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St Martins Lane, London WC2N 4ES

The Handmaid's Tale

Closed February 15, 2024

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum!

Why See The Handmaid's Tale?

Classical & Opera

Praise be

Margaret Atwood's unsettlingly prescient cultural phenomenon is lifted from the page to the stage in this haunting adaptation by Poul Ruders and Paul Bentley. First seen in Copenhagen in 2000, this critically acclaimed opera returns London in this fantastic staging directed by the ENO's Artistic Director Annilese Miskimmon.

 The Handmaid's tale details one woman's terrible fate in a theocratic dystopia. An unforgettable story of rebellion, loss, and the remarkable power of hope in extraordinary, but increasingly more likely circumstances.

May the Lord open - the story of The Handmaid's Tale

Following the downfall of the United States of America to a militant theocratic group sometime in the not-too-distant future, a generation becomes indoctrinated into the Republic of Gilead. A fascistic religious society, all women are now without suffrage or rights, but those deemed 'sinners' suffer an even more twisted fate - to become 'Handmaids' - the fertile slaves to childless couples. Bound to keep reproducing or face exile or even death. But now one Handmaid, Offred, has had enough of this frightening reality and vows to stop at nothing to tear Gilead down. Recognizable from both Atwood's books and the Hulu series starring Elizabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale is a landmark of speculative fiction that grows evermore prescient by the day.

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Additional Information


Opening night: 1 February 2024


This production is recommended for ages 15+.

Run time

Three hours and 15 minutes with interval

And before you stop reading

Sung in English. With surtitles above the stage

Cast and Creative


Nadine Benjamin
Rhian Lois
Eleanor Dennis

Zwakele Tshabalala
Alan Oke
John Findon


Madeleine Shaw
Susan Bickley
Annabella Vesela Ellis


Direction by Annilese Miskimmon 
Revival direction by James Hurley
Set design and costume by Annemarie Woods
Lighting by Paule Constable
Revival lighting by Marc Rosette
Movement direction by Imogen Knight 
Revival movement direction by Anjali Mehra
Video design by Akhila Krishnan
Sound design by Yvonne Gilbert 
Libretto by Paul Bentley

What you thought

17 reviews, average rating: (1.3 Stars)

1.5 star rating

Richard : “Entertainment ”

A melodramatic, monotone of negativity. Part of going to an Opera is listening... more

Jenny : “The Handmaids Tale”

Dissatisfied we left after first half with many others Good performers... more

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