BOULDER WEEKLY: ‘Equivocation’ review: Remember, remember…
(Above: Hunter Ringsmith, left, as King James I and Rodney Lizcano, right, as Robert Cecil in “Equivocation.” Photo by Jennifer M Koskinen.)
For more than 400 years, every Bonfire Night Britons have recited the following verses in remembrance of the foiled plot to assassinate their king and fundamentally change the course of their history.
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason,
Should ever be forgot!
A group of disaffected Catholics, led by Guy Fawkes, believed the only way to protect Catholicism from the Protestant majority in Britain was to use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up parliament and King James I with it. Their conspiracy was discovered and snuffed out, and virtually every conspirator was captured, tortured and killed.
That historical episode serves as the backdrop for Equivocation in which playwright Bill Cain imagines none other than William Shakespeare himself — here dubbed “Shagspeare” — being commissioned to write the definitive recitation of the events of the Gunpowder Plot. As mandated by Sir Robert Cecil (Rodney Lizcano), the play must glorify the British government and vilify the vile villains of the plot. But as Shag (Michael Morgan) researches the treasonous episode, he begins to question the official account.