Hamnet - Garrick Theatre

Hamnet Tickets

Garrick Theatre, London
Booking to 17 February 2024
Not currently booking

★★★★ “Lolita Chakrabarti’s rich drama” – Financial Times

The Royal Shakespeare Company presents a major new adaptation of Maggie O’Farrell’s best-selling novel Hamnet.

This thrilling new stage adaptation of Hamnet reveals the imagined life of William Shakespeare and the woman and family who influenced his work.

This new play pulls back a curtain on the imagined family life of William Shakespeare, the greatest writer in the English language. Hamnet is a love letter to passion, birth, grief and the magic of nature.

The production stars Madeleine Mantock (Blithe Spirit – West End) as Agnes Hathaway, and is adapted by Lolita Chakrabarti (Life of Pi) and directed by Erica Whyman.

Hamnet is based on the novel by Maggie O’Farrell, and has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide. The novel was Waterstones’ Book of the Year and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2020, and Maggie O’Farrell also won the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction for the novel.

Hamnet is adapted for the stage by Olivier Award winner Lolita Chakrabarti (Life of Pi), and runs at the Garrick Theatre from 30 September 2023 to 17 February 2024.

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What's the story of Hamnet?

When the plague steals 11-year-old Hamnet from his loving parents, Agnes and William, they must each confront their loss alone. And yet, out of the greatest suffering, something of extraordinary wonder is born.

Set in Warwickshire in 1582, Agnes Hathaway, a natural healer, meets the Latin tutor, William Shakespeare. Drawn together by powerful but hidden impulses, they create a life together and make a family. 

As William moves to London to discover his place in the world of theatre, Agnes stays at home to raise their three children but she is the constant presence and purpose of his life.

Who is in the cast of Hamnet?

Reprising their roles from the RSC’s Stratford-upon-Avon run are lead actors Madeleine Mantock (Agnes Hathaway) and Tom Varey (William Shakespeare), alongside Sarah Belcher (Joan), Will Brown (Burbage/Father John), Ajani Cabey (Hamnet), Frankie Hastings (Eliza/Customer), Karl Haynes (Ned), Alex Jarrett (Judith), Hannah McPake (Jude), Peter Wight (John/Will Kempe), Gabriel Akuwudike (Bartholomew), Phoebe Campbell (Susanna), Mhairi Gayer (Tilly/Caterina/Landlady) and Liza Sadovy (Mary).

 

Who are the creative team of Hamnet?

Based on the novel by Maggie O’Farrell, adapted for the stage by Lolita Chakrabarti, directed by Erica Whyman.

The creative team also includes: Design by Tom Piper, Lighting by Prema Mehta, Sound by Simon Baker, Music by Oğuz Kaplangi, Casting by Amy Ball CDG, Movement by Ayse Tashkiran, Dramaturg Pippa Hill, Fights by Kate Waters, Music Director Alice Brown.


Cast & Creatives Highlights


Reviews of Hamnet

★★★★ "Elegant take on Maggie O’Farrell’s bestseller" - The Evening Standard (Garrick Theatre London)
★★★★ "Lolita Chakrabarti’s rich drama" - The Financial Times (Garrick Theatre London)
"Pure Theatre Gold" - Mail on Sunday (Swan Theatre Stratford)
"The evening soars, and sears" - Telegraph (Swan Theatre Stratford)
"An atmospheric and intimate adaptation" - WestEndTheatre.com (Swan Theatre Stratford)
"Evocative and beautifully acted production" - The Times (Swan Theatre Stratford)
"Tender take on Maggie O’Farrell’s novel" - Financial Times (Swan Theatre Stratford)
"Powerfully played" - The Guardian (Swan Theatre Stratford)
"Lolita Chakrabarti’s pivotal adaptation" - The Observer (Swan Theatre Stratford)

Read more reviews


Show Information

Performance dates
Booking to 17 February 2024
Running time
2 hours 30 minutes (including interval)
Performance days
Evenings: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Matinees: Thursday, Saturday

Performance information is for guidance only. Check booking calendar for details.


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Venue Information

Garrick Theatre, 2 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0HH
Nearest Tube or Train: Charing Cross (Northern line, Bakerloo line), Embankment (Northern line, Bakerloo line, District line, Circle line), Leicester Square (Northern line, Piccadilly line)
Nearest Buses: 3, 6, 9, 12, 13, 15, 24, 29, 30
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Ticket Information

