by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm
In 1611 Emilia Bassano penned these words to her ‘Vertuous Reader’, as part of a volume of radical, feminist and subversive poetry. It was one of the first published collections of poetry written by a woman in England. The little we know of Emilia Bassano is restricted to the possibility that she may have been the ‘Dark Lady’ of Shakespeare’s Sonnets – and the rest of HerStory has been erased by History.
Commissioned specifically for Shakespeare’s Globe, and with an all-female cast, this world premiere will reveal the life of Emilia: poet, mother and feminist. This time, the focus will be on this exceptional woman who managed to outlive all the men the history books tethered her to.