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The Leningrad Siege

Two Sisters and A Piano

Ay, Carmela!

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THE LABYRINTH OF DESIRE (La Prueba de los Ingenios)
by Lope de Vega

So prolific was Lope de Vega that many of his greatest and most original works are scarcely known today. Unperformed since the 17th century, and translated now for the first time, The Labyrinth of Desire is a hilarious and thought-provoking erotic comedy that has at its heart the sexually ambivalent relationship between two women. Set in an Italian Court, and featuring a female aristocrat who pretends in turn to be a lady-in-waiting and then a man in woman's clothing, it is a tale of wits pitted against wits, and men against women, until eventually everyone ends up in a real labyrinth built in imitation of that of Knossos.

Translated by Michael Jacobs (published by Oberon Books).
In association with The Globe Theatre OUT OF THE BOX had a staged reading of the play directed by Gerry Mulgrew in December 2002.


Born in Italy and educated in England and the USA. Studied art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London and in 1982 received a Ph.D. on a thesis on 18th century Italian art supervised by Anthony Blunt and Sir Michael Levey.

Taught art history at the Barnfield School of Art and Design at Luton, Cleveland Institute of Art at Lacoste in Provence and at University College, University of London. Senior Honorary Research Fellow at the Hispanics Department of Glasgow University since 1994.

Has worked as a writer since 1979, and has been translating for the stage since 1996.

Published Translations:
Lope de Vega, Plays 1, The Jewess of Toledo, The Innocent Child, Oberon Books, 2001
Lope de Vega, Plays 2, The Labyrinth of Desire, Oberon Books, late 2002

Bridewell Theatre, London, January-February, 1997:
Lope de Vega, The Jewess of Toledo (La Judía de Toledo); a Stranger's Gallery Production starring Micky Gomez

Finborough Theatre, London, November-December, 1997:
Theatre in the Time of the Generals: Four Works from Argentina's Teatro Abierto; Carlos Somigliana, New World (Nuevo Mundo, 1981); Eduardo Pavlovsky, Third Person Included (Tercero incluído, 1981); Mauricio Kartun, Cumbia Morena Cumbia (1982); Roberto Cossa, Grey Song of Absence (Gris de ausencia, 1981). A Stranger's Gallery Production, with Mairéad Carty and Mathew Mills.

Blue Room, Perth, Australia, and south-east Asian tour:
Three of the Argentinian translations were produced by David Ryding early in 2001.

Globe Theatre, London.

Staged reading of Lope de Vega's The Labyrinth of Desire directed by Gerry Mulgrew, Dec 2002.

A staged reading of Lope de Vega's, The Innocent Child of La Guardia (El niño inocente de la Guardia), with Larry Lamb and Jack Klaff. June 1998.

The Rose and Crown, London, and Canning House, London, June, 2001:

A staged reading by Wildecard Theatre of Lope de Vega's, The Labyrinth of Desire.

Books include:
The Factory of Light: Life in an Andalucian village (John Murray, June 2003).
The Good and Simple Life: Artists Colonies in Europe and America (Phaidon, 1085)
A Guide to Provence
(Viking/Penguin, 1987)
A Guide to Andalucia
(Viking/Penguin 1990; reissued as Andalucia by Pallas Athene in 1998)
The Road to Santiago de Compostela
(Viking/Penguin, 1991; Pallas Athene, 2000)
Madrid (George Philip, 1992; reissued by Pallas Athene as Madrid Observed, 1996)
Between Hopes and Memories: A Spanish Journey (Picador, 1994)
The Painted Voyage: Art, Travel and Exploration, 1564-1875 (British Museum Press, 1995)
Budapest (Oxford University Press, 1998)
Alhambra (Frances Lincoln, 2000)
In the Glow of the Phantom Palace: Travels from Granada to Timbuktu (Pallas Athene, 2000)