Thomas Tallis

by  Jessica Swale

Full Length Play, Drama  /  7m, 7f

Thomas Tallis is a portrait of the life of one of Britain’s most successful composers set against the tumultuous political backdrop of the renaissance.

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Thomas Tallis

by  Jessica Swale

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    7m, 7f
  • SubGenre



Additional Info

Living under four monarchs, Tallis was forced to adapt his compositions to suit their religious demands, but at what cost? In Swale’s vividly imagined play, we follow the contrasting fates of Tallis and a young priest, from the dissolution of the monasteries through Mary’s bloody reign, via encounters with a young Elizabeth and the mysterious Dr Dee, to their dramatic conclusion.


This "ambitious portrait of the 16th-century composer cleverly combines drama and music

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License details

  • Minimum Fee: £55 per performance plus VAT when applicable.



  • Time Period: 16th Century / Elizabethan
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes


7m, 7f
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Flexible casting

Casting Notes

The play can be performed with four actors doubling, as below, or with a bigger company as desired. There are eighteen roles.
Actor 1 – Thomas Tallis, the Bishop, Dr DEE, the Guard.
Actor 2 – Queen Cathe rine, the Commissioner, Joan, BETHAN, Mrs Prest, Elizabeth I, Mary.
Actor 3 – Henry VIII, the Priest, Edward’s atten dant, the PLASTERER, Mr Prest.
Actor 4 – The Boy King (Edward)
The girl and the singer in Scene Two can be played


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Jessica Swale

Jessica Swale is a writer and director. She is Artistic Director of Red Handed Theatre Company and a returning playwright at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Plays include Nell Gwynn (winner of the Egerton Foundation New Play Award 2015), All's Will that Ends Will (Bremen Shakespeare Company) and adaptations of Sense an ...

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