the-agency-logo (1) 7 (1)

Cast Announced for RSC’s HAMNET adapted by Lolita Chakrabarti

The cast has been announced for the world premiere of Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet. Madeleine Mantock and Tom Varey are among the cast for the paly adapted by Lolita Chakrabarti (Red Velvet, Hymn, Life of Pi) and directed by the Royal Shakespeare Company’s acting artistic director Erica Whyman.

Hamnet, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and Neal Street Productions, will be the first production to run at the Swan Theatre in three years. 

The cast will see Madeleine Mantock and Tom Varey both making their RSC debuts, as Agnes Hathaway and William Shakespeare respectively. 

Peter Wight will return to RSC for the first time since 1997 to play John/Will Kempe, with the cast completed by Ajani Cabey as Hamnet/Thomas Day, Sarah Belcher, Will Brown, Haydn Burke, Faye Campbell, Frankie Hastings, Karl Haynes, Alex Jarrett, Hannah McPake, Rose Riley, Elizabeth Rider, Harmony Rose-Bremnerand Obioma Ugoala.

Lolita Chakrabarti has said: “Writing this play was made even more challenging due to the huge impact Maggie O’Farrell’s novel has had. Every reader seems to have a very personal relationship to this story. Shakespeare is studied, examined and lauded across the world and at times, it has felt presumptuous of me to add my own flavour to this iconic man. When I began researching sixteenth century Stratford and London I was instantly drawn to the diversity in England at that time. It no longer surprises me that there were all kinds of people here. That is how the world works – immigration has always been a reality and as expected, many of those people integrated into British society.”

Chakrabarti added: “There are limited facts about Agnes/Anne Hathaway but I love playing with history and fiction and moulding them together so that one informs the other. It is a great privilege to look at the Shakespeare through my detailed research and personal lens. 

“This woman behind the playwright is a fascinating character, and after studying Maggie’s book, it is clear to me now that her son was the inspiration for one of our greatest pieces of English literature.”

The production will feature set and costume design by Tom Piper, lighting by Prema Mehta, sound by Xana, music by Oğuz Kaplangi, casting by Amy Ball, movement by Ayse Tashkiran and fight direction by Kate Waters.

Hamnet, which will be the twelfth production directed by Whyman for the Company, will run from April 1 to June 17.

Agency Client Lolita Chakrabarti is represented by Katie Haines.