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SHAKESPEARE HIS WIFE AND THE DOG Come to The Broad Stage, 1/18-28

SHAKESPEARE HIS WIFE AND THE DOG Come to The Broad Stage, 1/18-28The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica and Bated Breath present the U.S. Premiere of Shakespeare his wife and the dog by Philip Whitchurch, featuring its originating cast: Whitchurch as Shakespeare and Sally Edwards as Anne Hathaway, and directed as it was in the U.K. by Julia St John, for twelve performances only, January 18 through 28 with a press opening on January 19.

Shakespeare his wife and the dog asks a burning question: Now that he's come home, just what is up with Shakespeare? The play tells the story of a sleepless night and of secrets, lies, resentments and passions of a marriage laid bare.

Of course, this is not just any marriage. It is April 1616 and Shakespeare has returned to Stratford, having had the most illustrious career in all of theatrical history. He is a rich and famous man, but all's not well. Why is he so unhappy? Why can't he sleep? Why is his wife furious with him? Who is Will waiting for and why can't his wife Anne find the dog?

William Shakespeare has always been an enigma. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564. At age 18 he married Anne Hathaway, 8 years his senior. Six months later they had a daughter, followed two years later by twins Judith and Hamnet, who died at age 11. Not much more is known about him, until several of his plays were produced in London when he was 28.

Twenty years later, he had all but stopped writing. He died at age 52 after signing his will, which said he was in "perfect health." Fifty years later, John Ward, the vicar of Stratford, wrote "Shakespeare, Drayton, and Ben Jonson had a merry meeting and, it seems, drank too hard, for Shakespeare died of a fever there contracted."

Fast forward, about 400 years later: Shakespeare his wife and the dog received its world premiere at Summerhall for the 2014 Edinburgh Festival to critical acclaim. Edinburgh Review says, "Not only is Shakespeare his wife and the dog a treat for all theatre aficionados, it is also clever, emotional and wonderfully acted. This is not just for Shakespeare geeks. It is at once funny and serious, an exploration of history and fame, but also a poignant portrait of a relationship that is warm, human and extremely satisfying."

The Review Hub Birmingham said, "As a dazzling piece of writing, Shakespeare, his wife and the dog is undoubtedly a triumph - the verbal crossfire is fast and furious, the in-jokes satisfying and the basic conceit believable. As an object lesson in acting technique and timing, one would be hard pressed to better it."

What' on Live Birmingham said, "A celebratory one-off, a brilliantly crafted piece, crackling with comic energy, playful dramatic appropriation, and a poetic license to rival Shakespeare's own. Accessible and funny, this is the sort of play one could imagine working well outdoors as well as in, perhaps being revived for Shakespeare festivals and events. A warm and witty celebration of language, love and theatre, complete with all their joy and heartache.

Three Weeks gave the production, "5 Stars," adding, "This piece is intelligent, witty, emotive, as well as being really good fun!"

Tickets are on sale at www.thebroadstage.org or by calling 310.434.3200.

About Bated Breath

Bated Breath was founded by three experienced theatre practitioners, Sally Edwards, Julia St John and Philip Whitchurch. The company shares a desire to create original work, informed by their collective experience in theatre, television and film. Their aim is to develop new work that is dynamic, entertaining and revealing. The productions thrive on collaborations with other artists and disciplines, bringing together the best in theatre practice.

