Thirteenth Night is a dream play rewriting Shakespeare’s Macbeth for a Labour government, an denunciation of creeping tyranny and socialism’s dilution.
In the prologue, the socialist idealist Jack Beaty is hit over the head. He dreams of a world in which his speeches against bloated forms of government and American interposition can summon riots against the American embassy, and three women in an underground car park demand a new politics. He is driven by the taut, clawing invective of Jenny Gaze to commit murder, and ascend to the top of a brutal and tyrannical, and ostensibly socialist, government. Ominous and witty, Brenton recasts Macbeth to discover a contemporary path to tyranny.
Thirteenth Night was first presented in 1981 at the Warehouse, London.