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Sun, Jun 07


The King of Nothing (Part 1) by Sally Clark

The story of the real Shakespeare, Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford. A cheeky, dark irreverent view of life in Shakespearean England. Tragical. Comical. (2 acts)

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The King of Nothing (Part 1) by Sally Clark
The King of Nothing (Part 1) by Sally Clark

Time & Location

Jun 07, 2020, 2:00 p.m. PDT

About the Event

HOW TO ATTEND Click the link at showtime:  Doors 5 mins before event. Latecomers welcome. Audience does not appear on-screen.

This Play is in Two Acts.

ABOUT THE PLAY The story of the real Shakespeare, Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford. A cheeky, dark irreverent view of life in Shakespearean England. Tragical. Comical.


"The "King of Nothing" is my play trilogy, based on the life of Edward de  Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. There is a lot of controversy regarding  the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays and much evidence for the claim  that Edward de Vere was Shakespeare. I am not so concerned about the  'authorship question' as I am with portraying the events of De Vere's  life. His life was a Shakespeare play. I was very inspired by this book,  “Shakespeare by another name” by Mark Anderson. It’s a clear precise  biography of De Vere’s life.  I am playing with the words, imagery and situations from Shakespeare's  plays and using them as a counterpoint to the corresponding events in De  Vere's life.  The Chorus is an integral part of the action. Sometimes, it helps create  a scene. Sometimes, it acts as an antagonistic entity to De Vere.   Edward de Vere's story is fascinating.  His father,  John de Vere, the  16th Earl of Oxford, died suddenly of mysterious causes when Edward was  twelve and so Edward became a Ward of the Queen and was sent to live at  Cecil House, home of Sir William Cecil who was Queen Elizabeth's  Secretary of State. As a ward, all of the lands and assets of Edward's  father became the property of the Queen to use as she chose until  Edward's age of majority. Then, Edward could claim what was left of his  inheritance, after he had paid all the debts that had been incurred for  his upkeep at Cecil House.   I noticed that there were many sons of wealthy noblemen whose fathers  died mysteriously and conveniently before the boy reached fourteen- the  age where he could marry. The boys from the 'best' families all went to  Cecil House. There was a sinister element to Queen Elizabeth's wardship  system that belied my previous notions of "Good Queen Bess" and "Merry  olde Englande." I was starting to see that Queen Elizabeth may have more  similarities to her father, Henry VIII, than I had previously supposed.  Queen Elizabeth is the other main character in my play.  Edward inherited his father's troupe of actors and wrote plays for them  to perform before the Queen. He was a brilliant young man, a rising star  at Elizabeth's court.   The trilogy is about Edward de Vere's love affair with Queen Elizabeth,  his rise as the secret heir to the throne and his fall from grace."

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT Sally Clark is a playwright, novelist, painter and filmmaker. She figured that one of those professions ought to earn a decent living in the arts. She is still investigating her options. Sally Clark has been the resident playwright/dramaturge at Theatre Passe Muraille, The Shaw Festival, Nightwood Theatre and Nakai Theatre. She is the author of several plays, which include "Moo," "The Trial of Judith K.," "Life without Instruction," and "Wanted." Her plays have received a Chalmers Award, two Dora Mavor Moore nominations and a Governor General's Award nomination. Her short film, "Ten ways to abuse an old woman" won the Special Prix du Jury at the Henri Langlois International Short Film Festival. Her novel, "Waiting for the Revolution" was published by Cormorant Books in 2010. In 2014, Hrant Alianak commissioned her to write a play about the artist, Arshile Gorky. (Fire in the Heart). She recently finished her play trilogy, "The King of Nothing.

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