About Philip Whitchurch (Writer, Shakespeare)

Film credits include: Peterloo (by Mike Leigh -post production).Interview with a Hitman, Einstein and Eddington, Beowulf and Grundel, Wondrous Oblivion, Treasure Island and The English Patient. Television credits include: Doors Open, Taggart, Silent Witness, Place of Execution, Waking the Dead, Rocketman, Macbeth, New Tricks, My Hero, Wire in the Blood, Foyle's War, Midsomer Murders, Monarch of the Glen, The Gift, Plotlands, Sharpe, The Bill, GBH, The Brothers McGregor, Coronation Street. Theatre credits include: King Lear (The Royal Exchange) Globe Theatre / Sam Wanamaker, Ghost Stories (West End), DarkRoad (Royal Lyceum Edinburgh), The Orphan of Xhao (RSC), Boris Godunov (RSC), Life of Galileo (RSC), Our Country's Good (UK Tour), Billy Elliot (West End and Broadway), Summerfolk (National Theatre), 'Tis pity she's a Whore (Young Vic), An Inspector Calls (West End), The Changing Room (West End), Knickers (Lyric Hammersmith), The Crucible (The Royal Exchange), Othello (Royal Hammersmith), A Dolls House (Oxford Stage Company), The Alchemist (Cambridge Touring Company), Waiting for Godot (Belgrade Theatre), Lennon (Liverpool Everyman).

Writing Credits: 1984-like, The Blitz Show, Infirmary Tales (Co-author) (Liverpool Everyman), In the Midnight Hour (Bolton Octagon, The Young Vic and National Tour), La Bete Humaine (adaptation for Nottingham Playhouse, Pro Patria (adaptation for Hampstead Theatre), Face (Musical adaptation) The Alchemist (co-author Bob Carlton). Watford Palace, Hornchurch, and Belgrade Theatre). Shakespeare his wife and the dog, (Edinburgh Festival).

About Sally Edwards (Anne Hathaway)

Theatre includes: Tara Arts Theatre Company (Blood and Chocolate), Royal Lyceum Edinburgh (Hedda Gabler, Copenhagen, The Price) Globe/ETT (Eternal Love Howard Brenton). Royal National Theatre (Broken Glass, Arthur Miller, Fanshen, David Hare), Royal Shakespeare Company (Pericles, The Duchess of Malfi), Young Vic (Macbeth, Owners) Lyric Hammersmith (Lady Audley's Secret), Chichester (Arsenic and Old Lace), Greenwich (Gaslight), Oxford Stage Company (Hay Fever, Easter), Bath Theatre Royal Productions (The Browning Version, The Twelve Pound Look), Queen's Theatre Hornchurch (A Taste of Honey), Theatre Clwyd (Three Sisters) and many regional repertory theatres. Television appearances include Doc Martin, Silent Witness, Trial and Retribution, Wire in the Blood, London Bridge, Casualty, Holby City, Coronation Street, Attachments, Doctors, Sugar Rush, Empathy, The Bill, Wycliffe.
Films include Green Fingers, Princes in the Tower and Nature of the Beast.

About Julia St. John (Director)

Theatre includes: Jefferson's Garden (Watford Palace), The History Boys (Crucible Theatre Sheffield), The Seagull, The Archbishop's Ceiling (Southwark Playhouse), Our Father (Watford Palace), The Madness of George III (West Yorkshire Playhouse/Birmingham Rep), The Three Sisters (Chichester Festival Theatre), A Tale of Two Cities (Cambridge Theatre Company), Nana (Shared Experience/Almeida), Private Lives, Far From The Madding Crowd, King Lear, Amadeus, She Stoops To Conquer (New Victoria Theatre), McGrotty and Ludmilla (Tron Theatre, Glasgow), Larkrise (Leicester Haymarket/Almeida), Gulliver's Travels (Gate Theatre), and seasons at Theatr Clywd and Westcliff Theatre. Directing: Walter and Lenny (Minerva Theatre, Chichester)

Television includes: A Place of Execution, A Touch of Frost, In The Line of Beauty, Lewis, Casualty, Julian Fellows' Most Mysterious Murders/Happy Valley, Doc Martin, The Glass, The Grand, High Stakes, The Brittas Empire, Harry Enfield and Chums, Poirot, GBH, A Question of Attribution, The Blackheath Poisonings, Gone To The Dogs, The Victoria Wood Show, Doctors, Joint Account, Lovejoy, Boon, Bloodrights. Films include: The Young Victoria.


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