Ben Jonson. Rival or friend of Shakespeare? Grumpy old bore or stout moralist? In a typical cop-out, Sheldrake thinks both caricatures are true. Jonson is an awkward playwright at the best of times, but his plays are well worth the seeing. Sheldrake gives you his personal top three.
London was growing up fast in Shakespeare’s day. Whether you’re familiar with Shakespeare or not, Timon of Athens seems a very peculiar play. But armed with some context, its connection with Renaissance finance and city drama become apparent.