A play about Beckford by Jonathan Weightman, Waking Thoughts (titled
after Beckford's suppressed travelogue Dreams, Waking Thoughts and
Incidents, 1783) was performed in Bath (March-April 2000). The following
text is from the initial press release:
"Lisbon's Tagus Theatre
continue to mine an unlikely but rich seam of Anglo/Portuguese history
in their showsan effective - and affecting tale", wrote The Herald
critic Keith Bruce of Waking Thoughts when it went to
the Edinburgh Festival.
And now Bath audiences have the unique
opportunity to see a new version of Waking Thoughts, a play about
the relationship between William Beckford of Fonthill Abbey and Gregório
Franchi of Lisbon.
Ostracised by polite English society
for past sexual indiscretions, Beckford flees to Lisbon where he meets
Franchi, singer and harpsichord player at the Royal Chapel of mad Queen
Written by Jonathan Weightman, the play
takes place in the Brown Parlour of Beckford's doomed Gothic masterpiece,
Fonthill Abbey but also includes sequences in post-earthquake Lisbon
at the end of the 18th century. The epilogue takes place in Lansdown
Crescent, Bath in 1822. The play includes Portuguese and English music
of the period."
Now, another opportunity presents itself
to see this play:
ONE WEEK ONLY!
to coincide with the
Beckford exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery
TAGUS THEATRE from Lisbon presents
(from Lisbon to Baker Street & beyond)
a play by Jonathan Weightman
Forced by scandal to flee Britain the brilliant multi-talented William
Beckford arrives in the exotic post-earthquake city where he meets and
falls in love with Gregório Franchi, chorister and musician at
the court of Queen Maria I.
WAKING THOUGHTS picks up the story thirty years later. They are still
together. Ostracised by English society for past indiscretions Beckford
has retired into his spiders web, the fantastic and
doomed gothic masterpiece, Fonthill Abbey.
WAKING THOUGHTS moves between memories of Portugal, isolation amidst
the debris of the rising (and falling) Fonthill, and old age in Bath.
On the way it takes in the gay coteries of London two hundred years
BOTH Beckford and Franchi were musicians, and the play includes little-
known music of the period.
"A Towering Success!" The Bath Chronicle.
"An effective, and affecting, tale " The Scotsman
19th to 24th February 2002, Tuesday to Saturday at 7.45pm Sunday 24th
at 4pm, Press night, Wednesday 20th
Greenwich Station forecourt
189 Greenwich High Road
London SE 10 8 JA
BOX OFFICE: 020 8858 9256
Tagus Theatre gratefully
acknowledges the support of the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian,