Included with the programme was a loose sheet for audience feedback - 'Continuing the conversation'. Here's some of the feedback. Thanks to everyone who came - we had a capacity audience - and special thanks for written responses.
"Story came to life with the young Elias and John... "
"Moralistic issues current for the twenty-first century. Think this would work really well as interactive drama with audience asked to make moral decisions..."
"Excellent acting from everyone..."
"An interesting production with promise for a play..."
"Very good acting by Lewis Ironside and Richard Ward..."
"... very enjoyable..."
"I think it has a good chance of great success because the whole story especially here in Oxford is part of our lives. Also 'court' scenes go down well..."
From online reviewers:
"To borrow (very) loosely from Tradescant, once the play has been cut down to size and worked on, it should represent Joel Kaye's best work yet. Convincing and authentic dialogue and excellent performances from the male leads..."
"I will never look at the Ashmolean in the same light again! I really do think the play needs to be performed in Oxford! It should cause a big commotion ... I read the play in one sitting and was riveted."
"the audience stayed with show in its entirety. I liked the scenes with Hester Tradescant the best, high energy; conflict.
"well acted; well blocked;
"...liked the song
"...hope representatives of the Ashmolean were there to see? "
"informative and interesting, particularly as I know the Ashmolean"
A pofessional's view of the script:
The short scenes and the device of intercutting between scenes taking place in the past and the contemporary court case, lend the drama a certain energy which propels the narrative and gives the play an interesting sense of pace which is unusual in period dramas of this sort...
...essentially a historical court room drama, and as such it is an interesting dramatic hybrid that you don’t see very often.
...the dialogue is strong throughout and the characters’ exchanges reflect the formality of the times they lived in...
...a fascinating piece of history that tells the story of the troubled origins of an iconic museum. The central character of Elias Ashmole is an intriguing anti-hero and his dogged determination to succeed makes him a compelling antagonist...