Amadeus Author Peter Shaffer at Work on Tchaikovsky Play

News   Amadeus Author Peter Shaffer at Work on Tchaikovsky Play
Peter Shaffer, the Tony Award-winning playwright of Amadeus and Equus, is working on a new play about the life and death of Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the playwright's agent confirmed.
Peter Shaffer
Peter Shaffer Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Shaffer's latest work concerns the "circumstances surrounding the composer's mysterious death in 1893," according to the New York Post, which first broke the news. The composer of Swan Lake and The Nutcracker supposedly died of cholera; however, there are rumors that he may have taken his own life when faced with the threat that his homosexuality would be exposed. His suicide may have been covered up by his brother Modest, also a gay composer. The New York daily reports that the Shubert Organization is very interested in Shaffer's latest work. In fact, Shubert President Gerald Schoenfeld told the Post, "Ever since I heard he was writing it, I've been waiting for it. . . A new play by Peter Shaffer is a major event. We await it with open arms." The Shubert Organization had great success with the 1974 production of Shaffer's Equus. Said Schoenfeld, "Equus was a pivotal event in [the Shubert Organizations'] history."

The office of Robert Lantz, which represents Shaffer in New York, said the play is still unfinished and has not yet been read by anyone.

Peter Shaffer is the author of White Liars & Black Comedy, Equus, Amadeus, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Five Finger Exercise, Lettice and Lovage and The Private Ear and The Public Eye.

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