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Discover the untold story of Emilia Bassano, a published poet who was rumoured to be the Dark Lady, Shakespeare’s lover. Showcasing a completely female cast, Emilia goes beyond anything you thought you knew about Shakespeare.

Why Watch Emilia

Emilia is written by the immensely talented Morgan Lloyd Malcolm during the period when the headlines were filled with #MeToo. Directly by Nicole Charles, Emilia features an all-female cast and is nothing like anything you’ve ever seen. The 17-strong cast comprises actors such as Amanda Wilkin, Carolyn Pickles, Anna Andersen, Clare Perkins, Jenni Maitland, Charity Wakefield, Jakie Clune, Nadia Albina, Sarah Seggari, Tanika Yearwood, Sophie Stone and Saffron Coomber. Emilia will be played by not one, not two, but three different actresses. Each one depicts a different stage in the life of Emilia. This play was commissioned by Michelle Terry, the Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe and is highly captivating. With an all-female cast, Emilia guarantees to send ripples across the world. You will feel the raw intensity and unbridled passion of the play with the performance of the lead actors. You will feel Emilia and her sisters reach across the centuries with their stories that include everything from fury and rage to laughter and song! The play directly addresses the audience, and the unbridled passion with which the message is sent across is wonderful to behold.

The Story

Emilia is the tale of Emilia Bassano, also called the Dark Lady. Rumoured to be William Shakespeare’s secret lover, here is a story that the world has never heard before. Described as having greyish skin and black hair in Shakespeare’s sonnets 127-154, there is a lot about this mystery woman that is yet to be unveiled. Malcolm has portrayed Emilia as not only the famous poet that she was, but also a mother, a teacher and a writer. She is also shown to be a strong female voice in English literature, in a time that was dominated by men. Emilia is the story of a pioneering woman in the 17th century, who wanted her voice to be heard, although owing to the circumstances, she was never able to reach out to a large enough audience.

Good for

Lovers of Shakespeare | Lovers of Drama

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Know Before You Go

Show Details

Show Timings

Mon, Tue, Thu & Fri 7:30 PM
Wed & Sat 2:30 PM & 7:30 PM


Additional Information


Available Facilities
Wheelchair accessible
In-house bar
Coat check

The Vaudeville Theatre has a seating capacity of 690 people.

Outside Food
Strictly prohibited. If you'd like to grab a meal before or after the show, check out our guide to the 30 Best Restaurants in West End.

Dress Code
Smart and casual wear is recommended. Keep in mind, the theatre is air conditioned throughout the year and can get a bit chilly.

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Cancellation Policy

This experience cannot be canceled, amended or rescheduled.

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Mes Billets

You will receive an email with your voucher. You may display your voucher on your mobile phone. Please carry a valid photo ID for identification.

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Vaudeville Theatre, 404 Strand, London

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