Why See Hamnet?
west end transfer
Hamnet, son of William Shakespeare steps out from the shadow created by his famous father in the Royal Shakespeare Company's highly anticipated stage adaptation of Maggie O'Farrell's best-selling novel. Adapted by Lola Chakrabarti and with direction from Erica Whyman, Hamnet gives a voice to one of Shakespeare's greatest lost creations, through his own eyes and those of his oft-forgotten mother, Agnes.
Dying at 11 years old in 1596 in Stratford whilst his father was enjoying the height of his fame in London, scholars speculate that Hamnet likely didn't get to know his famous father very well, a theme that can be picked up on in Shakespeare's later writings. When Hamlet was published in 1599, it was widely thought that the name was a tribute to his late son.
With little known about the real child, Maggie O'Farrell's book creates a lyrical narrative for Hamnet that explores his short life, and those of the women around him.
Previews from: 30 September 2023
Opening night: 12 October 2023
60 minutes with no intermission
You may be required to wear a mask during this performance. Please contact the venue directly for more information.
Cast and Creative
Sarah Belcher as Joan
Will Brown as Burbage/Father John
Ajani Cabey as Hamnet
Frankie Hastings as Eliza/Customer
Karl Haynes as Ned
Alex Jarrett as Judith
Madeleine Mantock as Agnes Hathaway
Hannah McPake as Jude
Tom Varey as William Shakespeare
Peter Wight as John/Will Kempe
Gabriel Akuwudike as Bartholomew
Phoebe Campbell as Susanna
Mhairi Gayer as Tilly/Caterina/Landlady
Liza Sadovy as Mary
Haydn Burke and Faye Campbell
Costume design by Tom Piper
Lighting by Prema Mehta
Sound design by Simon Baker
Music by Oguz Kaplangi
Casting by Amy Ball CDG
Movement by Ayse Tashkiran
Fights by Kate Waters
Next available performances
Wed, Dec 6
Thu, Dec 7
Fri, Dec 8
Sat, Dec 9
Sun, Dec 10
Mon, Dec 11
Tue, Dec 12
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