The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and Neal Street Productions, in association with Hera Pictures, have announced the world premiere stage production of Maggie O’Farrell’s HAMNET, adapted by Lolita Chakrabarti.
The production will open in the newly refurbished Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, and run for an eleven-week season from Saturday 1 April 2023.
The story pulls back a curtain on the imagined life of William Shakespeare and the woman and family who influenced his work.
Warwickshire, 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. 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.
HAMNET is directed by Erica Whyman, who is Acting Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. The production marks Erica’s twelfth production for the Company, having first joined the RSC in January 2013 as Deputy Artistic Director. The production will feature Design by Tom Piper, Lighting by Prema Mehta and Music by Oğuz Kaplangi. The Casting Director is Amy Ball CDG with further creative team to be confirmed.
HAMNET marks the official re-opening of the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon following a major refurbishment which began in January 2022. Significant modifications to the theatre include new infrastructure for lighting, sound and video, repairs to the woodwork and brickwork, the introduction of new, wider seats with armrests in all positions replacing the previous bench seating, improved access including an increase in the number of designated wheelchair spaces and an enhanced hearing loop.
Further details of The Swan 2023 re-opening programme will be released early next year.