This Medieval Murder Mystery play explores the dark origins of Cambridge University in 1209. That same year, King John was in dispute with the Pope over the appointment of the next Archbishop of Canterbury. When a woman in Oxford was murdered, the townspeople blamed the religious scholars and clerks of the university, and hanged two clerks. King John backed the townspeople, and this led to the infamous exodus of the scholars from Oxford University to Cambridge. The Other Place is a richly dramatic retelling of the original Town and Gown dispute, featuring key players from the time, and real locations, such as Oxford Castle and the Bear Inn.

The play was inspired by a guided tour that playwright Kevin Mahoney went on in Cambridge a couple of years ago, in which the guide said that the murdered woman had possibly been a prostitute. Kevin then began to wonder whether this was actually a fair reflection of the murdered woman. Sexual misconduct and harassment are still a great problem for universities today, as witnessed by Cambridge University’s “Breaking the Silence” initiative, so Kevin thought that it would be instructive to look back at the roots of this ongoing issue. The play is also informed by the French Feminist literary theory that Kevin studied at university, and so The Other Place plays around with the stereotypical image of masculinity.

Kevin Mahoney is 46 years old and lives in Cambridge. Kevin attended Anglia Polytechnic University in Cambridge for three glorious years, where he was a member of Cambridge Student TV. Kevin then worked for Ottakar’s booksellers and became an editorial assistant on Story Cellar magazine. From 1995 to 1997, Kevin attended Thames Valley University, and was awarded an MA in Cultural Studies. In 1998, Kevin began a long stint of working for Amazon.co.uk, where he won the Amazonian Award in 2000, and he also edited their internal newsletter Amazone. In 2002, his essay on Masculinity in Dune, Spartacus, and Lawrence of Arabia was included in the materials for a film studies course at the University of California. Kevin left Amazon in 2005, and now lives back in Cambridge with his wife and family. Kevin wrote the reader’s guide to the US editions of Joanne Harris’s novels Sleep, Pale Sister, and Gentlemen & Players. Kevin has performed poetry at London’s Poetry Cafe, and at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith.

 

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