Will!, or The Bawdy Bard / The Baudy Bard.

Scope and Content

The series contains a draft screenplay of the musical.

See also AB/ARCH/D/1/348 and AB/ARCH/D/1/349: Master sound-recordings of 8 songs (on vinyl) from The Baudy Bard with lyrics by Burgess, and AB/ARCH/K/7: Notebook/diary, dated 1966-1967.

Administrative / Biographical History

In the winter of 1967, Burgess was approached by William Conrad, an actor turned producer at Warner Brothers-Seven Arts, to write a musical film about Shakespeare's life, under the working title "The Bawdy Bard" and later "Will!". Although the film was never made, Burgess got as far as drafting a film script for the project and a number of songs. There was also ambitious talk of casting Robert Stephens as Shakespeare, Maggie Smith as Anne Hathaway, David Hemmings as Christopher Marlowe, and James Mason as Philip Henslowe.

Burgess's The Bawdy Bard is substantially the same as the Shakespearean stage musical that Enderby writes in Enderby's Dark Lady (1984).

Burgess's script for The Bawdy Bard includes a musical interlude about the plague during which a boy sings a setting of Thomas Nashe's poem "A Litany in Time of Plague".

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