Christopher Marlowe's Tamburlaine, Parts I And II was last seen in New York sixty years ago. Michael Boyd, former artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, stages both parts of the wildly popular play that launched Christopher Marlowe's career in the late 1580s. John Douglas Thompson (Macbeth and Othello for Theatre for a New Audience) stars as Tamburlaine, the unstoppable and ferocious low-born conqueror who humbles kings and emperors, sweeping methodically across vast territories while gathering ever more strength from his driving will, his boundless self-image, and his astonishing outpouring of stunning verse.
Nineteen actors play sixty roles in this magisterial yet tightly conceived epic event that chronicles Tamburlaine's rise from upstart Scythian shepherd to ruler of Persia (Part I), and then his strangely precipitous, grief-suffused fall (Part II). Shocking and awesome, repellent and fascinating in equal measure, Marlowe's hero is disturbingly modern. Edited by Michael Boyd, the two parts will be combined into one quick-moving, four-hour evening with a thirty-minute intermission.