Shakespeare's Globe


Emilia [2018]

Written by: Morgan Lloyd Malcolm
Directed by: Nicole Charles


William Shakespeare. Kit Marlowe. Emilia Bassano?

In 1611 Emilia Bassano penned these words to her ‘Vertuous Reader’, as part of a volume of radical, feminist and subversive poetry. It was also the first published collection of poetry written by a woman in England.  

The little we know of Emilia Bassano is restricted to the possibility that she may have been the ‘Dark Lady’ of Shakespeare’s Sonnets – and the rest of Her Story has been erased by History. Commissioned specifically for Shakespeare’s Globe, and with an all-female cast, this world premiere will reveal the life of Emilia: poet, mother and feminist. This time, the focus will be on this exceptional woman who managed to outlive all the men the history books tethered her to.

This play contains adult themes.

Follow Emilia through the season

Emilia Bassano was also the possible inspiration for the ‘Emilia’ characters who appear in OthelloThe Two Noble KinsmenThe Winter’s Tale and The Comedy of Errors, so this season Emilia will thread her way through all of the plays in which she appears (apart from The Comedy of Errors!) 

New writing at the Globe

‘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.’

Michelle Terry

I'm so excited to have been challenged by Michelle [Terry] to discover this brilliant woman and amplify her story.

Morgan Lloyd Malcolm 


  • Designer Jo Scotcher
  • Assistant Director Anna Dirckinck-Holmfeld
  • Composer Bill Barclay
  • Choreographer Anna Morrisey
  • Costume Supervisor Lydia Crimp
  • Physical Comedy Director Joe Dieffenbacher
  • Fight Directors Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown of Rc-Annie Ltd

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