Welcome! This is your first free article. Get more free articles when you sign up with your email.


“Morgan lloyd malcolm's play roars into the west end”

When Clare Perkins delivered her rousing final monologue on the stage of Shakespeare’s Globe in the 2018 production of Emilia, her words rose into the sky and lingered in the air.

The open architecture of the space gave the speech a feeling of limitlessness, of freedom. As she spoke, there was a sense that her words could be heard for miles around.

Perkins remains flawless in her portrayal of poet Emilia Bassano in the show’s West End transfer, but in the enclosed auditorium of the Vaudeville Theatre, her pussy-powered, earth-shattering speech has nowhere to go. Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s writing was not made to be contained.


The production gains almost as much as is taken away, though. The tender yet explosive beauty of Anna Morrissey’s choreography and movement direction is brought into focus in this new setting. The use of music in the show is better accommodated by the space. Luisa Gerstein’s compositions of voice percussion – each actor is also a musical instrument – and polyphonic harmony are a balm for the ears.

Perkins shares the role with newcomers Saffron Coomber and Adelle Leonce, who seamlessly slide into the sisterhood. Tanika Yearwood and Jackie Clune, also new to the cast, are particularly good as Lord Collins and Lord Thomas Howard. Original cast member Amanda Wilkin is once again delightfully daft as Alphonso Lanier and Sarah Seggari – also from the original cast – is outstanding in the roles of Lady Cordelia and Flora. Nicole Charles’ production loses a little of its magic in its new home, but none of its power.

Emilia review at Shakespeare’s Globe, London – ‘the essence of a woman too long forgotten by the books of history’

Related to this Review

Emilia's Charity Wakefield: ‘We’re going Marie Kondo on the transfer: Don’t love it? Let it go’Emilia's Charity Wakefield: ‘We’re going Marie Kondo on the transfer: Don’t love it? Let it go’

Production Details
Production nameEmilia
VenueVaudeville Theatre
StartsMarch 8, 2019
EndsJune 15, 2019
Running time2hrs 30mins
AuthorMorgan Lloyd Malcolm
ComposerLuisa Gerstein
DirectorNicole Charles
Musical directorYshani Perinpanayagam
Movement directorAnna Morrissey
Set designerJoanna Scotcher
Costume designerJoanna Scotcher
Lighting designerZoe Spurr
Sound designerEmma Laxton
CastClare Perkins, Samantha Sutherland, Adelle Leonce, Amanda Wilkin, Anna Andresen, Carolyn Pickles, Charity Wakefield, Christina Bloom, Cora Kirk, Eva Fontaine, Jackie Clune, Jenni Maitland, Lauren Drennan, Nadia Albina, Saffron Coomber, Sarah Seggari, Sophie Stone, Tanika Yearwood
Stage managerRosie Gilbert
ProducerEilene Davidson, Eleanor Lloyd, Kate Pakenham, Nica Burns
VerdictMorgan Lloyd Malcolm’s glorious play roars into the West End
Add New Comment
You must be logged in to comment.
JN Benjamin

JN Benjamin

JN Benjamin

JN Benjamin

Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue

Invest in The Stage today with a subscription starting at just £3.98
The Stage
© Copyright The Stage Media Company Limited 2020
Linked In