mon 14/06/2021

Into Thy Hands, Wilton's Music Hall | reviews, news & interviews

Into Thy Hands, Wilton's Music Hall

Into Thy Hands, Wilton's Music Hall

A new play about John Donne is scholarly and sexy in equal measure

Let's get metaphysical: Donne (Varla) and his wife Ann (Murphy) in their marital bed

“Where once was certainty is now only void.” The age of John Donne was also the age of Galileo, Milton, of Hobbes, Francis Bacon and, of course, the King James Bible, whose 400th anniversary we celebrate this year. At the intersection of politics, religion and scientific philosophy, Donne’s life under James I holds up a mirror to the conflicted age that produced this extraordinary work of scholarship. Meshing the poet’s biography, his work and social history, Jonathan Holmes has produced a play whose scholarship and subject matter may be serious, but whose theatricality is poignantly, evocatively and, at times, even erotically handled.

“Where once was certainty is now only void.” The age of John Donne was also the age of Galileo, Milton, of Hobbes, Francis Bacon and, of course, the King James Bible, whose 400th anniversary we celebrate this year. At the intersection of politics, religion and scientific philosophy, Donne’s life under James I holds up a mirror to the conflicted age that produced this extraordinary work of scholarship. Meshing the poet’s biography, his work and social history, Jonathan Holmes has produced a play whose scholarship and subject matter may be serious, but whose theatricality is poignantly, evocatively and, at times, even erotically handled.

It’s a delight to see theatre so utterly sure of itself, and hear writing so unapologetically scholarly

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