THE WIFE OF WILLESDEN
Kiln Theatre presents
in association with Brent2020, London Borough of Culture
THE WIFE OF WILLESDEN
adapted by Zadie Smith
from Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath
THIS PRODUCTION RAN FROM 11 NOVEMBER 2021 – 15 JANUARY 2022.
A proper local legend. Married five times. Mother. Lover. Aunt. Friend. Alvita will tell her life story to anyone in the pub – there’s no shame in her game. The question is: are you ready to hear it? Because this woman’s got the gift of the gab: she can rewrite mistakes into triumphs, turn pain into parables, and her love life’s an epic poem. They call her The Wife of Willesden…
An evening that celebrates the human knack for telling elaborate tales, especially about our own lives.
Critically acclaimed, multi-award winning, best-selling author Zadie Smith transports Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath to 21st Century North West London.
Director Indhu Rubasingham invites you to take your seat at the bar, order a pint or two, and listen to this bawdy, beautiful new comedy up close, and very, very personal.
The Kiln Theatre auditorium will be transformed into the infamous Sir Colin Campbell pub, complete with some pub tables in the stalls and over 3,000 tickets available at only £15.
This production is supported by Dasha Epstein.
The auditorium is currently reduced to 260 seats but audience members will not be distanced. We have programmed two Socially Distanced performances where all bubbles are 1m+ apart on 2 and 9 December, 7.30pm.
Post Show Q&A and Supporter’s Evening: 23 November, 7.30pm
Captioned Performance (Socially Distanced): 2 December, 7.30pm
Audio Described (Socially Distanced): 9 December, 7.30pm
Kiln Gala: 10 December, 7.30pm
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100 minutes with no interval.
‘The Wife of Willesden is a celebration of community and local legends, of telling a good story and living a life worth telling.’
‘Glorious…Zadie Smith and Indhu Rubasingham have concocted a stunning piece of freewheeling stagecraft.’‘Clare Perkins is magnificent.’
‘Irresistibly rambunctious theatrical debut…Smith has said she will now return to novel-writing; on the evidence of [The Wife of Willesden], our theatre industry would be mad to let her get away.’
TEACHER RESOURCE PACK
ENHANCE YOUR SCHOOL’S VISIT WITH OUR FREE TEACHING RESOURCE
Download our free THE WIFE OF WILLESDEN resource pack offering exclusive access and insight into the creation of the production, perfect to use both before and after your school’s visit.
Developed with teachers, these resources cover topics provoking discussion about the staging, themes and narrative of the production – long after the final curtain.
Marcus Adolphy plays Winston/Mandela/Black Jesus.
Marcus graduated from the London Centre for Theatre Studies in 2002.
Theatre credits include: Anyone Can Whistle (Bridewell Theatre); Macbeth (Atrix, Bromsgrove); Signal Fires (Eastern Angles-Hightide); One Man Two Guvnors (Wolsey Theatre); War Horse, The Suicide, The Comedy of Errors (National Theatre); The Convert (Gate Theatre); Backseat Drivers (The London Theatre); Keeler (The Charing Cross Theatre); Macbeth (The Last Refuge Theatre); The Chicago Cowboy (Rosemary Branch Theatre); Twelfth Night (The Nursery Theatre); Keeping Mum, 1867, A Christmas Carol (The Brockley Jack Theatre); The Children of Salt (Alma Theatre Bristol).
Television credits include: Essex, Scott and Bailey, Father Figure, Doctors.
Jessica Clark plays Polly/Sophie.
Theatre credits include: Passengers (Red Lecture Theatre); The Funeral Director (Southwark Playhouse); Nina’s Got News (Pleasance Dome); Rotterdam (Trafalgar Studios); The Here And This And Now (The Drum); Skin A Cat (The Bunker and Vault Festival); Romeo & Juliet/Merry Wives/Wind in the Willows, The Secret Garden/Macbeth/The Comedy of Errors (Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre); My Dear I Wanted to Tell You (Soho Theatre); Love’s Comedy, The Burglar who Failed/Return to Sender (The Orange Tree).
Television credits include: Death in Paradise (BBC One); All Creatures Great and Small (Channel 5); Call the Midwife (Neal Street Productions); Versailles (BBC2/Canal+); Casualty, Silent Witness, In Search of the Brontes (BBC); Broadside (PBS).
Crystal Condie plays Auhtor/Zaire/Queen Nanny.
