The Witter Merchants by Elizabeth Blandford | Script Revolution

The Witter Merchants

Shakespeare and Rowley must plead their case before the King. If they fail, they will hang. "Our accusers bear false wittering against us. But we are the Witter Merchants. We can and must outwitter them."



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Under cover of darkness, on a cold December night in 1598, wannabe actor, 14 yr old, horse-wrangler, Wm. Rowley helps Shakespeare and the actors of The Lord Chamberlain’s Men demolish The Theatre and save the beams to be used to build The Globe, a new theatre on the south bank of the Thames.

Rowley apprentices to his idol, Clown actor, Wm Kempe. Captivated by Shakespeare’s beautiful words, he longs to be a playwright himself.

When plague shuts down The Globe, and all theatres, in 1603 the actors disperse. Shakespeare heads home to Stratford. Rowley, who has one play written, rides with Shakespeare as his bodyguard.

They stop a night in Oxford. Rowley intercepts a thief and is wounded. Tended by beautiful, Jane Davenant, he is inspired to compose a sonnet to her.

In Stratford, Rowley rescues fallen woman Elizabeth Wheeler from an unruly mob. He is arrested until Shakespeare persuades the Bailiff to let him off with a caution.

Shakespeare’s house and stable are searched. Rowley’s play is seized as being lewd, seditious and full of black magic. Rowley is arrested, accused of being a Jesuit priest harbored by Shakespeare.

Shakespeare and Judith, who deems Rowley her honorary brother, disguise themselves in order to rescue Rowley.

Fearing retribution, Shakespeare decides that they must appeal to the King.

King James is holding a Gala in honor of his brother-in-law, King Christian of Denmark, held at Theobald House, home of Robert Cecil. At Cecil’s expense!

Shakespeare and Rowley rejoin The King’s Men and attend the audience/trial held before King James. They are acquitted. The King requests they put on a performance of Rowley’s play that very evening. It is a big success.

Rowley implores Shakespeare to sign his name next to his own. Then the title page of his play reads,
“The Birth of Merlin” or “The Childe hathe Found His Father” by Wm. Shakespeare & Wm. Rowley.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Official Selection of Los Angeles Television, Script and Film Festival 2021

Official Selection of I See You Awards, Script and Film Festival 2021

Award Winner I See You Awards, Script and Film Festival 2021

An Official Selection of The Las Vegas International Film and Screenwriting Festival 2021

Finalist of The Las Vegas International Film and Screenwriting Festival 2021

Semi Finalist Scriptwriters and Co International Festival 2022

Award Winner Wisdom Tree International Film Festival 2022

Submitted: December 13, 2020
Last Updated: March 15, 2023

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This Script Is Loved By 6 Readers

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The Writer: Elizabeth Blandford

The four blue Robin eggs in my photo have now hatched. The parents built this superbly constructed nest in one of our hanging baskets under the eave on our porch. We are able to see the comings and goings from our dining room window without disturbing or interfering with them. See how they weaved the dry grasses around the mud cup. It struck me that we are weavers of words. That said I'm trying to weave a murder/mystery. It's a departure from my usual stuff. I'm not rushing it. Go to bio

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