New play Renaissance – starring Haydn Gwnne and James Corrigan to get London outdoor premier

Sotto Voce is delighted to announce a brand new, Covid restriction adhering, outdoor world premiere of RENAISSANCE, a new comedy starring BAFTA and Olivier nominated Haydn Gwynne (Billy Elliot (West End and Broadway) Drop the Dead Donkey, Camilla in C4s The Windsors) and James Corrigan (Edmund in King Lear (West End), Mark Antony in Julius Caesar (RSC).

This production reunites four actors who were working at the National Theatre when lockdown was announced: Haydn Gwynne, James Corrigan and Akshay Sharan and Bethan Cullinane. Haydn Gwynne and James Corrigan have also been members of the RSC ensemble with Hannah Morrish and Bethan Cullinane.

The play is initially scheduled to run from the 17th – 20th September, but has plans to extend beyond the end of the month, if weather and current Covid restrictions permit.

It’s a mystery that has been tantalizing historians for centuries. For a short time in 1502, Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolò Machiavelli, and Cesare Borgia (whose fight for power was a major inspiration for ‘The Prince’ by Machiavelli), were all living under the same roof. This new comedy uses bold brushstrokes to re-imagine the interaction of these three extraordinarily charismatic and talented men, played by James Corrigan (Borgia), Akshay Sharan (da Vinci) and Nicholas Limm (Machiavelli).

The action begins with Borgia in crisis: he longs to escape the weight of ruling, so appoints a little-known politician called Machiavelli to rule in his place. At the same time, Leonardo da Vinci decides that the pressures of the artistic life are unbearable, so he goes into politics. When Borgia disguises himself as an artist in his own court, the circle of transformation is almost complete…

But the relationships between these famous men is not the only mystery. What really happened when Caterina Sforza defied Borgia’s army? And why did she take a vow of silence on the subject for the rest of her life?

Bethan Cullinane plays Caterina Sforza, while Hannah Morrish casts a new light on the period’s ‘femme fatale’, Lucrezia Borgia. Haydn Gwynne takes a star turn as the ‘grande dame’ of art collecting, and master of the waspish put-down, Isabella d’Este.

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