James Martin Charlton sees Blake’s Divine Image in Felpham in new play

A new play by James Martin Charlton traces the events of Blake's life in Felpham that led to the writing of the poem better known as Jerusalem.

In his new play Divine Vision: William Blake in Felpham, James Martin Charlton presents a dramatic recreation of the events of Blake's life between 1800 and 1803:

London, 1800. Things aren’t going too well for William Blake. He lacks work, his wife worries over the bills, he’s seeing visions of the Apocalypse, and his planned epic poem on the divine remains unwritten. When Blake gets an offer from famous poet William Hayley to leave London and settle in a cottage at the seaside village of Felpham, he jumps at the chance. In Felpham, things don’t quite work out the way Blake had them planned… What ensues involves talent wasted, offences to the local gentry, an argument with a drunken soldier, a trial for sedition, and a visionary meeting with the Lamb of God in an English cottage garden. “And did those feet…” indeed!
Divine Vision is the first stage play to explore William Blake’s only period of living outside London, and the events leading to his writing the poem which we now know as the iconic hymn “Jerusalem”.

James Martin Charlton is a writer/director for stage & screen living in East London. He is also an academic, currently based at Middlesex University. He has written more than 20 plays for the stage, many of which have been produced or workshopped by professional theatre companies in the UK. He has directed and produced a number of plays by other contemporary playwrights and has written short film scripts - four of which have been produced - and developed a number of feature film screenplays.

Divine Vision is available at the TSL Publications web site.