Crystal trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Theatre credits include: The Windsors Endgame (Prince of Wales Theatre); All of Us, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (National Theatre); Hamlet, Be My Baby (Leeds Playhouse); A Christmas Carol (Bristol Old Vic); Twelfth Night (Filter Theatre); Robin Hood & Marian (New Vic Theatre); Octagon, Black Crows (Arcola Theatre); Rumpelstiltskin (Theatre Royal Bath); Larksong, The Gift, Unearthed (New Vic Theatre).
Television credits include: Casualty, Doctors.
George Eggay plays Pastor/Eldridge.
George trained at Drama Centre.
For Kiln: Starstruck.
Theatre credits include: Archbishop, The Last King of Scotland (Crucible, Sheffield); The Firm (Hampstead Theatre); Ear for Eye (Royal Court Theatre); King Lear (The Old Vic); The Tiger’s Bones (New Perspectives); Arabian Nights (New Vic Theatre); Dishoodbe on TV (Hackney Empire); Passage to Freedom, This Accursed Thing (Andrew Ashmore Associates); A Streetcar Named Desire, Frozen, The Power Book, The Wind In The Willows (National Theatre); Papa Mas for Told By An Idiot; The Ramayana (Birmingham Rep/National Theatre); Servant Of Two Masters (Nottingham Playhouse); Crossfire (Paines Plough); Bretevski Street (Theatre Centre); The Robbers (Gate Theatre); The Meeting (Riverside Studios), Love of the Nightingale (Theatre Melange).
Television credits include: Finding Alice (Red Productions); Black Earth Rising (Drama Republic/BBC/Netflix); Hugo Blick, The Love of Books (Sam Hobkinson at Oxford Film & Television); Doctors, Shoot the Messenger, Spooks, Between the Lines (BBC).
Film credits include: All You Need is Kill (Warner Bros.); Final Passage (Passage Productions).
Radio credits include: A Noise in the Night (BBC Radio).
Andrew Frame plays Ian/Socrates/Bartosz.
Theatre credits includes: Macbeth, This House, Market Boy, Royal Hunt Of The Sun (National Theatre), Mumburger (Old Red Lion), 12 Angry Men (Garrick Theatre), Responsible Other (Hampstead Theatre), 66 Books (Bush Theatre), Wittenberg (Gate Theatre), The English Game, Rough Crossings (Headlong), Festen (Lyric Theatre).
Television credits include: White House Farm, Save Me, Class, DCI Banks, Inspector George Gently, Silk, Holby City, Trial & Retribution, EastEnders, Doctors, The Bill, Wire in The Blood.
Film credits include: London Road, Broken.
Radio credits include: The Archers, Is He Still Breathing, Festen, Life Together.
Scott Miller plays Ryan.
Scott trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Theatre credits include: War Horse (National Theatre); Dragon (National Theatre of Scotland/Vox Motus); Don Quixote (Oran Mor); Hamlet, Platonov, Holes in the Skin (LAMDA).
Film credits include: Balance Not Symmetry (Northcott Films); The Road Dance (Sheridan Road Films).
Alvita, The Wife of Willesden
Clare Perkins who is Alvita, The Wife of Willesden will soon be seen in Amazon series The Offenders and fantasy series The Wheel of Time. She was recently in Netflix series Young Wallander as well as a guest role on popular series The Crown and Flack. She recently starred in a leading role in Emilia, which played at the Vaudeville Theatre. She has multiple theatre credits under her belt at some of the most prestigious theatres ranging from Welcome to Thebes at the Royal National Theatre, Little Revolution at the Almeida, The Convert for The Gate Theatre, Mules with the Royal Court and Genesis Inc at the Hampstead Theatre. =
She is well known for playing series regular, Ava Hartman in BBC’s Eastenders. Other credits include BBC’s Death in Paradise, Damned for Channel 4, Netflix’s Been So Long. In film, Clare can be seen in Ken Loach’s, Ladybird, Secrets and Lies directed by Mike Leigh and Saul Dibb’s Bullet Boy. She’s also in Censor which has just been released in cinemas. She has been a member of BBC radio drama company and played Mel in Westway which ran for 8 years on the BBC world service.
Hussina Raja plays Asma/Kelly.
Theatre credits include: Last King of Scotland (Sheffield Crucible); The Effect (TOR Theatre); Great Britain (Hackney Showrooms); Spooky Action at a Distance (Gate Theatre); Tomorrow (Arts Theatre).
Television credits include: Back to Life, Informer, A Discovery of Witches, Murdered for Love, The Level, The Watchman.
