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Shakespeare's Globe's Emilia transfers to the West End

 Michelle Terry, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and Nicole Charles by Helen Murray Photography

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING its sell-out run at Shakespeare’s Globe this summer, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s new play Emilia, directed by Nicole Charles, is transferring to the Vaudeville Theatre, where it will run for a strictly limited season from March 8 to June 15, 2019.

Emilia Bassano was a writer, teacher, poet and mother said to have been ‘The Dark Lady’ of Shakespeare’s sonnets and one of literature’s first female voices, yet her story has gone untold for centuries – until now.

In August 2017, Shakespeare’s Globe Artistic Director, Michelle Terry, commissioned playwright Morgan Lloyd Malcolm to tell Emilia Bassano’s inspiring story. Weeks later, a female empowerment political movement swept across the Atlantic, uniting women to stand up and speak out, just like Emilia 400 years before.

When the play opened a year later, this serendipitous meeting of an artistic idea and a social awakening sparked a flame within many women who identified with Emilia and embraced her story as their own.

Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe, Michelle Terry said: “We all knew Emilia had an important story to tell and we had to commit to telling it, but an audience decides whether it’s a story worth hearing. We could not be more pleased or more proud that her story gets to be told and heard again and again, and continue a legacy of new plays being given the chance to become old plays because of popular demand.”

Writer Morgan Lloyd Malcolm said: “From the very start it’s felt like both a challenge and a privilege to tell this story. There was something in the air throughout creating this and I’m in no doubt that magic happened this summer. We could never have predicted the response we got and I am so happy and excited to be able to bring Emilia back for more people to meet her.”

The producers of Emilia in the West End said: “This is a fantastic new play, a brilliant production and one of the most powerful experiences we have ever had in a theatre. This is a show that could start a revolution! The opportunity to harness that feeling, bring the spirit of rebellion and this extraordinary company of women into the heart of the West End, is irresistible. With thousands of great seats available at £25 or less, our aim is to make it possible for a wide range of audiences to participate, be entertained and inspired.”

The role of Emilia is played at different stages of her life by three actors who are part of a 17 strong all-female company playing both hers and hims. The cast includes Nadia Albina, Anna Andresen, Jacki Clune, Saffron Coomber, Jenni Maitland, Clare Perkins, Carolyn Pickles, Sarah Seggari, Sophie Stone, Charity Wakefield, Amanda Wilkin and Tanika Yearwood, with further casting to be announced.

Through her poetry Emilia Bassano recognised and paid tribute to the collective strength and support amongst women. In honour of this Emilia is presented in the West End by an all-female producing team: Eleanor Lloyd, Kate Pakenham, Nica Burns and Eilene Davidson.

There will be over 12,000 tickets at £25 or less available in all areas of the theatre across the run of Emilia. To ensure that Emilia is accessible to as broad an audience as possible, the production will be working with specialist organisations to offer £10 tickets across all performances.

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 0330 333 4814 or visit www.nimaxtheatres.com/.

Sam Shepard’s modern classic True West, starring Kit Harington and Johnny Flynn, continues at the Vaudeville Theatre until February 23, 2019.