facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11
# I MISS THEATRE
Are you missing theatre as much as we are? Support us now with Theatre Tokens and see your favourite shows when they reopen.

Shakespeare In Love

First Published 24 July 2014, Last Updated 6 August 2014

What’s it all about?

Billy the Bard has writer’s block. Desperate for inspiration, and cash, and with a play promised to two producers, he meets Viola De Lesseps, who gets his words and juices flowing. She wants to be a performer, so dresses as a boy to join Shakespeare’s troupe. (Does this all sound a tad… Shakespearean? There’s much of that, and it’s marvellous.) Though, as Will the wordsmith might say “The course of true love never did run smooth.”

Who’s in it?

Tom Bateman and Lucy Briggs-Owen are a beautiful central pairing, both emotionally and aesthetically. He finds the desperation of a creator who can’t create and the heart-bursting emotion of one all-consumed by passion. She reveals a woman entranced by romance and poetry to doe-eyed perfection.

But theirs is not the only love story. David Oakes as a charismatic Marlowe, held just on the likeable side of smarmy, is the object of Will’s bromance. You can see why Billy S would look up to this big bro figure who seems to have it all.

With so many characters, I could name check the entire ensemble, such is the strength of their wholly enjoyable performances.

What should I look out for?

The many Shakespearean parallels and lines hidden throughout the production like literary Easter eggs. There’s surely a Bardic drinking game waiting to be created to celebrate them.

Neil Austin’s stunning lighting that at times feels like an oil painting, putting one in the mind of Joseph Wright’s An Experiment On A Bird In An Air Pump.

The most atrocious set of auditionees since Britain’s Got Talent’s Best of the Worst compilation.

Who was in the first night crowd?

David Suchet and Zoe Wanamaker were both in, as was Hattie Morahan, who was supporting mum Anna Carteret who plays Queen Elizabeth I. Scarlett Strallen looked stunning in black on the red carpet. (You can see our red carpet pictures on Facebook.) Directors Stephen Daldry, John Tiffany, Michael Grandage and Edward Hall were all in to check out Shakespeare In Love director Declan Donnellan’s work.

In a nutshell?

London’s new Bardic blockbuster is a warm and witty love letter to the stage. You’d be a hey nonny ninny to miss it.

What’s being said on Twitter?

‏@netsymac Very much enjoyed #shakespeareinlove last night. And @PaulChahidi was magnificent as always.

@annalisagordon Still on a high after #shakespeareinlove press night last night. Glorious love letter to theatre and a great night out. @BriggsOwen WOW!

Will I like it (or to see or not to see)?

Shakespeare In Love is very much a love letter to theatre and the Bard written by two acclaimed theatre men – Tom Stoppard first for film, now Lee Hall for the stage. If you love theatre you’ll love it for its in jokes alone.

Even if you’re not a passionate theatrephile, Shakespeare In Love is a cracking tale of love, passion, friendship, honour and performance that will make you laugh, grin, smile and maybe even shed a tear or two.

Oh, and if you don’t know, there’s a bit with a dog… which leads to one of my favourite Shakespearean puns of all time.

Shakespeare In Love is booking at the Noël Coward Theatre until 25 October. You can book tickets through us here.

Share

Sign up

Related articles

If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.