Shakespeare’s theater gets a woman

After 400 years, the Globe mounts a female playwright's production

Topics: Writers and Writing, Broadsheet, Shakespeare,

It only took 400 years. London’s Globe Theater has commissioned its first play by a woman. This September, Shakespeare’s own theater will mount the world premiere of “Bedlam,” a musical drama set at another of London’s most famous institutions: the infamous psychiatric asylum. 

In fairness, it’s not as if the theater where women once couldn’t even appear on the stage has spent the past four centuries actively ignoring female playwrights. The Globe was shut down from 1642 to 1997 (a hiatus that puts our current “Glee” anticipation into perspective). Nevertheless, the fact that it’s taken them a whole 13 years since re-opening to find one female writer to produce isn’t exactly encouraging.

You Might Also Like

Playwright Nell Leyshon is, however, an inspiration. A 48-year-old working mother, she completed her first play at age 40. With her second, she won the Evening Standard award for most promising playwright. And though she’s eager to get cracking on “Bedlam,” she’s currently embroiled in a different project for the National Theater: working with teenagers on a play about body image. By 48, William Shakespeare had his greatest works behind him and already retired. She may not be the Bard, but Nell Leyshon appears to be just getting warmed up.

Mary Elizabeth Williams
Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of "Gimme Shelter: My Three Years Searching for the American Dream." Follow her on Twitter: @embeedub.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>