“Of the numerous puzzles about William Shakespeare, those concerning his love life are the most tantalizing. Why did he marry a local woman, Anne Hathaway, have three children with her, then decamp to London for a life in the theater? What was their relationship really like? And why do we know so little about Anne herself, whom one scholar has called a “wife-shaped void” in the playwright’s story? This year, the 400th anniversary’s of Anne death, might be the year we finally hear about this other Shakespeare. A volume of celebratory poems, “Anne-thology,” is being published later this month. A small bust of her has been unveiled at Holy Trinity church in Stratford-upon-Avon, where her body has lain next to her husband’s since 1623. And, most strikingly, a Royal Shakespeare Company production devoted to her story opens next Wednesday at the company’s Swan Theater in the town.”—In ‘Hamnet,’ Shakespeare’s Wife Takes the Stage, at Last
About Anne-thology: Poems Re-Presenting Anne Shakespeare [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher] eds Paul Edmondson, Aaron Kent, Chris Laoutaris, and Katherine Scheil.
“For four centuries Anne Shakespeare, née Hathaway, has been in her famous husband’s shadow. It’s high time she had a book of her own.
This bold and ground-breaking volume places her centre-stage and encourages us to re-imagine Anne in her own right, and afresh for our own times. Anne-thology: Poems Re-Presenting Anne Shakespeare brings together sixty-seven newly-commissioned poems, one for each year of Anne’s life. Here, too, are ten poems of the past. The poetic voices that sing from this book are excitingly diverse in their age and background. Together they present a multi-faceted portrait of Anne’s identity and dreams.
Brave, moving, liberating, and witty, Anne-thology brings together Anne’s past and present and is a bold beacon, illuminating the enduring legacy of this remarkable woman for future generations.
Including poems from: John Agard, Vasiliki Albedo, Andre Bagoo, Robert Bal, Liam Bates, Sally Bayley, Charlie Baylis, Mathilde Blind, Jane Burn, Wendy Cope, Hannah Copley, Lesley Curwen, Rishi Dastidar, Olga Dermott-Bond, Imtiaz Dharker, Charles Dibdin, Carol Ann Duffy, Ella Duffy, Taylor Edmonds, Paul Edmondson, Barbara Everett, Ewan Fernie, Tommy Oliver Sam Flynn, Paul Francis, Wendy Freeman, Jo Gatford, Kathy Gee, Neal Hall, Susanna Shakespeare Hall, Judith Shakespeare Quiney, John Harris, Justina Hart, Lucy Holme, Maisie Ireland, William Ireland, Luke Kennard, Aaron Kent, Chris Laoutaris, Fiona Larkin, Nina Lewis, Len Lukowski, Anna Catherine Markham, Louise Mather, Andrea Mbarushimana, Fokkina McDonnell, Jennifer McLean, Andrew McMillan, Stuart McPherson, Jessica Mehta, Jenny Mitchell, Constance Naden, Grace Nichols, Richard O’Brien, Yewande Okuleye, Emilia Olivia, Caleb Parkin, Roger Pringle, Emma Purshouse, Yousif M. Qasmiyeh, Sam Quill, Dean Rhetoric, Rochelle Roberts, Amber Rollinson, Rachel Sambrooks, George Sandifer-Smith, Hal Algernon Sandle-Keynes, Anna Saunders, Katherine Scheil, William Shakespeare, Genevieve Anne Marragold Stead, Julie Stevens, Taylor Strickland, Elizabeth Sylvia, Kostya Tsolakis, Carina Vallera-Satchwell, U. G. Világos, Cat Weatherill, Rowan Williams, and Ayşegül Yıldırım”
And, Hament from Royal Shakespeare Company and Neal Street Productions, in association with Hera Pictures. Our hotly anticipated new production of Hamnet transfers direct to London’s Garrick Theatre this autumn for a limited 14-week season from 30 September. Playing at Swan Theatre, Stratford Upon Avon, until 17 Jun 2023 and Garrick Theatre, London, Sep 30, 2023–Jan 6, 2024.
“‘She’s like no one I’ve ever met… She’s like fire and water all at once.’
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.
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.
Selling out ahead of its world premiere at the newly restored Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon this April, Hamnet transfers direct to London’s Garrick Theatre this autumn for a limited 14-week season.
This new play based on Maggie O’Farrell’s best-selling novel, adapted by award-winning playwright Lolita Chakrabarti (Life of Pi, Red Velvet, Hymn) pulls back a curtain on the story of the greatest writer in the English language and the woman who was the constant presence and purpose of his life.
Hamnet is a love letter to passion, birth, grief and the magic of nature.”
Hamnet adapted for the stage by Lolita Chakrabarti from Hamnet: A Novel of the Plague [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Maggie O’Farrell.
“In 1580’s England, during the Black Plague a young Latin tutor falls in love with an extraordinary, eccentric young woman in this “exceptional historical novel” (The New Yorker) and best-selling winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction.
Agnes is a wild creature who walks her family’s land with a falcon on her glove and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer, understanding plants and potions better than she does people. Once she settles with her husband on Henley Street in Stratford-upon-Avon she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband, whose career on the London stage is taking off when his beloved young son succumbs to sudden fever.
A luminous portrait of a marriage, a shattering evocation of a family ravaged by grief and loss, and a tender and unforgettable re-imagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, and whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays of all time, Hamnet is mesmerizing, seductive, impossible to put down—a magnificent leap forward from one of our most gifted novelists.”