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Book & Lyrics:

Richard Byrne


Jon Langford &

Jim Elkington

"Mighty Augustus / He gave us a circus /

To choke down the morsel / Of bread our sweat bought us."  

                                                                                                           -- from the song "Nero's Crown."

Nero's dead, right? Or perhaps his biggest fans won't let Rome's cruel but entertaining emperor exit the stage just yet. Nero/Pseudo is a play where a strangely improbable but true tale of imperial impersonation from ancient Rome and Greece (ripped from the pages of Tacitus, Suetonius, and other chroniclers) collides with the glitter and bombast of glam rock. 


Nero/Pseudo is a play by Richard Byrne featuring 10 glam rock songs written in collaboration with acclaimed songwriters Jon Langford (Mekons, Three Johns, Waco Brothers, Skull Orchard) and Jim Elkington (Tweedy, The Zincs, Horse's Ha).


Click here to listen to a demo version of one of the play's songs, "Hymn to Athena." 


Read reviews of the WSC/Avant Bard production of Nero/Pseudo in Washington, DC in:


      * Broadway World 


      * MD Theatre Guide


      * Washington City Paper


Read an interview with the author about Nero/Pseudo by Hussein Ibish. 



  • Produced in Washington DC by WSC/Avant Bard in May/June 2015 at  The Shop at Fort Fringe. Directed by Patrick Pearson. Opening night cast featured Bradley Foster Smith (Pontus/Nero); Gillian Shelly (Chrysis); Lee Liebeskind (Stratocles); Alani Kravitz (Pandora/Ensemble); Ryan Alan Jones (Ensemble) and Brian McDermott (Ensemble)


  • Nero/Pseudo was developed in staged readings by WSC/Avant Bard at Artisphere (Rosslyn, VA) in May 2012 (Director: Colin Hovde) and in New York City as part of the Emerging Artists Theatre's New Works Festival at TaDa! Theatre in March 2013 (Director: Melisa Annis.)


Contact Richard Byrne to inquire about production or publication opportunities. 


All production images by Teresa Wood. 



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