HATHAWAY – EIGHT ARIAS FOR A BARDIC LIFE, 2016

Hathaway – Eight Arias For A Bardic Life

  • Directed by Ella Marchment
  • Written by Briar Kit Esme
  • Helios Collective and Copenhagen Opera Festival
  • Buxton Festival, Derbyshire; Copenhagen Opera Festival, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2016

Hathaway—Eight Arias For A Bardic Life is a plaria (play–opera aria) script, written and first performed in 2016 to mark the quatercentenary of William Shakespeare’s death in 1616.

Full script available from this link.

Synopsis

Anne Hathaway, wife of William Shakespeare and mother to their three children, sits in the parlour of New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire—the family’s home for the last nineteen years. Her only son – Hamnet – has been dead some twenty years. Her two daughters – Susanna and Judith – have both married and fledged. Her husband, England’s greatest ever dramatist, hasn’t written a play for three years. And now, he never will.

It is 23 April 1616. St George’s Day. And William Shakespeare is dead.

Anne has stripped and washed William’s 52-year-old body. She has tied his hair. Combed his beard. Bound his cadaver from head to toe with a simple white sheet. Laid him to rest on the refectory table that stands next to her.

Anne Hathaway is alone in the world.

She speaks into the blackened silence…

Buxton Opera Festival Audience Feedback ★★★★★

A brilliantly staged and wonderfully moving production. I felt I was right there in the minutes after Shakespeare’s death, sharing Anne Hathaway’s memories as she recalled and relived intimate moments from her life with William. A triumph of both opera and storytelling.

Buxton Opera Festival Audience Feedback

Copenhagen Opera Festival ★★★★★

An outstanding and beautiful performance.

Copenhagen Opera Festival

Buxton Opera Festival Audience Feedback ★★★★★

A fantastically rich, superbly constructed operatic feast.

Buxton Opera Festival Audience Feedback

Copenhagen Opera Festival Audience Feedback ★★★★★

Hathaway is simply the most moving production I have ever seen.

Copenhagen Opera Festival Audience Feedback

Buxton Opera Festival Audience Feedback ★★★★★

A real emotional rollercoaster that will remain clear in my memory for a long time. I simply didn’t know it was possible to get so much passion and drama into a one-actor show.

Buxton Opera Festival Audience Feedback

Photos