23 Nov 2019

All-woman West End hit Emilia gets NZ international premiere

From Saturday Morning, 10:05 am on 23 November 2019

She entered the popular imagination as the nameless 'Dark Lady' of Shakespeare's sonnets.  But by all accounts, the poet, writer and teacher Emilia Bassano was a strong, passionate woman who deserved to be celebrated. The English playwright Morgan Lloyd Malcolm reclaims her neglected reputation in Emilia. The idea for her all-female play originally came from the artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe, and Lloyd Malcolm's third play (after The Wasp and Belongings) became her first major hit.

It pushed theatrical boundaries with a deliberate policy of hiring people from groups often overlooked in the industry: it even became the first West End show to host a performance for parents and babies! Now, after a successful run on London's West End, New Zealand's about to become the first country to see Emilia internationally. And a film could be in the offing too. The play gets its international premiere at Auckland's Pop-Up Globe in March 2020.

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Photo: Morgan Lloyd Malcom