Shakespeare in Love live on stage

'Shakespeare in Love'
'Shakespeare in Love'
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FANS of the romantic comedy Shakespeare In Love are in for a treat at The King’s Theatre next week when Lee Hall’s stage adaption of Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard’s screenplay tours to the Leven Street venue.

The critically acclaimed production, directed by Phillip Breen, opens on Monday as part of a UK wide tour with Royal Shakespeare Company actor Pierro Niel-Mee in the title role.

Young Will Shakespeare has writer’s block… the deadline for his new play - a comedy called Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter - is fast approaching.

There’s just one problem, he’s struggling to finish the first line of a sonnet and he’s in dire need of inspiration.

Then he meets the beguiling Viola de Lesseps, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant.

Viola is prepared to do anything, including risking the frosty disapproval of Queen Elizabeth I, to fulfil her illicit dream of performing on the London stage and pursuing a passionate affair with the greatest playwright of the age.

As so, the scene is set for conflict, romance and comedy. Let the drama begin...

The Oscar-winning film on which the play is based starred Judi Dench, Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow and went on to win seven Academy Awards, including best screenplay, following its premiere in 1998.

It was adapted for stage by Lee Hall, with music by Paddy Cunneen, and opened for a triumphant West End run in 2014 to both critical and public acclaim at the Noël Coward Theatre.

The original cast included David Oakes appearing as Marlowe, Tom Bateman as Will, and Lucy Briggs-Owen as the heroine Viola De Lesseps.It ran on the West End until 18 April 2015 and then played to sold out audiences in Canada.

The first US production of the play was in 2017 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

In this new touring version. Niel-Mee is joined by Imogen Daines as Viola, Rob Edwards as Fennyman, Geraldine Alexander as the Queen, with Edmund Kingsley as Kit Marlowe and Bill Ward as Wessex.

The cast is completed by Ian Hughes, Giles Taylor, Edward Harrison, Phillip Labey, Rowan Polonski, Kevin N Golding, Joshua Richards, Jonathan Blaydon, Richard Rowe McGhie, Rosalind Steele, Toby Webster Jazmine Wilkinson .

Shakespeare In Love, King’s Theatre, Leven Street, Monday 12-Saturday 17 November, 7.30pm (2.30pm), £19-£32.50, 0131-529 6000