‘ Men, who forgetting they were born of women, nourished of women, and if they were not of the means of women, they would be quite extinguished out of the world, and a final end of them all; do like vipers deface the wombs wherein they were bred.’
Emilia Bassano, To the Vertuous Reader
When history favours only one sex we are left to piece together what we know and imagine what we don’t.
Emilia Bassano was born into a musical family in 1569. She went on to become a published poet and a member of the court. However, what little we know about her has become bound up with the possibility that she was Shakespeare’s ‘Dark Lady of the Sonnets.’ This legacy has erased her own achievements in favour of those of a man she may or may not have known.
For the first time, the focus will be on this brilliant woman who managed to outlive all the men the history books tethered her to. Introducing to the world: Emilia! She’s going to make you remember her name.
This new play will explore Emilia in her own right as poet, mother and feminist.
‘A new writing venue 400 years ago, the Globe continues to be a new writing venue today, and the 2018 season is no exception. I’m so excited to premiere two plays written for the unique playing conditions of the Globe Theatre: Emilia, a new play by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm about the often beguiling and always fascinating Emilia Bassano, whom many consider to have been a muse and inspiration for Shakespeare.’
'I'm so excited to have been challenged by Michelle [Terry] to discover this brilliant woman and amplify her story.'
Morgan Lloyd Malcolm
Follow the elusive Emilia…
This summer will be an opportunity to follow the elusive ‘Emilia’ as she threads her way through the canon from Rosaline in Love’s Labour’s Lost, to the ‘Dark Lady of the Sonnets’, and then in The Two Noble Kinsmen, Othello and The Winter’s Tale – every play in which Emilia appears, apart from Emilia the Abbess in The Comedy of Errors.
Morgan Lloyd Malcolm in conversation:
Join playwright, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, in this pre-show talk about her new play, Emilia.
Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
£8 (£6 Members / Students)
Wednesday 15 August, 6.00pm