I just finished Maxwell Sim after staying up far too late last night to read most it. I loved it and, quite worryingly, identified strongly with Max in many ways. I do have to say though that I hated the ending and felt it almost spoiled the book.
What I want to know however, is was there ever really a production of Titus Andronicus set in council offices in Stockton-on-Tees? I have lived in Stockton all of my life and can’t imagine why anyone would be inspired to set any play here, let alone Shakespeare. Anyone know if this was a reference to a real production or, if not, why Jonathan would invent the reference?
I’ve never been to Stockton on Tees, and I’ve no idea if a production of Titus Andronicus has ever been set there. However, I think you’ve answered your own question when you say "I have lived in Stockton all of my life and can’t imagine why anyone would be inspired to set any play here, let alone Shakespeare". It was precisely this incongruity that I wanted to exploit for (I hoped) comic effect.
Sorry you didn’t like the ending of the book. I’ve started a thread on that subject if you’d like to say any more.