The Empress - Lyric Hammersmith RSC

The Empress Tickets

Lyric Hammersmith, London
Booking to 28 October 2023
Not currently booking

★★★★ “Winning and unexpectedly touching” – The Times

The RSC’s new production of The Empress by Tanika Gupta, comes to the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre in October 2023.

Directed by Pooja Ghai, Artistic Director of Tamasha, the play spans a period of 13 years over the ‘Golden Era’ of the Victorian Empire.

This epic drama takes audiences from the rugged gangways of Tilbury docks to the grandeur of Queen Victoria’s Palace, whilst unveiling the long and embedded culture of British Asian history which continues to shape our society today.

The original production, directed by Emma Rice for the RSC, first premiered in the Swan Theatre in 2013.

Tanika Gupta has written over 25 stage plays that have been produced in major theatres across the UK. Her critically acclaimed adaptation of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House set in colonial Calcutta launched Rachel O’Riordan’s first season as Artistic Director of the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre in 2019.

The Empress will run at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre from 4 to 28 October 2023.

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What's the story of The Empress?

Set in 1887, the year of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, the play tells the story of the sixteen year-old Rani Das, ayah (nursemaid) to an English family, who arrives at Tilbury docks after a long voyage from India, to start a new life in Britain. On the boat, Rani befriends a lascar (sailor), an Indian politician and a royal servant destined to serve the Queen. Full of hopes and dreams of what lies ahead, they each embark on an extraordinary journey.

Who is in the cast of The Empress?

The cast includes Raj Bajaj as Abdul Karim, Miriam Grace Edwards as Charlotte / Georgina, Francesca Faridany as Lady Sarah, Alexandra Gilbreath as Queen Victoria, Aaron Gill as Hari, Anyebe Godwin as Serang / Lascar, Oliver Hembrough as Sir John Oakham / William / Painter and many more!

Who are the creative team of The Empress?

Written by Tanika Gupta, Artistic Associate of Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, and directed by Pooja Ghai.

Design by Rosa Maggiora, Lighting by Matt Haskins, Music and Sound by Ben and Max Ringham, Movement by Wayne Parsons, Fights and Intimacy by Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown.

Reviews of The Empress

★★★★ "Both winning and unexpectedly touching" - The Times
★★★★ "The cast are uniformly outstanding" - The Guardian
★★★★ "A celebration of culture and strength" - Birmingham Mail

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Show Information

Performance dates
Booking to 28 October 2023
Age restrictions
Running time
2 hours 45 minutes (including interval)
Performance days
Evenings: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Matinees: Saturday

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

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Important Notes

Content guidance:

This production contains explicit language, depictions and description of violence and sexual advances.

Access performances:

Audio Described performance 17 October 2023, 19:30. Captioned performance 20 October 2023, 19:30. Integrated BSL signed performance 27 October 2023, 19:30. BSL performance 28 October 2023, 14:30.

Venue Information

Lyric Hammersmith, King Street, London, W6 0QL
Nearest Tube or Train: Hammersmith (District, Piccadilly, Circle, Hammersmith & City)
Nearest Buses: 27, 110, 190, 218, 267, 306, H91, N9, N11, N266

Ticket Information

Official London Theatre tickets for  The Empress at the Lyric Hammersmith, London

Book tickets to The Empress at the Lyric Hammersmith, London with You will be purchasing official London theatre tickets from an authorised retailer and member of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers.

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