The Image of Life

For the bicentenary of the death of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lynx is offering a new play which takes its radical style of production yet further. With a script which embraces Shelley’s poetry as part of the action, the play is an exploration of his ideas as well as his life, and will use specially commissioned music and sculpture as well as more extensive choreography and images than before.

Shelley had an extraordinary life, after all. He sacrificed the comforts of wealth for his principles. He was thrown out of Oxford University, disowned by his father, and watched by the agents of the Crown. He went to Ireland where he spoke on a platform with Daniel O’Connell. An attempt was made on his life. He eloped, then left his wife for another woman (Mary Shelley who wrote Frankenstein).

At the same time he wrote an incredible body of poetry including The Masque of Anarchy, Ozymandias and Prometheus Unbound, as well as prose, such as The Defence of Poetry, and On Political Reform, and all before he was 30!

Acclaimed for their ‘brilliant research’, Lynx Theatre and Poetry have a reputation for bringing audiences accurate, succinct and vivid presentations of the past. This play will be no exception, and will bring Shelley to life again with the ‘intensity and flaming sincerity’ of theatre at its best’.

Jaccqueline Mulhallen, the author of this play, has published two books on Shelley. Her first was a ground-breaking study of his theatrical writing The Theatre of Shelley (Openbook Publishers, 2010). The second a highly praised political biography, Percy Bysshe Shelley: Poet and Revolutionary (Pluto, 2015).

The director, William Alderson, pioneered Lynx's extraordinary theatrical style, and comes from a background of theatre, television and poetry. He has written a poem inspired by The Masque of Anarchy, which was staged by Lynx in 2018.

Image of Life.jpg
An engraving of Percy Bysshe Shelley

Click on this image of the brochure about The Image of Life to download a printable pdf version.