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The cast of Emilia: Michelle Terry, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and Nicole Charles. Photo by Helen Murray

The cast of Emilia: Michelle Terry, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and Nicole Charles. Photo by Helen Murray

Emilia transfers to the Vaudeville Theatre

Eleni Cashell

By Eleni Cashell First Published 11 December 2018, Last Updated 13 December 2018

One of literature’s first female voices will be celebrated in the West End in March 2019, when Emilia transfers to the Vaudeville Theatre for a limited run.

The show tells the untold story of Emilia Bassano; the first published female poet, a teacher, mother, and ‘The Dark Lady’ of Shakespeare’s sonnets.

You may even recognise her name, as there are several characters called Emilia in Shakespeare’s plays, including Othello, The Two Noble Kinsmen, The Winter’s Tale and The Comedy of Errors. Many believe this is further evidence that Emilia Bassano was Shakespeare’s muse.

Directed by Nicole Charles, produced by all-female team (Eleanor Lloyd, Kate Pakenham, Nica Burns, Eilene Davidson) and featuring an all-female cast, the show follows Emilia at different stages of her life. The 17-strong cast includes Nadia Albina, Anna Andresen, Jackie Clune, Saffron Coomber, Jenni Maitland, Clare Perkins, Carolyn Pickles, Sarah Seggari, Sophie Stone, Charity Wakefield, Amanda Wilkin and Tanika Yearwood. Further casting is still to be announced.

A previous hit at Shakespeare’s Globe when it was first shown in 2017, the show’s initial opening coincided with a female empowerment political movement, which united and encouraged women to stand up and speak out, just like Emilia. Thanks to them, what started as 11 performances at the Globe extends into the West End.

The show’s writer, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, said about the show’s transfer, “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.”

Emilia will run at the Vaudeville from 8 March – 15 June 2019.

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