The Heretic's Forfeit: Episode One

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In 1593 the most famous playwright of his age, Christopher Marlowe, was stabbed to death in a pub in Deptford, which coincided almost exactly with the emergence of William Shakespeare, who then went on to take Marlowe’s place. In The Heretic’s Forfeit these things don’t happen. Marlowe, forewarned by a prophecy, cheats death, then poisons Shakespeare, who is subsequently buried alive. Marlowe then steals thirty completed manuscripts that Shakespeare has kept in a locked wooden chest under his bed and proceeds to pass them off as his own. Four hundred and twenty-five years later, during building work in central London, the coffin containing Shakespeare’s body is unearthed and taken to the Institute of Archaeology at UCL. While being examined by Doctor Olivia Belmont, Shakespeare regains consciousness. The late Polish academic Jan Kott’s famous quote that “Shakespeare is our contemporary” is now literally true. But Shakespeare finds himself in a world where his name means nothing, and his life’s work is now attributed to his rival Marlowe, whose present day descendant, Sir Christopher Marlowe the Tenth, is the CEO of the Marlowe Corporation, one of the largest publicly listed companies in the world. So what happens next? You’ll just have to listen...

In Episode One Marlowe and Shakespeare meet for the first time, but unbeknownst to either man their fates shall now and forever be inexorably linked...

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