John Donne – The Monarch of Wit

Feb 18, 2014

John DonneRyde School is proud to present The Monarch of Wit, a dramatic celebration of the life and works of the metaphysical poet, John Donne.

There will be a pre-show lecture given by Stephen Siddall at 6.15pm in Ryde School Theatre. The show will begin at 7pm on Wednesday 26 February, 2014. . This is a free event and the school warmly welcomes all to attend. Please phone the school reception (562229) to reserve your place. We look forward to welcoming you.

Contact Sian Evans – for more information

Reviews for The Monarch of Wit and Stephen Siddall Lectures and workshops:

As a student of Donne’s poetry, I found myself diving deeper into the text as it came alive in Clarkson’s performance. Donne became a real person writing from his experiences. The production not only presented new and interesting readings, but the potential for multiple emotions behind Donne’s (often ambiguous) words. Livi Goldin, Yr.13 student, Oxford High School

This one-man show has been deftly and beautifully devised by Stephen Siddall from Donne’s own words. James Clarkson’s performance brings vividly to life Donne’s fierce intelligence and intense sensibility. A totally engaged audience witnessed Donne’s extraordinarily varied moods and experiences: his youthful appetite for life, his years of poverty and obscurity, his tender marriage, and his distinguished old age as Dean of St. Paul’s, all portrayed with great conviction and sensitivity. It was a wonderful, vital evening.  Jonnie Noakes, Head of English, Eton College

This performance of Donne’s poetry and prose went far beyond ‘anthology’. It had a narrative shape and a dramatic impact that challenged us to respond freshly to words all too familiar to anyone who has studied renaissance poetry at school or college. James Clarkson, as Donne, gives a compelling account of the poet-lover-scholar-preacher’s many roles, every word drawn directly from Donne’s published work, and of his struggles with his conscience and his relationship with a demanding and perplexing God. A powerful and enthralling performance achieved with the most economical means.  Tony Jackson, Emeritus Professor of Drama, Manchester University