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The Royal Hunt of the Sun

The Royal Hunt of the Sun
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Peter Shaffer
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 115
Pub. Date: 1992
ISBN-10: 0573614962
ISBN-13: 9780573614965
Cast Size: 2 women, 22 men, extras

About the Play:

The Royal Hunt of the Sun
was one of Royal National Theatre of Britain's top 100 plays of the 20th century.

The Royal Hunt of the Sun
is a full-length drama by Peter Shaffer. The Spanish conquistador Pizarro is disillusioned with life and sacrifices the Incan man-God Atahuallpa in hopes that he will rise from the dead and prove that a greater power than death exists. It's a clash of civilizations, as a superpower invades another country for an unholy mix of economic and ideological reasons. The years since its première have made the play more topical than ever.

The Royal Hunt of the Sun is about the violent Spanish conquest of the Inca empire. It tells the story of how 167 Spanish mercenaries managed to conquer the vast Incan empire of 24 million by capturing its sun-god ruler, Atahuallpa. In the rich, humid air of sixteenth-century Peru, Atahuallpa, the young Inca King, Sun-God-upon-earth and thought to be immortal, meets Pizarro the Conquistador, representative of the Spanish Empire at its most insatiable. While the Inca King is convinced of his own immortality, the Spaniard is cynical and greedy, leading to a collision of power and authority. There is misunderstanding, confusion, and slaughter: the Spaniards kill 3000 unarmed Incas and take the Sun-God captive. The ransom is 9000 pounds of gold. The avaricious Spaniards mutiny, try the Sun-God in kangaroo court and garrote him. He does not revive the Incas behold their dead god. Moving and atmospheric, The Royal Hunt of the Sun is an unforgettable drama of pride, empire and the conquest of bodies and souls.

In 1964, The Royal Hunt of the Sun had the distinction of being the first world première of a new play by Laurence Olivier's recently established National Theatre. In October of 1965 it opened on Broadway. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and has been performed in regional repertory, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast : 2 women, 22 men, extras

What people say:

"High intelligence and bold, imaginative reach ... soaring passages that recall the stage to its lofty enterprise, and a theme of enduring significance." — The New York Times

"Greatest play of our generation." — Daily Mail (UK)

About the Playwright:

Sir Peter Levin Shaffer, CBE (1926-2016) was an English playwright and screenwriter. He is familiar to North American audiences as the author of Amadeus and Equus, two of the most successful plays of the postwar era, and of a string of other award-winning plays, several of which have been turned into films.

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