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World Premiere

THE BISLEY BOY - September 16th - October 2nd, 2022
​The Ritz Theatre Company

Book by Joshua Bessinger and Krysten Cummings
Music & Lyrics by Joshua Bessinger and Collin Maier
Directed by Krysten Cummings

The Bisley Boy is a gothic musical fantasy that follows the private life of Bram Stoker, best known as the author of the novel, Dracula. In another of his books, the nonfiction Famous Imposters, Stoker explores a legend that Queen Elizabeth I was actually a male decoy. The music combines elements of classic and pop rock musical theatre and the aesthetics aim to transport the audience with Elizabethan eccentricity and modern glamour.

During the early 20th century, inspired by a trip to see the May Day festivities in Bisley, Bram Stoker was fascinated by the folk custom of dressing a young boy in Elizabethan garb as the "May Queen." Perhaps drawing from his own infirmed youth, the pantomime customs of the time, or his own imagination Stoker explored and embellished the legend, suggesting Queen Elizabeth I was an imposter.


Stoker’s works, like “Dracula” and “The Lair of the White Worm,” can be seen as steeped in psychosexual symbolism and veiled autobiography. Are they the story of a man stifled by the customs of the time? Stoker did escape Ireland to live in the company of actors and entertainers leaving behind his wife and child, but why? “The Bisley Boy” may or not be true but it causes contemporary audiences to wonder about Stoker’s own motives and life.

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We look forward to seeing you at the theatre!

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