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Brief Candle & Stoney Bowes & Confessions of Zeno & Da Ponte’s Last Stand

Carlos Ardito Price: $22.95

The action of Brief Candle takes place between 1873 and 1884 in various cities across Europe. The play celebrates the fascinating and all too brief life and achievement of the painter and diarist Marie Bashkirtseff

It is in stark contrast to the unsavoury adventures of Stoney Bowes, the original of Thackeray’s Barry Lyndon, so demonised in his own lifetime as to become a byword for ­iniquity in the North of England. Subtitled ‘The Fortune Hunter’, the play is set in London and north-east England in the late 1700s (Cast 5m, 2f.)

Another historical character is the picaresque hero of the third play in this volume: Da Ponte’s Last Stand explores the autobiographical recollections of Mozart’s famous librettist and is based on Da Ponte’s own un­reliable memoirs. It is set in New York in 1838 with flashbacks to Mozart’s Vienna of 1785 (Cast 9m, 2f.)

Da Ponte’s attitude to life and art was quite unlike that of the eponymous anti-hero of Confessions of Zeno, whose comically tortured mind and final escape from the attentions of a Freudian analyst is in itself an affirmation of the power of survival of the human spirit. The play, set in Trieste before the First World War, is a satire on the then new-fangled idea of psychoanalysis as a cure for smoking! (Cast 8m, 8f, some doubling

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