“Double Falsehood” Plays True

By Ernest Kearney — Porters of Hellsgate Theatre Company has dedicated itself to the plays of Shakespeare; with Double Falsehood, part of the Hollywood Fringe for 2019,  they have moved into the realm of debated plays by the Bard.

The History of Cardenio is a lost play. It is known to have been performed in London in 1613 and is a 1653 entry in the Stationers’ Register; the guide that held a monopoly on printing in England. Its authorship is assigned to William Shakespeare and John Fletcher who had also collaborated on The Two Noble Kinsmen.

Cardenio’s provenance is obscure and rather questionable.

Lewis Theobald (1688 – 1744) was a British author and early Shakespearean researcher.   In 1727 Theobald claimed that he had discovered manuscripts of a “lost” work of Shakespeare which he proceeded to edit and publish under the title of Double Falshood, or the Distrest Lovers, the plot of which adheres to that of Cardenio.

The play harkens back to other works of Shakespeare – Much Ado About Nothing, Measure for Measure and Cymbeline.

The story revolves around two brothers, the virtuous Roderick (Michael Bigley) and the caddish Henriquez (Jesse James Thomas), and how the former strides to remedy the offenses of the latter.

The most despicable of these offenses is his rape and abandonment of Violante (Susan Vesely). This is followed by his betrayal of the noble Julio (Tim Oakes) who Henriquez sends off to request money of his father (Dylan Booth), in order that he might steal away Julio’s beloved Leonora (Katie Hotchkiss) by deceiving her gullible father, Don Bernard (Dan White) into giving him her hand in marriage.

Adapted by Charles Pasternak and co-directed by Bigley and Alex Parker, the company manages to do quite a bit with very little and to very good results. Thomas also serves as choreographer with Douglas Gabrielle as lighting consultant and the two of them in union with Bigley and Parker move the play at a brisk and very satisfying pace, and the cast, especially Vesely, are more than up to the challenges of a most challenging piece.

Scholars are still debating whether Theobald’s “discovery” was legitimate or just a clever piece of deception, but The Porters of Hellsgate have provided a solid, well-acted production that will allow the audience to judge for Fringe Award-Gold Medal-The TVolutionthemselves.

For that Double Falsehood merits  a GOLD MEDAL.

UPDATE: 06/18/19:

(NOTE:  From the show creators: Double Falsehood will “be moving the production to North Hollywood in July and performing it in rep with Two Noble Kinsmen through August.”  For more info Go To: http://www.portersofhellsgate.com/ )

The Tvolution highly recommends all lovers of Theatre and Shakespeare alike take the opportunity to see it.




For complete show information go to: http://hff19.org/6103

For the total lowdown on events, plays and fun happenings during Hollywood Fringe Festival 2019 (running 06/13/19 to 06/30/19) go to: https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/

Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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