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Based on the Academy Award-winning movie, Shakespeare in Love is a witty romantic comedy which follows the Bard as he embarks on a passionate love affair that would inspire one of his greatest works. Teeming with the sights and sounds of Elizabethan London, this adaptation boasts one of the largest casts ever assembled for a West End play.
Directed by John Madden and starring Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow, the 1998 film was a worldwide smash and won an astounding seven Oscars and three Baftas. Lee Hall, best known for writing Billy Elliot, has adapted Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard's original screenplay and prolific Shakespearean director Declan Donnellan will helm this stage adaptation. The cast is stacked with rising stars and old hands, and is led by Lucy Briggs Owen (Fortune's Fool) as Viola, and Tom Bateman (The Tunnel) as Shakespeare.
The year is 1593, and struggling playwright William Shakespeare is suffering from writer's block. His latest work, the provisionally titled Romeo and Ethel: The Pirate's Daughter, lies unfinished. The only problem is that his patron Philip Henslowe has already sold the rights. With the pressure on, Shakespeare starts auditioning for his Romeo. One actor, a young man named Thomas Kent, stands head and shoulders above the other hopefuls. However Kent is hiding a secret - he's not a young man at all! In reality, this impressive thespian is Viola de Lesseps, a young noblewoman with a passion for the theatre, who's determined to play the part even though women are forbidden from taking to the stage.
When Shakespeare discovers Lesseps true identity, the two begin a torrid love affair which transgresses every moral and social code of the day and inspires the playwright to complete the greatest love story he ever wrote: Romeo and Juliet.
Dame Judi Dench won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Elizabeth I in the 1998 movie. Her total screen time was about 8 minutes, which comes second only to Beatrice Straight in 1976's Network as the briefest Oscar-winning performance ever.
Previews from: 2 July 2014
Opening night: 23 July 2014
Suitable for audiences aged 12 and upwards
Approx two hours 30 minutes including interval
Please note, images used are from the previous cast of the show and will be updated soon.
You may be required to have had a COVID vaccine in order to attend this performance or show proof of a negative test. Please contact the venue directly for more information on this.
Orlando James as Will Shakespeare
Eve Ponsonby as Viola De Lesseps
Nicholas Asbury as Wessex
Neal Barry as Henslowe
Richard Bremmer as Tilney and Sir Robert De Lesseps
Paul Brennen as Fennyman
Suzanne Burden as Queen Elizabeth
Ryan Donaldson as Ned Alleyn
Edward Franklin as Marlowe
Ncuti Gatwa as Wabash
Gregg Lowe as Sam
Andy McKeane as Ralph
Peter Moreton as Burbage
Joy Richardson as Nurse
Charlie Tighe as Nol
Stuart Wilde as Webster
The ensemble cast will include Aaron Anthony, Jonno Davies, Peter Hannah, Nick Hart, Joshua Higgott, Sioned Jones, Sandy Murray, Ellie Nunn, Thomas Padden, Stevie Raine, Elliot Rennie and Florence Roberts.
Original screenplay: Marc Norman
Original screenplay: Tom Stoppard
Stage Adaptation: Lee Hall
Director: Declan Donnellan
Designer: Nick Ormerod
Music: Paddy Cunneen
Choreography: Jane Gibson
Lighting: Neil Austin
Sound: Simon Baker
Best New Play
ROMANCE Comedy tradegy
there is nothing more entertaining than the path of true love being intercepted by a very clever dog.
So they made a play out of Shakespeare in Love, the film responsible for Gwyneth Paltrow's Oscar. And guess what? It's much better.Read full review
5 reviews, average rating: (4.3 Stars)
We so enjoyed the play! Viola was amazing and Kit Marlowe rather stole... more
With seats in the Grand Circle last night I thoroughly enjoyed the production... more
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