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BAFTA-nominated director Nicholas Renton brings ‘I, Spie’ to Liverpool

1 month ago

BAFTA-nominated director Nicholas Renton brings ‘I, Spie’ to Liverpool
I, Spie. Credit: The Telling

Get ready for an extraordinary blend of music and theatre as the BAFTA-nominated Nicholas Renton directs I, Spie, starring a stellar cast including Dominic Marsh, Niall Ashdown, and Leila Mimmack.

I, Spie will perform at Liverpool’s Ullet Road Church Hall on Sunday, June 23, from 5pm to 6:20pm, followed by a special post-show concert at Leaf on Bold Street.

“I, Spie” is a gripping narrative that intertwines historical intrigue with the hauntingly beautiful music of John Dowland, a composer and lutenist who allegedly foiled a plot against Queen Elizabeth I.

Think “Spooks” meets “Blackadder” as the audience gets to decide Dowland’s ultimate fate. The story, inspired by Dowland’s letter to spymaster Sir Robert Cecil, imagines the gaps in history, exploring the dangerous waters of Elizabethan espionage.

Directed by Nicholas Renton, known for his work on Mrs Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters and Musketeers, I, Spie features leading actors Dominic Marsh (Kneehigh Theatre, Coronation Street), Niall Ashdown (Improbable, Kneehigh), and Leila Mimmack (Murder in Provence, Lewis). They are joined by the internationally acclaimed musicians of The Telling, fresh from winning the Audience Project of the Year Award at the REMA Early Music Awards in Stockholm.

The Telling Unchained. Credit: The Telling
The Telling Unchained. Credit: The Telling

The production delves into the life of John Dowland, a Catholic Englishman who, while traveling through Europe, was approached by English ex-pats plotting against the Queen. Dowland’s decision to inform on the plotters to Cecil is a testament to the perilous nature of being an informant in Elizabethan England.

Clare Norburn, writer and soprano for The Telling, said:

“Being a Catholic informant was dangerous – no one entirely trusted you, even if your information was helpful. Dowland’s letter reads like a man out of his depth, scared for his life – and with good reason. Informants often ended up on the gallows. But how involved was Dowland really?”

After the drama at Ullet Road Church Hall, head to Leaf on Bold Street for The Telling Unchained, a relaxed and informal concert where The Telling will perform a mix of medieval gems and traditional/folk favourites. This event offers a perfect wind-down with drinks and great music, starting at 8:30pm.

  • I, Spie: Sunday, June 23rd, 5pm – 6.20pm at Ullet Road Church Hall. Tickets range from £5 to £20 and can be booked here.
  • The Telling Unchained: Sunday, June 23rd, 8.30pm – 10pm at Leaf on Bold Street. Tickets from £6 can be booked here.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience a riveting tale of espionage and sublime music in the heart of Liverpool!

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