The Prisoner of Zenda by Thom Bennett


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The Prisoner of Zenda dramatizes the perilous and romantic adventures of Rudolf Rassendyll, an English gentleman, in the fictional kingdom of Ruritania. When a seditious plot threatens the king of Ruritania, Rassendyll, who bears a striking physical resemblance to His Royal Highness, is called upon to impersonate him.

Despite an initial reluctance to play the role, Rassendyll eventually masterminds a counterplot to save the king. With the aid of stalwart Colonel Sapt and Fritz von Tarlenheim, he vanquishes the king's power-hungry half-brother Michael, and matches wits, as well as swords, with Michael's henchman, the devilishly suave Rupert of Henzau.

Matters become more complicated as Rassendyll, in royal guise, falls in love with the king's betrothed, Princess Flavia, and she with him. After a passionate exchange of vows, Flavia faces up to her obligations to her country and the restored king, and Rassendyll gallantly sacrifices his one true love for duty and honour.

Romantic intrigue and swashbuckling adventure take center stage as the playwrights present the first, full-scale stage version of this classic in almost a century. Produced on a generic, open set, The Prizoner of Zenda features an array of characters that may be played by 12 actors, with optional extras. Major scenes include a coronation, a state ball, and a climatic sword fight.

Year Printed: 2011

First Produced in 2001 at Rainbow Theatre, Parry Sound, ON.

Written With: Elizabeth Ferns
Running TIme: 90 minutes
Acts: 2

Male Cast: 9
Female Cast: 3