Official London Theatre tickets for  Hamnet at the Garrick Theatre, London

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News about Hamnet

Confirmed: Paul Mescal & Jessie Buckley to star in Hamnet movie adaptation
Screen and stage stars Paul Mescal (A Streetcar Named Desire, Gladiator 2, All of Us Strangers) and Jessie Buckley (Cabaret, Fargo, The Lost Daughter) have been finally confirmed as the leads in Chloe Zhao's new film adaptation of Hamnet, based on the acclaimed novel by Maggie O'Farrell. The movie will see Paul Mescal play William Shakespeare, alongside Jessie Buckley as his wife Agnes Shakespeare. There have been unconfirmed rumours about Hamnet casting since May 2023, but in an interview this week with Vogue Mescal confirmed his and Buckley's participation, saying: "That book – it’s just devastating. I can’t wait. If I told a younger version of myself that this would be [shooting] this year, I wouldn’t believe it. I’ve obviously been in a film with Jessie before [Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter] but we’ve never shared the screen or a working process together. I think she’s one of our present-day greats. And Chloé is somebody I can’t wait to get in the weeds with, and get into the heads of those characters." The book proved a multi-million best-seller, and spin-offs include the stage adaptation of Hamnet by Lolita Chakrabarti for the RSC, which is currently playing at the Garrick Theatre in London until 17 February 2024. News of Chloe Zhao directing Hamnet came last April. Liza Marshall of Hera Pictures had initially jumped in and grabbed the rights to O’Farrell’s best-seller, but agreed to allow the RSC and Sam Mendes' Neal Street Production to produce the stage play before the movie got underway. Marshall, plus Pippa Harris and Sam Mendes on behalf of Neal Street, are producing the movie with Stephen Spielberg's Amblin Pictures, plus Book of Shadows’ Nic Gonda is executive producing. The movie is rumoured to be shooting this spring. Other new projects for Paul Mescal include starring in Ridley Scott's Gladiator sequel, as the son of Russell Crowe's Maximus; and the lead role Richard Linklater's adaptation of Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along, which will be filmed over 20 years. Book tickets to Hamnet at the Garrick Theatre in London
Hamnet Reviews Round-up [Updated]
A reviews round-up of the RSC's production of Hamnet, which opened at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 2023, and is now playing at the West End's Garrick Theatre in London. Based on Maggie O’Farrell’s acclaimed novel, Hamnet is adapted for the stage by Lolita Chakrabarti, and directed by RSC Acting Artistic Director Erica Whyman. The play is adapted for the stage by Lolita Chakrabarti (Life of Pi), and the creative team also includes: Design by Tom Piper, Lighting by Prema Mehta, Sound by Simon Baker, Music by Oğuz Kaplangi, Casting by Amy Ball CDG, Movement by Ayse Tashkiran, Dramaturg Pippa Hill, Fights by Kate Waters, and Music Director Alice Brown. The cast includes Madeleine Mantock (Agnes Hathaway) and Tom Varey (William Shakespeare), alongside Sarah Belcher (Joan), Will Brown (Burbage/Father John), Ajani Cabey (Hamnet), Frankie Hastings (Eliza/Customer), Karl Haynes (Ned), Alex Jarrett (Judith), Hannah McPake (Jude), Peter Wight (John/Will Kempe), Gabriel Akuwudike (Bartholomew), Phoebe Campbell (Susanna), Mhairi Gayer (Tilly/Caterina/Landlady) and Liza Sadovy (Mary). In the play, when the plague steals 11-year-old Hamnet from his loving parents, Agnes and William, they must each confront their loss alone. And yet, out of the greatest suffering, something of extraordinary wonder is born. Set in Warwickshire in 1582, Agnes Hathaway, a natural healer, meets the Latin tutor, William Shakespeare. Drawn together by powerful but hidden impulses, they create a life together and make a family.  As William moves to London to discover his place in the world of theatre, Agnes stays at home to raise their three children but she is the constant presence and purpose of his life. Hamnet was the first production in the RSC's newly renovated Swan Theatre, and ran from 1 April to 17 June 2023 in Stratford. Hamnet is playing at the Garrick Theatre to 6 January 2024. Read reviews from the Telegraph and more, with further reviews to follow. Book tickets to Hamnet at the Garrick Theatre in London This article was first published on 13 April 2023. It has now been updated with reviews from the West End run of this production at the Garrick Theatre in London.
First look: Hamnet in London’s West End – photos
Production photos for the West End premiere of Hamnet have been released. The RSC's acclaimed adaptation of Maggie O'Farrell's Hamnet began preview performances at the Garrick Theatre last week, 30 September, and will have an official opening night on 12 October 2023. Due to overwhelming demand, the show recently extended (Hamnet extends) its run at the Garrick Theatre by 6-weeks and will now play to 17 February 2024. Maggie O'Farrell's much-loved novel is adapted for the stage by award-winning playwright Lolita Chakrabarti, whose writing credits include Red Velvet, Invisible Cities, Hymn, The Goddess and the award-winning stage adaptation of Yann Martel’s Booker Prize winning novel Life of Pi (winner of five Olivier awards including Best New Play, 2022) Hamnet pulls back the curtain on the story of William Shakespeare, the greatest writer in the English language, and the woman who was the constant presence and purpose of his life.  The cast is led by Madeleine Mantock (Agnes Hathaway) and Tom Varey (William Shakespeare). The full cast includes Gabriel Akuwudike (Bartholomew), Sarah Belcher (Joan), Will Brown (Burbage/Father John), Ajani Cabey (Hamnet/Thomas Day), Phoebe Campbell (Susanna), Mhairi Gayer (Tilly/Caterina/Landlady), Frankie Hastings (Eliza), Karl Haynes (Ned/Physician/Condell), Alex Jarrett(Judith),  Hannah McPake (Jude/Physician’s Wife), Liza Sadovy(Mary) and Peter Wight (John/Will Kempe). Haydn Burke and Faye Campbell complete the cast as off-stage understudies.  Directed by Erica Whyman, the play features design by Tom Piper, lighting by Prema Mehta, sound by Simon Baker, music by Oğuz Kaplangi, casting by Amy Ball CDG and movement by Ayse Tashkiran. Hamnet is produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and Neal Street Productions, in association with Hera Pictures. Book Hamnet tickets at the Garrick Theatre in London West End production photos [ngg src="galleries" ids="1349" display="pro_tile"]
