The Bard in Brooklyn (sort of)

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Sure, it’s Fakespeare — but you can’t say it isn’t orginal.

Best-selling Carroll Gardens author Arthur Phillips will read from his new novel, “The Tragedy of Arthur” — which includes an original, five-act faux Shakespeare play — at his local branch library on Nov. 2, an event that will also feature Bard-inspired theater troupe Guerilla Shakespeare Project performing the fake play within Phillips’s fictional autobiographical novel.

Whew, that’s a lot of artifice to keep on top of.

“Writing a fake Shakespeare play is kind of unpreceden­ted,” said Guerilla Shakespeare Project Creative Director Jordan Reeves, whose group has been working with Phillips since the book’s publication in April. “Phillips captured so much of the beauty and wisdom of Shakespeare, and he’s writing in prose and verse. It’s almost like having Shakespeare back.”

Well, sort of — if Shakespeare was a five-time “Jeopardy!” champion, a former child actor, and into supporting the Carroll Gardens branch library.

“I’m happy to help the library, of course, and happy to find new readers,” Phillips said. “But I’m really happiest for people to get a taste of the Guerrilla Shakespeare actors, they’re just a joy to see.”

The event was organized by Friends of the Carroll Gardens Library, in the hopes that it will be the first of a regular author reading series.

“We wanted to start our reading series off with a local author, and Arthur Phillips is a best-selling author,” said Friends of the Carroll Gardens Library Secretary Diane Saarinen. “We realize it could be a community hub, and we’re just thrilled to have him.”

But just because Phillips penned a fake Shakespeare play doesn’t mean it isn’t sharp, imaginative and very much his own.

“I spent a lot of my life doing Shakespeare, and we do Shakespeare like it’s never been done before,” Reeves said. “But something like Phillips’s book — it’s unbelievab­le.”

Believe it — and get your tickets in advance: they’re free, but they’re going fast.

Arthur Phillips and Guerrilla Rep at the Carroll Gardens Library [396 Clinton St. at Union Street in Carroll Gardens, (718) 596-6972], Nov. 2, 7 pm. Free. For info, visit

Reach Arts Editor Juliet Linderman at or by calling (718) 260-8309.
Updated 5:27 pm, July 9, 2018
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