2024 Season – The Book of Will

The Book of Willl

The Book of Will
By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Julie Bray. Produced by Jason Sharland


Without William Shakespeare, we wouldn’t have literary masterpieces like Romeo and Juliet. But without Henry Condell and John Heminges, we would have lost half of Shakespeare’s plays forever!
After the death of their friend and mentor, the two actors are determined to compile the First Folio and preserve the words that shaped their lives. They’ll just have to borrow, beg, and band together to get it done. Amidst the noise and colour of Elizabethan London, finds an unforgettable true story of love, loss, and laughter, and sheds new light on a man you may think you know.


First, a bit of history: You may or may not know that William Shakespeare wrote his plays in pieces, never putting all the parts together until the actors were on stage, for fear of someone stealing his work. But who’s to stop people from stealing it after he dies? This is the conundrum faced by the Bard’s buddies in The Book of Will. When a sub-par Hamlet rip-off hits a stage near the Globe Theatre, members of Shakespeare’s acting troupe, the King’s Men, are incensed. To try to put an end to the plagiarism and save Will’s works for the ages, they hatch a plan to put it all down on paper, setting them off on a mad chase to find all the bits and pieces to create the First Folio. A funny, charming play about the battle to save a legacy, offering up excerpts of some of the Bard’s most beloved writing.

Show Dates

19, 20, 25, 26, 27 October, 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 November 2024


Director … Julie Bray
Producer … Jason Sharland
Stage Manager … Tom Glassock
Lighting Designer … Aerlyn James


Henry Condell … Jon Darbro
John Heminges … Jason Sharland
Richard Burbage/William Jaggard … Ewan Paterson
Ben Jonson/Sir Edward Dering … Robert Connaughton
Ralph/Barman/Compositor/Francisco … Jeremy Wellwood
Ed Knight/Isaac Jaggard … Tim McQueen
Marcus/Boy Hamlet/Crier/Bernardo … Akiwa Cavanagh
Elisabeth Condell/Emelia Bassanio … Liz Hull
Rebecca Heminges/Anne Hathaway … Nicky Whichelow
Alice Heminges/Susannah Shakespeare … Georgia Reynolds