Hamnet extends West End run – now booking to 17 February 2024
The West End transfer of Hamnet has extended its run at the Garrick Theatre in London. Due to overwhelming demand, the show will play a further six weeks at the Garrick Theatre, running to 17 February 2024. The RSC's adaptation of Maggie O'Farrell's Hamnet premiered at the RSC’s Stratford-upon-Avon earlier this year, with lead actors Madeleine Mantock (Agnes Hathaway) and Tom Varey (William Shakespeare) set to reprise their roles in the West End, Also reprising their roles will be Sarah Belcher (Joan), Will Brown (Burbage/Father John), Ajani Cabey (Hamnet), Frankie Hastings (Eliza/Customer), Karl Haynes (Ned), Alex Jarrett (Judith), Hannah McPake (Jude) and Peter Wight (John/Will Kempe). As the show begins rehearsal, producers have announced final casting to include: Gabriel Akuwudike (Bartholomew), Phoebe Campbell (Susanna), Mhairi Gayer (Tilly/Caterina/Landlady) and Liza Sadovy (Mary). First day of rehearsal for Hamnet - Garrick Theatre production. Credit Simon Hadley The show opens at London’s Garrick Theatre this autumn, from 30 September 2023. It is set to open to the biggest box office advance in the Garrick Theatre’s history.  Read reviews for the Stratford-upon-Avon run here. Hamnet pulls back the curtain on the story of William Shakespeare, the greatest writer in the English language, and the woman who was the constant presence and purpose of his life.   Maggie O'Farrell's novel of Hamnet has sold over a 1.5 million copies worldwide and was named Waterstones Book of the Year and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2020. O’Farrell also won the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction - the UK's most prestigious annual book award celebrating and honouring fiction written by women. Directed by Erica Whyman, the play is adapted by award-winning playwright Lolita Chakrabarti (Life of Pi, Red Velvet, Hymn), and features design by Tom Piper, lighting by Prema Mehta, sound by Simon Baker, music by Oğuz Kaplangi, casting by Amy Ball CDG and movement by Ayse Tashkiran. Hamnet is produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and Neal Street Productions, in association with Hera Pictures. Book tickets to Hamnet at the Garrick Theatre in London
Hamnet – initial West End cast revealed
Initial casting has been announced for the West End transfer of the RSC's adaptation of Maggie O'Farrell's Hamnet. Reprising their roles from the RSC’s Stratford-upon-Avon run are lead actors Madeleine Mantock (Agnes Hathaway) and Tom Varey (William Shakespeare), alongside Sarah Belcher (Joan), Will Brown (Burbage/Father John), Ajani Cabey (Hamnet), Frankie Hastings (Eliza/Customer), Karl Haynes (Ned), Alex Jarrett (Judith), Hannah McPake (Jude) and Peter Wight (John/Will Kempe). Further casting is still to be announced. The show opens at London’s Garrick Theatre this autumn, from 30 September 2023 to 6 January 2024. It is set to open to the biggest box office advance in the Garrick Theatre’s history.  Read reviews for the Stratford-upon-Avon run here. Hamnet pulls back the curtain on the story of William Shakespeare, the greatest writer in the English language, and the woman who was the constant presence and purpose of his life.   Maggie O'Farrell's novel of Hamnet has sold over a 1.5 million copies worldwide and was named Waterstones Book of the Year and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2020. O’Farrell also won the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction - the UK's most prestigious annual book award celebrating and honouring fiction written by women. Directed by Erica Whyman, the play is adapted by award-winning playwright Lolita Chakrabarti (Life of Pi, Red Velvet, Hymn), and features design by Tom Piper, lighting by Prema Mehta, sound by Simon Baker, music by Oğuz Kaplangi, casting by Amy Ball CDG and movement by Ayse Tashkiran. Hamnet is produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and Neal Street Productions, in association with Hera Pictures. Book tickets to Hamnet at the Garrick Theatre in London
RSC announces new winter 2023 & spring 2024 season
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in Stratford-upon-Avon has announced its new season of plays for winter 2023 and spring 2024, including five new productions. The season is the last for Acting Artistic Director Erica Whyman (Hamnet), who is stepping down in June to make way for new Co-Artistic Directors Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey. Highlights of the new season include an adaptation of John Masefield's The Box of Delights; Isobel McArthur (Pride and Prejudice - sort of) to adapt Thomas Heywood’s The Fair Maid of the West; new play Ben and Imo by Mark Ravenhill about Benjamin Britten and Imogen Holst; and the return of Tracy-Ann Oberman's The Merchant of Venice 1936. The Winter 2023 part of the season kicks off with Justin Audibert (The Taming of the Shrew) back at the RSC to direct Piers Torday’s magical reimagining of John Masefield’s much-loved festive children’s classic The Box of Delights. Playing in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from 31 October 2023 to 7 January 2024, with design by Tom Piper (Hamnet, The Tempest), the show was originally produced for Wilton’s Music Hall in 2017. Justin Audibert is currently Artistic Director of the Unicorn Theatre, but is set to go to Chichester to take over from Daniel Evans as Artistic Director of the Chichester Festival Theatre. In the Swan Theatre, Olivier award-winning playwright