John Clare is thought of as the 'innocent poet' sent to the asylum by the evil Doctor Skrimshire.
On the one hand he was an admired chronicler of change and recorder of Nature, an eco-warrior for his time, railing against the enclosure land-grabbers. But we also see him as someone robbed of his birthright, the patsy of publishers and professionals and a madman unfairly locked up for his visions.
Clare is remembered for his life more than his poetry - lime-burner, labourer, womaniser, walker, visionary lunatic - with his experiences increasingly used as a yardstick for our own issues. But, in Tony Ramsay's play, a new John Clare emerges, set free from the story of his life.
12 February 2013 - 18 April 2013