What is the School?

Suppose you could summon the ancient muses?

Suppose you could extemporise everything from Pinter to Shakespeare?

Suppose making stuff up was just more entertaining than writing it down?

In the 16th century, the School Of Night was an arcane, underground sect of artists, thinkers, writers, scientists and spies, who some scholars believe wrote Shakespeare’s plays.

Revived by maverick theatre genius Ken Campbell for the 21st century, the heretical troupe has risen to the challenge of Hard Bardics, improvising lost masterpieces, summoning the muses and channeling the great poets and playwrights of the past.

There are more things in Heaven and Earth

Meetings of the School of Night are unlike any other theatrical event you are likely to experience; the Rhapsodes explore the minds of poets, novelists and playwrights both ancient and modern, creating new works on the fly.

Method in the Madness

“Trains of whimsical thought are ignited like trails of gunpowder”

Heathcote Williams

The School is interested in the spirit of the esoteric, the hidden, the obscure, so they might embody the spirit of the Muses, ancient or modern; they might sing a song inspired by a member of the gathering; or it might be that an entire act or more of a lost Shakespeare play be performed.

Every night is different, everything is created on the spur of the moment according to ideas and suggestions proffered by the audience.

Lord, what fools these mortals be

The School of Night’s appearances to date have included:

In London: Shakespeare’s Globe, The National Theatre, The Royal Court, The Old Vic Tunnels, Soho Theatre, The St.James Theatre, Kings Place, Jermyn Street Theatre, The British Library, Keats House Library and The Beadleian Library (the late Jeremy Beadle’s private library of occult and esoteric literature).

Around the UK, they have had successful runs at three Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, as well as Latitude Festival, The Bristol Jam, Lichfield Festival and the legendary Hay-on-Wye Literature Festival, where they made one of their two appearances on  BBC Radio’s poetry programme The Verb.

Further afield, they have performed at Elsinore Castle in Denmark for The International Shakespeare Conference, at The Impulse Festival in Toronto and the Edmonton Improvaganza in Canada, at The English Theatre of Hamburg, the Wiesbaden Summer Improv Festival and several other festivals in Germany, as well as dates in Oslo, Amsterdam and Qatar.

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