MR. SIMPSON Zoom Play Reading Will Be Presented By Theatre 40 in May

The cast includes Diana Angelina, Eric Keitel, Jennifer Robbins and David Hunt Stafford.

By: Apr. 29, 2021
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Theatre Forty will present a Zoom reading of a new play, Mr. Simpson by Stephen Maitland-Lewis on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. PDT.

The cast includes Diana Angelina, Eric Keitel, Jennifer Robbins and David Hunt Stafford.

Ernest Simpson, who changed the course of world history, is the forgotten man. His life has been eclipsed by the notorious separation that enabled his wife's sensational affair with Nazi-leaning Edward VIII, King of England, who, in 1936, ultimately abdicated the world's most powerful throne to marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson.

Two decades later, American-born British shipping broker Simpson, nearing the end of his life, desperately seeks the honor and recognition he feels he deserves for the dignified and patriotic "sacrifice" of his wife that likely saved Great Britain from an alliance with Nazi Germany.

The play finds Ernest Simpson, financially stretched, living in a mediocre Manhattan hotel suite desperately trying to interest a newspaper in publishing the inside story of the Wallis Simpson-King Edward VIII-Ernest Simpson triangle. He hopes to sell the story of a married woman who naively entered into a relationship with Royal playboy Edward, the future king of England, only to find herself blackmailed into the headline-making scandalous marriage that nearly brought down the British monarchy. Edward and Wallis, now the Duke and Duchess of Windsor residing only blocks from the hotel, are not amused by the prospect of reopening old wounds.

As the arrogant Ernest Simpson meets with representatives of a major newspaper, he tantalizes them with a batch of correspondence between himself and Wallis Simpson in which she confesses her continued love for Ernest and her regrets over the disaster that her marriage to Edward became. While Ernest negotiates for the publication of his side of the story, he embarks on a relationship with Sheryl Adams, a member of the hotel's management who becomes an ally in his quest.

Ultimately, the question arises: is Ernest sincere in his wish to publish his tell-all book or is he using that possibility as a wedge to get from the Royal family the vindication and acclaim he feels he merited?

Stephen Maitland-Lewis is the playwright. The British-born resident of Beverly Hills is an award-winning novelist, whose books include Hero on Three Continents; Emeralds Never Fade (Benjamin Franklin Award for Historical Fiction; Written Arts Award for Best Fiction); ; Ambition (Rebecca's Reads Choice Awards, first place, General Fiction); and Botticelli's Bastard (Independent Publisher Book Awards, Bronze Award, Best Regional Fiction- Europe).

To access this Zoom reading on Wednesday, May 12 at 7:00 p.m. PDT, please use this link:

This is a free event. The non-profit Theatre 40 gratefully accepts donations in support of its artistic endeavors at


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