Isobel McArthur will make her RSC debut directing and adapting Thomas Heywood’s Elizabethan comedy The Fair Maid of the West. The show will play from 2 December 2023 to 14 January 2024, designed by Ana Inés Jabares-Pita (As You Like It). Olivier Award-winning director Isobel McArthur wrote and starred in Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of), which was awarded Best Entertainment or Comedy Play at the 2022 Oliviers and is now touring the UK. The spring 2024 part of the season will see Eleanor Rhode direct a new production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from 30 January to 30 March 2024. And in the Swan Theatre, Mark Ravenhill’s new play, Ben and Imo will tell the story of the creative relationship between composer Benjamin Britten and Imogen Holst, daughter of Gustav and an accomplished musician in her own right. Playing from 21 February to 6 April 2024, Ben and Imo will be directed by Erica Whyman. The Swan Theatre will also see the return of The Merchant of Venice 1936, adapted by Tracy-Ann Oberman and Brigid Larmour, starring Oberman as Shylock, from 24 January to 10 February 2024. Finally, the RSC will produce a new First Encounters production for 8 to 13 year olds, with a new production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The play will tour schools and theatres across the UK during spring 2024, and play the Swan from 21 to 30 March 2024. The production is directed by Philip J Morris, Artistic Director of Trybe House Theatre. Coming to the West End in September is the RSC's successful stage adaptation of Maggie O'Farrell's best-selling novel Hamnet, directed by Erica Whyman, which will transfer to the Garrick Theatre, running from 30 September 2023 to 6 January 2024. Erica Whyman, Acting Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, said in a statement: “I am properly proud to be announcing this, my last season as Acting Artistic Director. To lead this organisation out of the pandemic has been a privilege and I am enormously proud of the strong foundations I leave for its next chapter. All these productions will celebrate the power of imagination, from Shakespeare’s delicious fantasy of fairies and lovers to Imogen Holst and Benjamin Britten wrestling with the rigours of a Royal Commission, to the faith a child has that Christmas is worth fighting for. Not to mention the glorious Bess, our Fair Maid, whose adventures in a man’s world will be exuberantly re-imagined, and a new Romeo and Juliet which will insist we properly imagine what it is to be young in a dangerous world. This season and the artists who lead it -Isobel, Mark, Eleanor, Justin, Piers, Philip, Tracy-Ann and Brigid - embody the qualities I hope have defined my tenure; courage, honesty and ingenuity. I am grateful to them and all the artists and staff who have walked these last wild and rewarding years with me.” Book tickets to Hamnet at the Garrick Theatre in London
Hamnet Review – Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon ★★★★
An atmospheric and intimate adaptation of Maggie O’Farrell’s mega-hit novel. Expectations are high for the RSC’s new stage adaptation of Maggie O’Farrell’s novel Hamnet, and they are largely met by a simple but textured production that makes the story more linear, and relies on solid performances to succeed.  Maggie O’Farrell’s novel Hamnet came out in March 2020, just as the UK had its first Covid lockdown, and for many, myself included, it became one of a few things that helped get through those strange times.  Her mystical, magical book, steeped in the details of Elizabethan daily life and the rural tranquility of Stratford-upon-Avon, transported us to another world; and the threat of disease hanging over their lives, and taking their loved ones, brought us sharply back to the realities of what our world was going through.  Adapting Hamnet for the stage, a story centred on William Shakespeare’s family life in Stratford-upon-Avon, is clearly a no-brainer for the Royal Shakespeare Company, but not without its dangers: the production could easily become a Shakespeare Show, in a town that is already perilously close to“Elizabethan Theme Park” status. But Erica Whyman’s production, now playing at the newly - and beautifully - renovated Swan Theatre, never rests on easy tropes, and manages to pull off a simplicity and innocence that defies that cynicism, evoking - and even harnessing - the strong sense of place at the heart of O’Farrell’s novel. The story centres on the love between a young Shakespeare and farm girl Agnes; they are attracted to each other in a visceral way, and when she becomes pregnant out of wedlock, a hasty wedding is planned, with Shakespeare’s father clearing his debts with Agnes’ family in exchange for the young couple taking possession of an annexe next to the family home.  The annexe dominates Tom Piper’s set - a big wooden A made of ladders and a mezzanine, perhaps a counterpoint to Shakespeare’s big wooden O in London.  For after their first born, and with another on the way, Shakespeare’s restlessness with life in Stratford prompts Agnes to selflessly suggest that he tries his luck in London, selling the gloves that his family business produces. The rest, as far as world literature is concerned, is history, but for Agnes at home, now with Susanna and twins - Judith and Hamnet, life starts to unravel when the plague descends, and Hamnet dies aged only 11.  The stage adaptation, by playwright Lolita Chakrabarti, is particularly linear compared to O’Farrell’s time-jumping novel, which makes sense in practice, but sometimes robs the play of the drama and intrigue you feel in the book. The production does find ways to play with time, using ghosts and voices from both past and future to add to the mysticism of Agnes’ world.  Use of music - there is a full band, and sound, by Xana, could have gone even further to help evoke Stratford and London, and the inner life of Agnes.   