Theatre17 | I Am John Clare

Sun 11 Jun 2017 2:15pm Earls Barton Literary Festival

Dear Sir,

I am in a madhouse and quite forgot your Name or who You are You must excuse me for I have nothing to communicate or tell of and why I am shut up I don’t know. I have nothing to say so I conclude.

Yours respectfully.

John Clare

Theatre 17  |  I Am John Clare

The poet John Clare (1793 – 1864) was known at the “Northamptonshire Peasant Poet” in his time, and later as one of the best labouring class poets ever. But he was a troubled soul. Theatre17’s production, “I Am John Clare” takes the audience back to the 8th of  March 1860 after Clare has written the above letter to a well-wisher while an inmate of the Northampton General Lunatic Asylum. He’d been since there 1841, and it is where he wrote his most famous poem – I Am.

Theatre17 I Am John Clare

Writer and Director Steven Loveless and Performer Robin Hillman co-produce this one man show, taking the audience through a time of reflection and contemplation for Clare, “a quest in search of his own identity, creativity and to try to understand what is insanity and why they call him mad”.


Sunday 11th June 2:15pm

Earls Barton Literary Festival, All Saints Church  NN6 0JG



Friday 29th September:

Old Village Hall, Old, Northants

Contact Theatre17


Stephen Loveless is a prize -winning writer including the first winner of the Daphne Du Maurier Literary Prize and the Radio Netherlands Worldwide Service Audiobook 2008 Prize.  His first film script Washing Strangers (Dir. Barry Hale) won a First Cut Award and appeared on Central TV. He wrote the prize-winning shorts Labyrinth Derbicus (Dir. Owen Tooth) and Raven (dir. Kemal Yildirim) and also the feature film Rose (dir, Kemal Yildirim), won the Amsterdam Film Festival ‘Van Gogh Award’. His novella Hibakusha was published in 2011 and Short Story collection In the Kingdom of the Morning 2013. His one-woman stage drama 2011 to 2014 (writer/director) Asena performed by Genevieve Cleghorn on Sex Trafficking was twice nominated for the HTF Media Award.


Robin Hillman who plays John Clare has spent several decades performing as an actor, fiddle-player and singer. Recent theatre has included Albert in A Swan in the Attic and Stephen in Lydia – by Any other Name for Spears Independent Theatre; Inspector Goole in An Inspector Calls for Shires Repertory Theatre and Everyman in Everyman/Faure’s Requiem for Earls Barton Music. Directorial credits include Wyrd Sisters and The Darling Buds of May for Under the Tower Drama, for which the company received a regional NODA Award.

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