Neal Street News

6 week extension announced for the West End transfer of Hamnet

Neal Street Productions and Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in association with Hera Pictures today announce a 6 week extension for the West End transfer of Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet, adapted by Lolita Chakrabarti (Life of Pi) and directed by Erica Whyman. 

Also announced today is the full West End cast. Joining the company are Gabriel Akuwudike (Bartholomew), Phoebe Campbell (Susanna), Mhairi Gayer (Tilly/Caterina/Landlady) and Liza Sadovy (Mary). Reprising their roles from the RSC’s Stratford-upon-Avon run are Sarah Belcher (Joan), Will Brown (Burbage/Father John), Ajani Cabey (Hamnet), Frankie Hastings (Eliza/Customer), Karl Haynes (Ned), Alex Jarrett (Judith), Madeleine Mantock (Agnes Hathaway), Hannah McPake (Jude), Tom Varey (William Shakespeare) and Peter Wight (John/Will Kempe), Haydn Burke and Faye Campbell complete the cast as off-stage understudies. 

The production had a sell-out run in Stratford-upon-Avon, breaking box office records at the RSC’s Swan Theatre and will open to the biggest advance of any production at the Garrick Theatre. Previews begin on 30 September, with press night on 18 October and booking until 17 February 2024. 

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. As William moves to London to discover his place in the world of theatre, Agnes stays at home to raise their three children but she is the constant presence and purpose of his life. 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.

The production will feature Set and Costume Design by Tom Piper, Lighting by Prema Mehta, Music by Oguz Kaplangi, Sound Design by Simon Baker, Movement by Ayse Tashkiran, Dramaturgy by Pippa Hill, Fights by Kate Waters and Casting by Amy Ball CDG.

Hamnet has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide and was named both Waterstones Book of the Year and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2020. The novel also saw Maggie O’Farrell named the winner of the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction; the UK's most prestigious annual book award celebrating and honouring fiction written by women. As the No. 1 Sunday Times Bestseller in 2021, Hamnet was shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction (2021) and British Book awards ‘Fiction Book of the Year’ (2021).