By turns humorous and heartbreaking, this remarkable one-man show celebrates the spirit of one of the most unique talents that British theatre has ever produced, and who has fascinating historic links with Dorchester.
Written and performed by Royal Shakespeare Company actor Ian Hughes, The Dramatic Exploits of Edmund Kean charts the rise and decline of the great 19th Century actor. Following years of hardship as a strolling player, Kean was catapulted to stardom following his performance as Shylock at Drury Lane in 1814 – an engagement that arose directly from him being seen on stage in Dorchester the year before. Tragically his links with Dorchester were not all positive: on that same visit his young son died and his remains lie in the churchyard at Holy Trinity on High West Street.
Quickly becoming the most popular actor of his day, Kean electrified his audiences with his performances in Shakespeare. Yet within a few short years Kean’s increasingly erratic behavior, fuelled by drink, ensured audiences remembered Kean for all the wrong reasons.
By turns humorous and heartbreaking, The Dramatic Exploits of Edmund Kean celebrates the spirit of one of the most unique talents that British theatre has ever produced.
Ian spent over a decade at The Royal Shakespeare Company. He was the winner of the 1st Ian Charleson /Royal National Theatre Award for Best Actor presented to him by Sir Alec Guinness. His many TV appearances include Dr. Who, Robin Hood, Torchwood, Alienists, Ransom, Gavin & Stacy, Mutual Friends and Stella.