Portrait of an artist, poet and revolutionary

Against The Tide is a new play written by Lewes-based actor and Wycliffe star, Jack Sheperd.

It will be performed by The Players’ Collective at All Saints Centre, Lewes, July 26-29 and The Friends Meeting House, Brighton, August 1-6.

The piece offers a portrait of William Morris as an artist, poet and revolutionary, said a show spokesman.

“Set in 1861, the revolutionary time of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, this intense study of a great man, now best known for his interior design, is seen through his famous friends - artists Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Whistler and the poet Swinburne; their bohemian life, their shared wives, the brothels and the drinking dens of London’s demi-monde.

“William Morris, in later life, was drawn towards revolutionary socialism, forging links with the anarchist movement that terrorised Victorian society in much the same way that militant Islam does today. This exciting new play looks at the oppressive nature of Victorian society and one man’s burning desire to change it for the better.”

Following Jack’s success in Lewes and in London with The Picture of Dorian Gray, he is working with the Players’ Collective to produce the first professional production of his play.

Jack, an award-winning playwright and director, is perhaps best known for his television roles, most notably the title role in the detective drama Wycliffe.

A previous version of Against The Tide entitled Demi-Monde was premiered to critical acclaim at the Riverside Studios in 2010.

Tickets are available from Lewes Tourist Information and Union Music (Lewes) or the website at: http://www.theplayerscollective.co.uk.

The Players’ Collective is a professional profit-share organisation whose purpose is to support its members in the production of “vibrant, challenging and contemporary drama” and to enable members to bring their work to audiences in Brighton, Lewes and south-east England. http://www.theplayerscollective.co.uk/