The adaptation does succeed in giving a clear voice and agency to the character of Agnes, played with gentle skill and, during the scenes of childbirth, grief and loss, roaring intensity by Madeleine Mantock. The wider cast is equally impressive, including Tom Varey’s passionate, eloquent Shakespeare, and Ajani Cabey bringing a joyful exuberance to the character of 11 year old Hamnet. The final scenes set at the Globe in London, where Shakespeare performs his new play, Hamlet, about a man haunted by death, are revelatory and moving, in spite of the staging, which often feels clumsy and inhibiting.  Perhaps more than anything, this production awakens your understanding of why the pair fell in love in the first place, and how and why they stayed together: Agnes’ instinctive feelings and Shakespeare’s instinctive eloquence were the catalyst for their first love, and their lasting love. Rating: ★★★★  Hamnet is playing at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon until 17 June 2023. Following its run in Stratford, Hamnet will transfer to London's West End, playing at the Garrick Theatre from 30 September 2023 to 6 January 2024. Book tickets to Hamnet at the Garrick Theatre in London
Hamnet at the RSC – First-look photos
Photos are in for the RSC's forthcoming adaptation of Maggie O'Farrell's Hamnet. This new play is based on the best-selling novel by Maggie O'Farrell, and adapted by award-winning playwright Lolita Chakrabarti (Life of Pi, Red Velvet, Hymn). Hamnet plays at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon from 1 April to Saturday 17 June. The show will also transfer to London’s Garrick Theatre this autumn, from 30 September 2023 to 6 January 2024. Hamnet pulls back the curtain on the story of William Shakespeare, the greatest writer in the English language, and the woman who was the constant presence and purpose of his life.   Madeleine Mantock stars as Agnes Hathaway in the play, making her RSC debut. Madeleine made her West End stage debut in 2021 playing Elvira in Richard Eyre’s production of Blithe Spirit at the Harold Pinter Theatre. For TV, Madeleine recently played Macy Vaughn in CBS studios series Charmed, and Miss Clara in the BBC’s The Long Song. Other TV credits include The Tomorrow People (Warner Brothers), Age Before Beauty (BBC) and Into the Badlands (AMC). Madeleine’s film credits include Breaking Brooklyn(Montage Films), The Truth Commissioner (BBC Films) and Edge of Tomorrow (Warner Brothers).   Tom Varey plays William Shakespeare, also making his RSC debut, and Peter Wight returns to the RSC for the first time since 1997 to play John/Will Kempe. The company of Hamnet also includes: Sarah Belcher (Joan), Will Brown (Burbage/Father John), Haydn Burke(Off-stage Understudy), Ajani Cabey (Hamnet/Thomas Day) Faye Campbell (Off-stage Understudy),Frankie Hastings (Eliza), Karl Haynes (Ned), Alex Jarrett (Judith), Hannah McPake (Jude), Rose Riley (Tilly/Caterina), Elizabeth Rider (Mary), Harmony Rose-Bremner (Susanna) and Obioma Ugoala (Bartholomew). Madeleine Mantock is set to star in the West End transfer of the play at the Garrick Theatre, with the other cast to be confirmed. Maggie O'Farrell's novel of Hamnet has sold over a 1.5 million copies worldwide and was named Waterstones Book of the Year and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2020. O’Farrell also won the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction - the UK's most prestigious annual book award celebrating and honouring fiction written by women. Directed by Erica Whyman, the play features Set and Costume Design by Tom Piper, Lighting by Prema Mehta, Sound by Xana, Music by Oğuz Kaplangi, Casting by Amy Ball CDG and Movement by Ayse Tashkiran. Hamnet is produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and Neal Street Productions, in association with Hera Pictures. Book tickets to Hamnet at the Garrick Theatre in London Photos: Hamnet (RSC) [ngg src="galleries" ids="1117" display="pro_tile"]
Hamnet set for movie adaptation following stage premiere
Maggie O'Farrell's best-selling novel Hamnet is set for another adaptation. Following the RSC's stage adaptation of the book, which has its press night next week at the RSC's newly refurbished Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, the story is set for the big screen. Chloé Zhao (Nomadland, Marvel’s Eternals) has been attached as director to the new movie version, which has Sam Mendes and Caro Newling's Neal Street Productions, also co-producers of the stage play, as the film's producers, alongside Amblin Partners, Hera Pictures, and Book of Shadows. The script for the movie will not be based on Lolita Chakrabarti's (Life of Pi) stage adaptation, but rather a new screenplay written by Chloé Zhao. The story is based on the real-life characters of William Shakespeare, and his wife Agnes who struggles to come to terms with the loss of her only son. The novel has scooped multiple prizes for O'Farrell including the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction, and the 2020 National Book Critics Circle Awards fiction prize. Liza Marshall, Pippa Harris and Sam Mendes will be the producers for Neal Street Productions, with their previous movies including award-winning 1917, and stage productions such as the current West End run of The Lehman Trilogy at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. Nic Gonda will executive produce for Book of Shadows, along with Amblin's Jeb Brody and Mia Maniscalco. Following its run at the Swan Theatre and a short tour, Hamnet is coming to London, playing the Garrick Theatre from 30 September 2023 to 6 January 2024. Book tickets to Hamnet at the Garrick Theatre in London
RSC’s Hamnet to transfer to the West End’s Garrick Theatre
