The aim of this blog is to serve as a meeting point to those who study or have studied English philology and, more broadly, to all those who love literature and language.

17 Feb 2010


The Globe theatre is to stage the first play in its history by a female playwright. It will be the premiere of a new work by Nell Leyshon.

The original Globe where many of Shakespeare's works were first performed - by all-male companies - has no records of plays by women and, until now, none has been programmed in the modern reconstruction in the 13 years since it opened.

Leyshon is working on Bedlam, a "funny and bawdy" story of a beautiful woman inmate in the London hospital for the insane in the 18th century.

When interviewed by the media, she said she was excited but it did seem "shocking" to be making such a gender breakthrough as late as 2010. "It made me really think about all the women who are in graveyards with their talent for writing unfulfilled. But it's luck for me. I was the first person to come along with an idea that was right for the Globe."

Leyshon, 48 years old and a mother of two, originally made television commercials before turning to writing. She won the Evening Standard award for Comfort Me With Apples only five years ago.

Her work is part of a season that includes a new Howard Brenton play on Anne Boleyn, Dominic Rowan playing Henry VIII and Lucy Bailey directing Macbeth in collaboration with Venezuelan choreographer Javier de Frutos. Bedlam will run from 5 September to 1 October as part of the Globe season from 23 April to 3 October. It is a “must” if you visit London during those months.

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