A new production of Olivier-award winning comedy Emilia is coming to Bristol

A new production of Olivier-award winning comedy Emilia is coming to Bristol

Posted on: 27 Jan 2023

Next month, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School are presenting a production of Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s hit comedy, Emilia - directed by Sally Cookson.


Bristol Old Vic Theatre School’s Emilia will run at St Paul's Church from Friday 17 and Saturday 25 February.


The play; a historical, intersectional feminist story of a woman overlooked in favour of her male peers; will feature an all-female and non-binary cast alongside a largely female and non-binary team of creatives.


Tickets for the production are live now and can be purchased HERE.



Emilia takes the audience back to 1611 to follow Emilia Bassano, the first woman to have her poetry published in England. For centuries, history overlooked Emilia’s work in favour of her male contemporaries. Now, 400 years later, her story is being told.


Commissioned by Shakespeare’s Globe in 2018, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s triple Olivier award-winning comedy (which storms into Bristol in February) is a concoction of historical inspiration and imagination. The period romp charts our heroine’s journey from courtier to literary radical who refuses to shy away from pushing societal boundaries. 


With direction from Sally Cookson (pictured below), the acclaimed director of A Monster Calls (The Old Vic) and Peter Pan (National Theatre), this riotous production vividly transposes Emilia’s life from page to stage, giving voice to generations of the silenced and exploited in the process. 

Speaking about the upcoming production, director Sally Cookson has said: “I knew nothing about Emilia Bassano before Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s searing play stormed the Globe, pre-Pandemic. The opportunity to investigate her in 2023 with the irrepressible and politically aware BOVTS graduates has been nothing short of liberating…


“…The students’ path to graduation has been complicated by the pandemic, during which we’ve seen the rising impact of global inequality. Emilia gives voice to these injustices and provides a rallying cry for Women everywhere to rise up and be heard. It is a beautiful thing to be part of.” 


Opened by Sir Laurence Olivier in 1946, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School has long been seen as one of the country’s top training establishments for performing arts and production professionals.


Legendary alumni include Sir Daniel Day-Lewis, Olivia Colman, Sir Patrick Stewart and Deputy Artistic Director of the RSC, Erica Whyman, while more recent graduates Theo James (The White Lotus), Josh O’Connor (The Crown), Laura Carmichael (Downton Abbey) and Emer Heatley (Stonehouse) have all established themselves in the industry.



Bristol Old Vic Theatre School’s all-female and non-binary production of Emilia will run at St Paul's Church (Portland Square) from Friday 17 and Saturday 25 February. Grab your tickets HERE.


Image: Craig Fuller

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Stanley Gray

Stan is a born and bred Bristolian, recently graduated from studying English Literature in Sheffield. His passions are music and literature and he spends the majority of his time in venues all over the city, immersing himself in Bristol’s alternative music scene. A lifelong Bristol City fan, Stan’s Saturdays are spent watching his team both home and away.