play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel


This show has now closed, please visit our London Shows page for a full list of current productions.

About the Show Less...

A lusty drama set in the famous asylum in 18th century London. Read More >

Nell Leyshon, the first female playwright to have her work staged at Shakespeare’s Globe, has written a play set in the noisy and chaotic world of 18th century London, in the city’s ancient hospital for the insane, Bedlam.

Bedlam is under the supervision of the prejudiced Dr Sidney Carew and his imbecile son, whose interests lie in containing rather than curing their patients. But with the arrival of the lovely country girl, May, and the appointment of a more enlightened and sympathetic governor, this inhuman regime starts to crumble, along with the sanity of the asylum keepers themselves.

Bedlam employs a cast that includes doctors (some mad), patients (some sane), a homicidal painter and a hypchondriac poet. Set against an anarchic backdrop of binge drinkers, gin sellers and ballad singers, Bedlam combines dance and song with scenes of lust, violence, absurd comedy and unexpected romance.

For more about Bedlam at Shakespeare’s Globe read the First Night Feature.


Important Dates & Timing

Previews From: 05/09/2010

Opening Night: 09/09/2010

Closing Night: 01/10/2010

Running time: 2h20

Security note: For your comfort and security, you may be subject to additional checks on your visit to London theatres. Please contact the venue for more information.

Cast & Creative


Jason Baughan, Patrick Brennan, Daon Broni, Phil Cheadle, Sam Crane, Sophie Duval, Christopher Godwin, Sean Kearns, James Lailey, Danny Lee Wynter, Rose Leslie, Kevork Malikyan, Barbara Marten, Joseph Timms, Ella Smith, Lorna Stuart, Finty Williams, Jade Williams


Director - Jessica Swale

Designer - Soutra Gilmour

Author - Nell Leyshon

Music By - Olly Fox

Unlike film, there is currently no official age classification organisation for theatre. All age recommendations are subjective and should be interpreted as guidelines unless otherwise stated. It's the responsibility of the patron to judge the show’s suitability in advance of purchase. We recommend contacting us at if you are in any doubt.