The Herbal Bed

Peter Whelan

About the Production

Director James Dacre  
Writer Peter Whelan  
Designer   Jonathan Fensom  
Lighting Designer Malcolm Rippeth  
Sound Designer Becky Smith  
Composer Valgeir Sigurðsson   
Casting Directors Gemma Hancock and Sam Stevenson   
Staff Director Jesse Jones  
Company Stage Manager Helen Gaynor  
Deputy Stage Manager Claire Hardacre  
Assistant Stage Manager Hannah Gregory  
Dialect Coach Charmian Hoare  
Production Photographer Mark Douet  
Fight Director Terry King  

Rafe Smith Philip Correia   
Bishop Parry Patrick Driver  
John Hall Jonathan Guy Lewis   
Susanna Hall Emma Lowndes  
Barnabus Goche Michael Mears  
Hester Fletcher Charlotte Wakefield  
Jack Lane Matt Whitchurch  

Age guidance 12+ 

An English Touring Theatre, Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Rose Theatre Kingston co-production.

Love changes us. Love’s alchemy! In that furnace everything changes. Hard stone shatters, iron goes soft and turns to liquid… and so do we… in love’s fire”

Based upon real events from Stratford-upon-Avon in the summer of 1613, The Herbal Bed is a powerful thriller about human desire. When William Shakespeare’s daughter is publicly accused of adultery, her family’s lives fall under the glare of intense public scrutiny. Culminating in a dramatic trial at Worcester Cathedral, the scandal threatens to destroy her family’s reputation within their tight-knit community.  

Originally produced to great acclaim by the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Herbal Bed was a huge hit in the West End and on Broadway, with an Olivier Award nomination and writer Peter Whelan winning Playwright of the Year.

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James Dacre’s credits include King John at The Globe and the world premiere of The Mountaintop which won the 2010 Olivier Award for Best New Play.  He recently co-directed a reading of the King James Bible at the National Theatre and directed 4000 Miles in the Ustinov Studio.

Cast includes Emma Lowndes (Downton Abbey, Jane Eyre), Philip Correia (Doctors, The History Boys) and Jonathan Guy Lewis (Coronation Street, Soldier Soldier). 

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Quotes for previous productions of The Herbal Bed

‘A finely textured tapestry of love and lies’ New York Times

‘Marvelous, tender, wise and generous of spirit...a remarkably persuasive and touching portrait of a family in crisis’. The Daily Telegraph

‘A seriously gripping piece of theatre’ British Theatre Guide 


Our Co-producers




Production Photographs

Rehearsal Photographs


Tour Dates

The Herbal Bed
Peter Whelan

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