Happy Francisco Pizarro Conquistador of Peru Gets Whacked Day.
Only reposting this because Peter Shaffer is 90 today.
Today in 1541, Francisco Pizarro, the man who had led a bizarrely small number of Spaniards to victory over the Inca empire met his end – a greedy ruthless man dispatched by other rival greedy ruthless men.
My own introduction to the character came at school – where Peter Shaffer’s Royal Hunt of the Sun was a set text and where one year we staged it as our school play. I have a dim and distant sense of being part of a huddled mass of boys sweating in fibre glass armour confronted by strange gongs and chanting and very intense stage lights. Although approving, like any decent human, of the basic morality of the play I developed (or we developed) a somewhat snooty attitude to Shaffer. I’d still take the view that Shaffer can do rant but not dialogue. He has a recurring tendency in Royal Hunt of the Sun
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