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has announced that its world-premiere production of Hamnet is transferring to London's Garrick Theatre. The show will play for a strictly limited 14 week season at the Garrick Theatre from 30 September 2023 to 6 January 2024. The play is based on Maggie O’Farrell’s acclaimed, best-selling novel, adapted by Lolita Chakrabarti (Life of Pi) and directed by RSC Acting Artistic Director Erica Whyman. The play will be the first production in the RSC's newly renovated Swan Theatre, joining shows including The Empress and Falkland Sound, and run from 1 April to 17 June 2023 in Stratford. The Swan Theatre run is already sold out. Casting for the play will see Agnes Hathaway played by Madeleine Mantock (Blithe Spirit - West End), who also stars at the Swan Theatre in Stratford. Other cast are to be confirmed, but at the Swan Theatre the role of William Shakespeare is played by Tom Varey (Ackley Bridge), John/Will Kempe by Peter Wight (Vera Drake), and the wider company includes Sarah Belcher (Joan), Will Brown (Burbage/Father John), Haydn Burke (Ensemble), Ajani Cabey (Hamnet/Thomas Day) Faye Campbell (Ensemble), Frankie Hastings (Eliza), Karl Haynes (Ned), Alex Jarrett (Judith), Hannah McPake (Jude), Rose Riley (Tilly/Caterina), Elizabeth Rider (Mary), Harmony Rose-Bremner (Susanna) and Obioma Ugoala (Bartholomew). The play is a co-pro with Sam Mendes and Caro Newling's Neal Street Productions, who are currently co-producing the National Theatre's production of The Lehman Trilogy - which Sam Mendes directed - at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London. They are also co-producing the National's new production of Jack Thorne's The Motive and the Cue, which comes to the National in April 2023 starring Johnny Flynn, Tuppence Middleton, Mark Gatiss and Janie Dee. Hera Pictures are also co-producing. The production will feature Set and Costume Design by Tom Piper, Lighting by Prema Mehta, Sound by Xana, Music by Oğuz Kaplangi, Casting by Amy Ball CDG, Movement by Ayse Tashkiran and Fights by Kate Waters. Book tickets to Hamnet at the Garrick Theatre in London The Quotes Maggie O’Farrell said: “It’s wonderful and welcome news that Hamnet will transfer to the Garrick Theatre later this year. I was astonished at how fast the Stratford-upon-Avon tickets sold and it’s lovely to know that more people will have the chance to see it in its new London home. It has been a joy from start to finish to work with the RSC, Hera Pictures, Neal Street Productions, director Erica Whyman and playwright Lolita Chakrabarti on bringing this adaptation into being. I have been lucky enough to attend rehearsals, and to have a glimpse into the creative process of transposing a novel into a play has been fascinating. The cast are fantastic, each and every one, and are breathing new life into the story for its stage version. The motivation, for me, in writing the novel was to give a voice and a presence to the only son of William Shakespeare, who died when he was eleven and has ever since been relegated to a literary footnote in his father’s biography. Although Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon and maintained strong ties with the town throughout his life, choosing to return to his family there when he retired, London was of course the centre of his professional life. It feels particularly apt and moving, therefore, that a play which puts Hamnet centre stage will now move to the world of theatrical London.” Lolita Chakrabarti said, “I am beyond excited that Hamnet is transferring, following the sell-out run at the Swan. It has been a real journey to adapt Maggie’s beautiful, deep novel, but this is a story of the joys and trials of family life, so it has been very familiar as well. This play is, in part, about William Shakespeare, but it is mainly about Agnes Hathaway, the wife who gave him three children. It is the imagined story of their life. It feels right that we bring Hamnet to London, to the streets he would’ve walked and the world he inhabited. The West End is no stranger to Shakespeare’s work, but I hope London audiences will come to see Hamnet to meet the entire Shakespeare family and discover more about the works they helped to inspire.” Erica Whyman, Acting Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company said; “I have been overwhelmed by the response to Hamnet in Stratford and the palpable excitement about bringing this beautiful and important book to the stage. We are having a rewarding and inventive time in rehearsals and I’m delighted that we will now be able to share this emotional rollercoaster of a story with audiences in London. It has meant the world to me to be collaborating with Neal Street and Hera Pictures who have supported the idea of this adaptation from the very beginning and are making this transfer possible. The RSC is enormously proud of the new work we make and we are always seeking partners so that we can share our work in London, most recently the phenomenally successful My Neighbour Totoro with the Barbican, Improbable and Nippon TV and later this year The Empress will be at the Lyric Hammersmith.  Hamnet is a compelling story about love. It transcends 400 years of history - a history some of us may know - and speaks with total freshness straight to our hearts. It is a story of birth, death and hope which centres characters and lives who have been left in the shadows. It is also a hymn to the unique emotional wisdom of the theatre. Lolita's brilliantly sharp adaptation carries us from the wildflowers of Stratford to the boisterous success of London theatre - and now the production will too!”  Caro Newling, Neal Street Productions said; "Maggie O’Farrell’s piercing account of Hamnet’s short life and his immeasurable legacy has found a perfect home at the Swan Theatre. To collaborate with the RSC, led by Erica and the creative team she has built to make this production, fulfils a long-held hope to make a stage adaptation rooted in the fullest possible appreciation of the story’s time, place and spirit. The appetite for this title has powered immediate plans for a move to London and we're delighted to be arriving at the Garrick Theatre within weeks of the run at Stratford-upon-Avon." 
RSC’s Hamnet casting announced
