The Ghost Theatre: A Novel

The Ghost Theatre: A Novel

by Mat Osman
The Ghost Theatre: A Novel

The Ghost Theatre: A Novel

by Mat Osman


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A wild and hallucinatory reimagining of Elizabethan London, with its bird worshippers, famed child actors, and the queen herself, Mat Osman’s TheGhost Theatre is a dazzling historical novel about the stage, magic, and the dangers of all-consuming love.

London, 1601—a golden city soon to erupt in flames. Shay is a messenger-girl, falconer, and fortune teller who sees the future in the patterns of birds. Nonesuch is the dark star of the city’s fabled Blackfriars Theatre, where a cast of press-ganged boys perform for London’s gentry. When the pair meet, Shay falls in love with the performances—and with Nonesuch himself. As their bond deepens, they create the Ghost Theatre, an underground troupe that performs fantastical plays in the city’s hidden corners.

The growing fame of the troupe fans the flames of rebellion among the city’s outcasts, drawing Shay and Nonesuch into the dark web of the Elizabethan court. Embattled, with the plague on the rise throughout the country, the queen seeks a reading from Shay, a moment that unleashes chaos not only in Shay’s life but across the whole of England, too.

A fever dream full of prophecy and anarchy, gutter rats and bird gods, Mat Osman’s The Ghost Theatre is a wild ride from the rooftops of Elizabethan London to its dark underbelly, and a luminous meditation on double lives and fluid identities and the bewitching, transformative nature of art and power, with a bittersweet love affair at its heart. Set amid the vividly rendered England of Osman’s imagination and written in rich, seductive prose, The Ghost Theatre will have readers under its spell from the very first page.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781419767838
Publisher: The Overlook Press
Publication date: 06/27/2023
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 149,504
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Mat Osman is a musician, songwriter, bassist, and founding member of the British band Suede, as well as a composer for film and television. His writing about art and travel has appeared in the Guardian, Independent, Observer, and more. He is the author of the novel The Ruins and he lives in the UK.
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