“Karey was quite keen to present Shakespeare as a fraud who was a front for another writer,” O’Farreill said. “But I kept challenging him to produce any sort of academic evidence for this conspiracy theory. I think because this would have meant reading some books, Karey accepted my argument, but we shared a conviction that Shakespeare would have been like any other writer, hoovering up everything in his everyday life to put in his plays, and grabbing ideas wherever he could.”
Despite the playful digs, O’Farrell gives the impression the collaboration was a harmonious one.
“Without sounding too arty or pretentious about it, I think there is a link between the way Wayne writes songs, Karey writes screenplays and I write novels,” he said. “There is an economy and rigor to all of our work that means we work hard at structure and avoid self-indulgence. I don’t spend ten pages describing a flower and Wayne doesn’t produce prog-rock concept albums.”
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How to go
What: “Something Rotten!”
Where: Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati
When: Feb. 21-March 5. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays
Cost: $30 and up
More info: 513-621-2787 or www.cincinnatiarts.org