Home Plays Fiction Buy

Now We Are Pope: Frederick Rolfe in Venice
by Martin Foreman
"I have many enemies, but what I need, Zildo, is a Friend.
The Divine Friend. The Friend whose beauty shines from body and soul."

The writer Frederick Rolfe ("Baron Corvo") was born in London in 1860 and died in Venice in 1913. A complex, cantankerous and contradictory character, Rolfe destroyed friendships with the same intensity he sought to make them. A convert to Catholicism, his greatest ambition was to be a priest, but inability to get on with fellow students, unwillingness to conform and growing debts led to him twice being expelled from seminary.

An intensely proud man, Rolfe rejected all charity while living off loans that were seldom repaid. Strongly attracted to handsome young men, he swore celibacy for most of his adult life. A talented author who described writing as a loathsome occupation, his works today are mostly out of print - except for Hadrian The Seventh, in which a man long denied the priesthood is suddenly elected Pope . . .

Martin Foreman's one-man play depicts Rolfe in Venice on the last day of his life, pottering around his room, occasionally addressing his companion-servant, whose presence is felt but never seen. As he looks back on his life, his thoughts both spiritual and carnal, his memories caustic and unforgiving, Rolfe's mind teeters into the fantasy that he is indeed Pope.

A powerful and sympathetic portrayal of a talented, troubled individual. Includes a short biography of Rolfe and detailed text notes.

"eloquent and insightful . . . wonderfully believable" Everything Theatre

ISBN 978-0-9933546-0-1       soft cover, 45pp (app 45 mins on stage)       5.99

Now We Are Pope by Martin Foreman

Now We Are Pope: post to

postage: select correct option
before adding to cart

Frederick Rolfe at the Scots College in Rome

Rolfe at the Scots College
in Rome, ca 1890

Martin Foreman is the author of two novels, two short story collections and several plays, all available from Arbery Books. He is the winner of the 2012 London Solo Festival New Writing Award and the 2018 Pitlochry Festival Theatre Short Play Award. In August 2018 he directed two of his plays - his adaptation of Ben Jonson's Jacobean comedy Volpone and a new one-act drama Casanova Dreaming - at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Martin was born in Dundee, went to school and university in Edinburgh and spent many years working and living in London and across the world. He has returned to live in Edinburgh and does not expect to move from the city again. For those who insist on categories, he is a British writer who happens to be gay and whose primary themes are love, loss and the intensity of emotions. As well as writing, he occasionally directs theatre and acts in short films.

writing website: martinforeman.com               theatre / film website: martinforeman.me.uk

Arbery Books
17/5 Craigend Park, Edinburgh EH16 5XX
+44 798 965 5482
contact @ arberybooks . co . uk

Retail customers
order here

Arbery Books are available
through the usual channels (Nielsen etc) or contact us directly

This site does not use cookies, but clicking on external links on this site may allow these companies to gather and use information, via technology installed on the computer(s) and other devices you use, about you and your visit to this and other websites to provide you with advertisements about goods and services presumed to be of interest to you.

This site does not store credit card details nor share customer details with any third parties.