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has announced casting for it's forthcoming world-premiere production of Hamnet at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. Based on Maggie O’Farrell’s best-selling novel, Hamnet is adapted by Lolita Chakrabarti (Life of Pi) and directed by RSC Acting Artistic Director Erica Whyman. Agnes Hathaway will be played by Madeleine Mantock (Blithe Spirit - West End) in the play, with William Shakespeare played by Tom Varey (Ackley Bridge). The role of John/Will Kempe will be played by Peter Wight (Vera Drake). The company also includes; Sarah Belcher (Joan), Will Brown (Burbage/Father John), Haydn Burke (Ensemble), Ajani Cabey (Hamnet/Thomas Day) Faye Campbell (Ensemble), Frankie Hastings (Eliza), Karl Haynes (Ned), Alex Jarrett (Judith), Hannah McPake (Jude), Rose Riley (Tilly/Caterina), Elizabeth Rider (Mary), Harmony Rose-Bremner (Susanna) and Obioma Ugoala (Bartholomew). The play is a co-production with Sam Mendes' Neal Street Productions, who are currently co-producing the National Theatre's production of The Lehman Trilogy - which Sam Mendes directed - at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London. They are also co-producing the National's new production of Jack Thorne's The Motive and the Cue, which comes to the National in April 2023 starring Johnny Flynn, Tuppence Middleton, Mark Gatiss and Janie Dee. Hera Pictures are also co-producing. The play will be the first production in the RSC's newly renovated Swan Theatre, joining shows including The Empress and Falkland Sound. Writer Lolita Chakrabarti said in a press statement: “Writing this play was made even more challenging due to the huge impact Maggie O’Farrell’s novel has had. Every reader seems to have a very personal relationship to this story. Shakespeare is studied, examined and lauded across the world and at times, it has felt presumptuous of me to add my own flavour to this iconic man. When I began researching sixteenth century Stratford and London I was instantly drawn to the diversity in England at that time. It no longer surprises me that there were all kinds of people here. That is how the world works - immigration has always been a reality and as expected, many of those people integrated into British society. There are limited facts about Agnes/Anne Hathaway but I love playing with history and fiction and moulding them together so that one informs the other. It is a great privilege to look at the Shakespeares through my detailed research and personal lens. This woman behind the playwright is a fascinating character and after studying Maggie’s book, it is clear to me now that her son was the inspiration for one of our greatest pieces of English literature.” The production will feature Set and Costume Design by Tom Piper, Lighting by Prema Mehta, Sound by Xana, Music by Oğuz Kaplangi, Casting by Amy Ball CDG, Movement by Ayse Tashkiran and Fights by Kate Waters. Book tickets to Hamnet at the Garrick Theatre in London More about the principles Madeleine Mantock Making her RSC debut in the role of Agnes Hathaway is Madeleine Mantock. Madeleine made her West End stage debut in 2021 playing Elvira in Blithe Spirit at the Harold Pinter Theatre. For TV, Madeleine recently played Macy Vaughn in CBS studios series Charmed and Miss Clara in the BBC’s The Long Song. Other TV credits include The Tomorrow People (Warner Brothers), Age Before Beauty (BBC) and Into the Badlands (AMC). Madeleine’s film credits include Breaking Brooklyn (Montage Films), The Truth Commissioner (BBC Films) and Edge of Tomorrow (Warner Brothers). Tom Varey Joining Madeleine, and also making his debut with the RSC, is Tom Varey playing William Shakespeare. Tom’s previous theatre credits include Death Watch (The Print Room), One Arm (Southwark Playhouse), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Liverpool Everyman) and A Taste of Honey (Trafalgar Studios). For TV, Tom played Bert Middleton in the ITV drama serial The Village and Will Simpson in the long-running soap Ackley Bridge. He went on to play Cley Cerwyn in the HBO drama Game of Thrones. More recently, Tom played Jack Morris in the four-part BBC One drama Ridley Road. Other TV and film credits include Fifteen Love, Death in Paradise, No Offence and Dark Angel. Peter Wight Returning to the RSC for the first time since 1997, Peter Wight will play John/Will Kempe. His previous roles for the RSC include The Spanish Tragedy, Much Ado About Nothing, Barbarians, A Clockwork Orange and Hamlet. Throughout his prolific stage career, Peter has enjoyed residencies at theatres including the National Theatre, Harold Pinter Theatre, Royal Court, Duke of York’s Theatre, the Lyric Hammersmith, Sheffield Crucible and the New York Armory. Recent stage credits include Hamlet, Oresteia (Park Avenue Armory Theatre), Uncle Vanya and The Birthday Party (Harold Pinter Theatre), Rosmersholm (Duke of York’s). As a screen actor, Peter is perhaps best known for his collaboration with Mike Leigh on Meantime, Naked, Vera Drake, Another Year and Mr Turner. For TV, Peter enjoyed long-running roles in the BBC sitcom Early Doors and police drama Out of the Blue. More recently, Peter has appeared in A Confession (ITV), This Time with Alan Partridge (BBC1), Vanity Fair (ITV/Amazon), The Crown (Netflix), Brief Encounters, I Want My Wife Back and Our Zoo.
Hamnet to reopen the RSC’s Swan Theatre adapted by Lolita Chakrabarti
