WHAT IS SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE ABOUT?
Promising young playwright Will Shakespeare is tormented by writer’s block until he finds his muse in the form of passionate noblewoman, Viola De Lesseps. Their forbidden love draws many others, including Queen Elizabeth, into the drama and inspires Will to write the greatest love story of all time, Romeo and Juliet.
Based on the Oscar-winning screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, Shakespeare in Love has been adapted for the stage by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot). The production is directed by Declan Donnellan and designed by Nick Ormerod, the driving force behind the world-renowned theatre company, Cheek by Jowl.
Featuring a company of 28 actors and musicians, this sweeping romantic comedy will transport you back to Shakespeare’s London, teeming with vibrant colours, characters, music and life. Oh, and there’s a bit with a dog!
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William Shakespeare – Tom Bateman
Viola de Lesseps – Lucy Briggs-Owen
Queen Elizabeth – Anna Carteret
Tilney – Ian Bartholomew
Ralph – Tony Bell
Kate – Daisy Boulton
Henslowe – Paul Chahidi
Molly/Mistress Quickly – Janet Fullerlove
Burbage – David Ganly
Sir Robert De Lesseps – Richard Howard
Sam – Harry Jardine
Nurse – Abigail McKern
Marlowe – David Oakes
Mr Wabash – Patrick Osborne
Wessex – Alistair Petrie
Ned Alleyn – Doug Rao
Fennyman – Ferdy Roberts
Webster – Colin Ryan
Directed by Declan Donnellan
Adapted for the stage by Lee Hall
Original screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom StoppardDesigner – Nick Ormerod
Music – Paddy Cunneen
Choreography – Jane Gibson
Lighting Design – Neil Austin
Sound Design – Simon Baker
It is difficult to recall, at least over the course of the last seven years, a commercial production of a new play which has opened directly in the West End and which is as funny, dramatic, enthralling and educational
Stephen Collins, BritishTheatre.com
This is the best British comedy since One Man, Two Guvnors and deserves equal success.
Charles Spencer, The Telegraph
The production begins energetically but sometimes seems encumbered by its lavishness, losing momentum in its second half, and the knowing cleverness of the writing makes the play feel like an anthology of in-jokes and familiar quotations. Yet there are rich laughs, flickers of mischief and peachy spurts of surrealism. A few heavy-handed moments aside, Shakespeare in Love has a fizzy, infectious exuberance.
Henry Hitchings, London Evening Standard
I've often attacked our modern mania for turning movies into plays. But, in the case of Shakespeare in Love, the transformation is fully justified. Even more than the original screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, Lee Hall's new version is a love letter to theatre itself, and one that celebrates the way magic and mystery are born out of chaos and confusion.
Michael Billington, The Guardian