Shortly I'll be taking the stage at the Castelvecchio in Verona, the castle built in the 14th century on the shores of the Adige river. In many ways, it's the culmination of half a lifetime of work. I first played Mercutio when I was 17. A few years later, I had the idea for the novel when directing R&J for the first time. The Master Of Verona was first published 7 years ago. Tonight I take the stage to offer Verona my blending of their real history with the one Shakespeare gave them. For while 'fair Verona' is known the whole world over for star-cross'd love, no one ourside the city's walls knows of Cangrande and how massively influential he was to the birth of the Renaissance.
I know my words will fail to share the scope of the love I have for this city - its history, its mythology, its people. But I'll do my best. Wish me luck.