The Royal Shakespeare Company is bringing a major new adaptation of Maggie O’Farrell’s award-winning novel Hamnet to the stage. Adapted by Olivier Award winning Lolita Chakrabarti (Life of Pi), the world premiere will re-open the RSC's newly refurbished Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon on 1 April 2023, running for an 11 week season to 17 June 2023. The play is a co-production between the RSC and Sam Mendes' Neal Street Productions, in association with Hera Pictures. Hamnet reveals the imagined life of William Shakespeare and the woman and family who influenced his work. Set in Warwickshire in 1582, the play sees Agnes Hathaway, a natural healer, meet the Latin tutor, William Shakespeare. Drawn together by powerful but hidden impulses, they create a life together and make a family. As William moves to London to discover his place in the world of theatre, Agnes stays at home to raise their three children, but she is the constant presence and purpose of his life. When the plague steals 11-year-old Hamnet from his loving parents, they must each confront their loss alone. And yet, out of the greatest suffering, something of extraordinary wonder is born. The opening of Hamnet will mark the official re-opening of the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon following a major refurbishment which began in January 2022 which includes new lighting, sound and video, better seating and access. Hamnet will be directed by Erica Whyman, Acting Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Erica steps down at the RSC in June 2023 when Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey take up their posts as the RSC's new co-artistic directors. Hamnet will feature Design by Tom Piper, Lighting by Prema Mehta and Music byOğuz Kaplangi. The Casting Director is Amy Ball CDG with further creative team to be confirmed. The production is adapted for the stage by award-winning playwright Lolita Chakrabarti, whose writing credits include Red Velvet, Invisible Cities, Hymn, The Goddess and the award-winning stage adaptation of Yann Martel’s Booker Prize winning novel Life of Pi, which won five Olivier Awards including Best New Play, 2022. Life of Pi transfers to Broadway’s Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre from the American Repertory Theatre in Boston in March 2023. She was also dramaturg on Message in a Bottle, curated The Greatest Wealth, for which she wrote a monologue and is dramaturg on the forthcoming Sylvia at The Old Vic. The original novel of Hamnet has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide and was Waterstones' Book of the Year and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2020. Maggie O'Farrell also won the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction for the novel. Erica Whyman, Acting Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and director of Hamnet, said in a press statement: “I could not be more thrilled to be directing this adaptation of ‘Hamnet’. Maggie’s beautiful novel moved and inspired me in the darkest days of lockdown as it did for so many. It is high time we heard the compelling story of Agnes Hathaway and her children, voices that have been somewhat neglected, and who offer a wholly new perspective on ‘her Poet’. It has been a privilege to collaborate with Lolita and her adaptation is also a celebration of the power of theatre. It is especially fitting that this production will reopen the unique Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, evoking as it does a different time in the town, one that not only gave birth to our house playwright but one which knew what it was to live through waves of pandemic, of grief and recovery. I am delighted to be collaborating once more with Tom Piper, Prema Mehta and Oğuz Kaplangi, all of whom relish the theatrical possibilities of the Swan and the emotional power of this story. “The Swan will have been closed for three years, and we have missed it very much. I am enormously proud of our recent history of premiering bold and ambitious new work in that space, from ‘Oppenheimer’ to ‘Hecuba’ to ‘Seven Acts of Mercy’ to ‘Miss Littlewood’. When we closed in 2020 we were midway through a season which included ‘A Museum in Baghdad’ and ‘The Whip’ and the latter has recently been included in the GCSE syllabus. It remains an essential part of the RSC’s programme to commission and produce vivid new plays with an epic imagination and Hamnet marks the beginning of a wonderful year back on that intimate stage.” Adaptor of Hamnet for the stage, Lolita Chakrabarti, said: “I am so thrilled to have been given the opportunity to adapt Maggie O’Farrell’s much-loved novel for the stage. It has been a gift to absorb this story and to imagine Anne Hathaway (Agnes in the book) and her husband William Shakespeare. It has been a fascinating task to look at our greatest writer in the English language as a man, not a genius, and to discover the family behind him and the influences on his work. As part of my research, I have greatly enjoyed experiencing Stratford and visited many of the buildings and streets Shakespeare and Agnes would have inhabited. While the facts about the Shakespeare family are limited, this is a universal story about a family’s dynamics, the devastating effects of a child's death, the necessary reinvention after loss and how new writing is formed. It has been a privilege to recreate and imagine the life of an often forgotten but important figure, Mrs Shakespeare. And to be re-opening the Swan Theatre with this play is very exciting indeed, bringing back a much loved and beautiful performance space here in the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon where Agnes and William can live again.” Author of Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell, said: “I couldn’t be happier that the RSC will be premiering their stage adaption of Hamnet at the Swan Theatre. The motivation, for me, in writing the novel was to give a voice and a presence to the only son of William Shakespeare, who died when he was eleven and has ever since been relegated to a literary footnote in his father’s biography. I wanted to write a book that put this forgotten child centre-stage, to say to the world that he was important, he was grieved, his life was significant, and that without his early death, we wouldn’t have Hamlet and we wouldn’t have Twelfth Night. It has been a joy from start to finish to work with the RSC, Erica Whyman and Lolita Chakrabarti on bringing this adaptation into being. That Hamnet the boy will now be appearing in a play with his name, in the very town where he lived and died, is an incredibly moving thought. I’m so grateful to everyone involved in this exciting venture.” Book tickets to Hamnet at the Garrick Theatre in London

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