Shadowplay

Shadowplay (2019) by Prof. Joseph O’Connor, School of English, Irish and Communication.

1878: The Lyceum Theatre, London.

Three extraordinary people begin their life together, a life that will be full of drama, transformation, passionate and painful devotion to art and to one another.

The Chief… Henry Irving… volcanic leading man and impresario

The Leading Lady… Ellen Terry… most lauded actress of her generation

The Theatre Manager… Bram Stoker following along behind them in the shadows

A clerk from Dublin, Bram may seem the least colourful of the trio, but in a new city, job, marriage, he is wrestling with dark demons. The Chief if determined that nothing will hinder his manager’s dedication to the Lyceum and to himself, and both men are enchanted by the elusive Ellen. As Bram walks the London streets at night, streets haunted by the Ripper and the gossip which swirls around his friend Oscar Wilde, he finds new inspiration for his own daring literary ambitions.

This exceptional novel explores the danger and complexity of unconventional love, the restlessness of creativity, and the experiences that led to Dracula, the most iconic supernatural tale of all time.


“There are few living writers who can take us back in time so assuredly, with such sensual density, through such gorgeous sentences. Joseph O’Connor is wonder, and Shadowplay is a triumph.”
Peter Carey


“Joseph O’Connor is a great artist and storyteller. The quotient of enjoyment in his extraordinary new novel is stupdendous.”
Sebastian Barry


“A hugely entertaining and atmospheric novel, one can almost smell the greasepaint.”
Deborah Moggach


“Joseph O’Connor is the only writer I know who can make you laugh and cry in the same sentence.”
Lawrence Norfolk


“A thrilling novel, exquisitely contrived to show the characters whose loves and lives inspired Dracula. A great tribute, and a work of art. Deeply affecting.”
Essie Fox

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