is breathing down his neck and the clock

is ticking.  Will the show go on? Or is it much ado about





Will Shakespeare - But not as you know him.

John Bulmer  – Down to earth Yorkshireman

Pasternalda De –La- Mare  - Flamboyant  “Actor”

Roxanne  Page – Serving Wench, in love with Will

Edward de Vere 17th Earl of Oxford - Sleazy Villain

Alice Atkinson - Lady of Pleasure

Girl and Boy


Five Acts. Approximate run time - 2 hours with 20 min interval

at the end of Act 3


Request sample script of Act 1




Our beloved bard has writers block, and his troop of players

‘The Lord Chamberlin's Men’ are desperate for a new play,

audience numbers are falling as they churn out the same

old stuff, and they are up the eyes in debt. 


John, a down to earth Yorkshireman tries to give Will inspiration

by suggesting ideas for a play but nothing seems to work .

Pasternalda a flamboyant Actor try’s to raise money from

there previous benefactor,  Edward de Vere, The Earl of Oxford,

with a little help from Roxanne the barmaid at the The Boars

Head Tavern.  He wheedles 2300 duckets out of De-Vere by

passing off Roxanne as Lady Katherine of Camden, then

leaves her to face the consequences.


Returning triumphant to the tavern he tells Will and John he has 2000 duckets. They are celebrating his success when Roxanne returns, having escaped from De-Vere and reveals he gave Paster 2300 duckets, some of which he’s used to buy drinks and pay his bar bill on the way home. Paster is chastised by the other three until Roxanne eventually chases him out of the room.  


John continues to try and give Will some inspiration while Roxanne announces that the actors are on strike.  Paster suggest trying some of the retired actors but they are no longer around so they decide to hold auditions for new ones, where they find Alice.  They have just finished when De Vere arrives and demands that Pasternalda returns his money or delivers Lady Katherine (Roxanne) “within the hour”.


Paster is sent off to see if De-Vere will wait until they get some money from the play. John and Roxanne are trying and encourage Will to write a new play when Paster returns with the bad news. Unless De - Vere gets Roxanne or his money tonight they’ll all be locked up in the Tower. They are wondering what to do next when they are interrupted by a visit from Queen Elizabeth, who demands a play to mark the imminent departure of Sr. Walter Raleigh on yet another expedition. Paster takes the opportunity to relieve her of 3000 duckets to fund the performance. This means they can pay back De-Vere and have enough left over to stage the Queens play. If only they had a play.


They are still scratching their heads when Roxanne announces she has written a play about a princess, which they can have, providing she plays the princess.  After much concern over the fact that in Elizabethan England women aren’t allowed on stage, they eventually agree and give Roxanne the admiration and respect she deserves.


Roxanne's play, “The Princess of Arcadia”, follows the story of the daughter of King William of Xanadu, as she travels to a distant land to marry a king and restore her fathers beloved homeland which he lost in a war many years before. 


They struggle and squabble through rehearsals with regular interference from the De Vere and the Queen as they stumble from one crisis to another.


The play, when it eventually gets underway, is a complete shambles, but the queen enjoys it and so do the punters. John has coffers overflowing for the Lord chancellors Men, Paster gets invited to the palace by the Queen, Alice gets a rich Sugar Daddy, Roxanne gets Will, Will gets his mojo back and everyone lives happily ever after. (maybe).








PASTER: Welcome my adoring fans and gentles all. Pasternalda de la Mare at your service.  No! No! Save your applause - you will have much more need of it later.  Tonight you will hear how your most humble and ignoble servant, for that is me, at great personal risk and with selfless sacrifice, did save that troop of travelling players The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, from an inauspicious end in the Tower of London; the fair Roxanne from a fate worse than death; and a certain, now famous, playwright from the wilderness of obscurity. Let your imagination turn these bare boards and spartan walls into the teeming streets and rich tapestry of Elizabethan London, where our tale of intrigue courage and fortitude unfolds.  Our story begins, a winter’s tale, in the Boars Head Tavern.




Room in a run-down inn in London.


Will is sat at the table, quill in hand, staring into space. He gets a glimpse of divine inspiration, his eyes light up, and he goes to frantically scribble… when…. He thinks better of it, and drops the quill in dismay.


Enter John, fighting off the cold from outside.)


JOHN: Hey up, Will ow’s it goin’?


WILL: Oh… so-so.


JOHN: Nowt yet then?


WILL: I’m afraid not…


JOHN: Ah well, never mind eh. It’ll come to thee.


WILL: Do you really think so? Three months now and not a word.


JOHN: Try and find’t inspiration in’t things around you…Listen to ordinary folk in’t street, pick up t’drama round’t kitchen sinks…


WILL: Oh I don’t think the public are ready for that sort of thing yet, I’m afraid.


(Enter PASTERNALDA, a gloriously robust Shakespearean actor.)


PASTER: Gods extremities, but it’s cold out there!


JOHN: Ay, cold enough to freeze a writers hand. There’ll be a frost tomorrow.


PASTER: No doubt; even the pawnbrokers have covered up their signs! Sod this winter! Rain, snow, frost and more snow!


JOHN: Eh lad, tha’ should come up t’Yorkshire. Summer all year long up there. Bloody Glorious!


PASTER: The North? Hah, full of morons warring over daisies.


WILL: Not daisies Paster, roses, and that was ages ago.


PASTER: What difference does it make? A rose by any other name…


(Will and John exchange glances, but Will again thinks better of it.)


PASTER: Not a bad plot for a play though Will. Everyone loves a good war. Heroes, villains, maidens in distress eh!


(Paster nudges John in the ribs knowingly.)


JOHN: If there are any maidens in distress around here, you’re usually the cause of it.



Request full script of Act 1 










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     Shakespeare in Debt

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