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A riotous, witty reclaiming of the life of an exceptional woman.

  • Full Length Play
  • Drama

  • Target Audience: Adult
  • Set Requirements: Bare Stage/Simple Set

  • Performance Group:
  • Community Theatre, Professional Theatre
A riotous, witty reclaiming of the life of an exceptional woman.

Four hundred years ago, Emilia Bassano wanted her voice to be heard. It wasn't. Could she have been the 'Dark Lady' of Shakespeare's sonnets? What of her own poetry? Why was her story erased from history?

In Morgan Lloyd Malcolm's electrifying play, Emilia and her sisters reach out across the centuries with passion, fury, laughter and song.

Emilia received its acclaimed premiere at Shakespeare's Globe in 2018, before galvanising West End audiences the following year. 

PLEASE NOTE: If you or your company are looking to perform Emilia, please read this important note from playwright Morgan Lloyd Malcolm before planning your production.


"A passionately considered manifesto rather than a cautious history lesson... a landmark moment in the history of Shakespeare's Globe."


"The great virtue of Lloyd Malcolm's speculative history lies in its passion and anger: it ends with a blazing address to the audience that is virtually a call to arms... in rescuing Emilia from the shades, it gives her dramatic life and polemical potency."


"Malcolm writes eloquently, at times beautifully, showing Emilia's suffering and brilliance in equal measure... an outright feminist triumph and a brilliant call-to-arms."


"Morgan's words see each and every woman that came before Emilia, have come since her, and are yet to come... a play that transcends time, and place, to find meaning and relevance in a world far removed from its own."

The Stage

"A firecracker of a play… a clever mix of history and revolution."

The Times

"A passionate call-to-arms… a rousing reminder of the countless creative women who have been written out of history or have had to fight relentlessly to make themselves heard."

Evening Standard

"Told with verve, energy and anger… a stirring show."


"Rouses the audience right to their feet… Lloyd Malcolm has uncovered a cracking historical character… a gently meta-theatrical and very jolly historical romp of a show."

Time Out

"Highly entertaining… the spirit and big-heartedness of this show are undeniable."


Premiere Production: Shakespeare's Globe, London, 2018.
  • Casting: 13F
  • Casting Attributes: All Female, Good role(s) for female performers, Multicultural Casting, Expandable casting

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