Pub Proposition

Anonymous: Scene:36 (Deleted)

Pub interior, Eastcheap. Dark. Some years before Jonson has appeared on the scene, De Vere and his cutthroat henchmen are sitting in a booth henching. A large pile of manuscripts sits on the table in front of them.
ENTER HENSLOWE:

DEVERE:
Richard, Richard—over here.
(sits)

HENSLOWE:
I've found the stooge for you. Bit of an actor, called William Shakespeare.

DEVERE:
Shakespeare . . . Shake   spear. Heard that before somewhere. Bit of a peasant, is he?

HENSLOWE:
Bit of an idiot, too, which will come in handy. Comes from the boonies, somewhere called Stratford. No one's heard of it. It's up north. They still think reading and writing is witchcraft up there.

DEVERE:
I've got a house near there. Less than 150 miles away. Craven-not-very-near-the-Avon. I thought Stratford had a few educated people and a grammar school. 

HENSLOWE:
Oh! No one's been to that grammar school for hundreds of years. But I still don't understand why you want a thickie to masquerade as the author your plays. If he can't write, how can he be a writer?

DEVERE:
It'll detract suspicion. I'm weaving webs of enigma.

HENSLOWE:
I'm not even sure why you don't want your name of them, if they're good.

DEVERE:
Good, they're brilliant. Have a look.

HENSLOWE PICKS UP A SCRIPT LABELLED 'TITUS ANDRONICUS', DEVERE SNATCHES IT FROM HIM

DEVERE:
Well maybe not that one

HENSLOWE:
(leafing through one labelled Julius Caesar) Good… very good… Why don't you want your own name on this, again?

DEVERE:
There's loads of covert seditious material…

HENSLOWE:
Whoa, I don't want my privates forced down my oesophagus while I watch through the one eye they've left me. I'm a respectable man of business. And a coward.

DEVERE:
Don't worry, it's all so cleverly concealed it'll be years - centuries - before anyone notices.

HENSLOWE:
So what's the problem?

DEVERE:
I'm an Earl. I can't be seen to be messing about with actors.

HENSLOWE:
You' should pick a writer then. What about Jonson, he'll make a name himself in five or six years, won't he do?

DEVERE:
Never heard of him. No, we need to start now. Look. You can keep the money.

HENSLOWE:
All of it? There'll be loads.

DEVERE:
All of it. Just make sure that when you publish them you put a hyphen in Shake-speare so everyone knows I wrote them.

HENSLOWE:
You mean you do want people to know you wrote them?

Errrr. . . .  Can we start again? From the top…
 
 

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