Book and Lyrics by Teresa Howard
Music composed by Steven Edis
The story of Jane Burden the real woman behind the painting and poetry of the Pre-Raphaelites.
Possessed is a musical about the passionate love affair between Jane Burden, wife of the Arts and Crafts designer William Morris (Topsy), and the Pre-Raphaelite artist and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti (Gabriel).
As a girl from the backstreets of Oxford Jane Burden's life is transformed when she poses for the Pre-Raphaelite frescoes at the Oxford Union. But it is Topsy who marries her and not Gabriel, the man who first stole her heart. When Gabriel's wife Lizzie, commits suicide he loses the will to paint. Topsy lends Gabriel his wife Jane as a model, hoping that Gabriel's inspiration will return. Sitting for Gabriel again reawakens their youthful love, letting lose a visceral whirlwind which threatens all their lives. Possessed is a musical which runs the gamut of human emotion with madness, suicide, ghosts, drugs, love, death and art.
The musical focuses both visually and emotionally on the way life reflects art and vice versa. Throughout the musical a series of stained glass windows, based on the story of Tristan and Isolde are being created by the artists on stage - actors pose for them, paint them and discuss them. Not only are they producing art based on the story of Tristan and Isolde but this story also anticipates and influences what happens on stage.
There are six main characters in the musical and two children and has the flexibility to be produced both on a large and small scale.