Film credits include: The Long Goodbye, A Moving Image, The Survivalist.
Radio credits include: French like Faïza (BBC Radio 3); Bernice Summerfield: The Angel of History, CICERO (Big Finnish Productions).
Theo Solomon plays Darren/Young Maroon/Colin.
Theatre credits include: Hamlet (London/UK Tour); Karagula (Soho Theatre); Macbeth, Madness in Valencia, Paradise Lost, Pygmalion, Rose Bernd, The Cherry Orchard, The Eighth Continent, The Illusion, The Recruiting Officer, When the Terror has Ended the Victims Will Dance (Drama Centre London); My Father Odysseus, The Minotaur (Unicorn Theatre); Surviving Christmas (Studio Soho); Suzy Stock (Gate Theatre); Traitor (Pilot Theatre), Woyzeck (The Old Vic).
Television credits include: Doctors, Enterprice (BBC); Temple (Sky).
Aunty P/Old Wife
Ellen Thomas plays Aunty P/Old Wife.
For Kiln: Amen Corner (also Nottingham Playhouse).
Theatre credits include: Egusi Soup, Tiata Delights, Moon on a Rainbow Shawl (Almeida Theatre); Statement of Regret (National Theatre); The Estate (Soho Theatre); Vagina Monologues (UK Tour); Blest Be The Tie (Royal Court); Twelfth Night (Manchester Royal Exchange); A Bitter Herb (Bristol Old Vic); Channel 4 Sit Com Festival – Sisters (Riverside Theatre); Criminals in Love (Contact Theatre, Manchester); Leonara’s Dance (Black Theatre Co-operative); The American Clock, Fuente Ovejuna (National Theatre); Echo in the Bone (Lyric Hammersmith); Twelfth Night (Birmingham Rep).
Television credits include: EastEnders, Mount Pleasant, Rev, Teachers, Lenny Henry in Pieces, Cardiac Arrest, London Bridge, Holding On, The Other, In The Long Run, The Queen and I, Dark Money, Mount Pleasantries, Critical, Humans, Come Fly With Me, Coming of Age, Casualty, Moses Jones, New Tricks, Outnumbered, Bremner and Fortune, Losing It, Little Miss Jocelyn, The Play’s The Thing, Trial and Retribution, The Marshioness Disaster, William & Mary, Hidden City, Never Never, Active Defence, Where There’s Smoke, Ultraviolet, Kavanagh QC III, Ruth Rendell’s Simisola; Beck, French & Saunders, Hallelujah Anyhow.
Film credits include: Golden Years, Love Punch, It’s A Lot, Ashes, Ryan and Ronnie, Clubbed, Breaking and Entering, Risk Addiction, South West Nine, Michael Winterbottom’s Wonderland, Some Voices, Secret Laughter of Women.
Radio credits include: The Republicans, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Singin and Swingin’, What Does the K Stand For, Say Goodbye Twice, Why is The Sky So Blue, Writing the Century, Statement of Regret, Claire In The Community, Silver Street, Face, Unspoken, Jim Jam and Sunny.
Awards include: twice nominated Best Actress in the EMMA Awards. Nominated as Best Actress by Screen Nation and The Black Media Awards.
Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW, and Swing Time, as well as essay collections Changing My Mind, Feel Free and Intimations, and the collection of short stories, Grand Union. Her novels have won multiple literary awards and been translated into many languages. White Teeth was adapted for the stage at the Kiln Theatre in 2018. She is a professor of fiction at New York University and writes regularly for the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books. Zadie Smith divides her time between New York and London.
Indhu Rubasingham is Artistic Director of Kiln Theatre. Her work for the company includes The Invisible Hand, Pass Over, When the Crows Visit, Wife, White Teeth, Holy Sh!t, Red Velvet (which transferred to New York and later to the Garrick Theatre as part of the Kenneth Branagh Season) and Handbagged (winner of Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre – also West End, UK tour, Washington DC and New York). Other productions for Kiln Theatre include A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes, Multitudes, The House That Will Not Stand, Paper Dolls, Women, Power and Politics, Stones in His Pockets, Detaining Justice, The Great Game: Afghanistan, Fabulation and Starstruck. Other theatre credits include The Great Wave, Ugly Lies the Bone, The Motherf**cker with the Hat (Evening Standard Award for Best Play), The Waiting Room (all National Theatre), The Ramayana (National Theatre/ Birmingham Rep), Belong, Disconnect, Free Outgoing, Lift Off, Clubland, The Crutch and Sugar Mummies (Royal Court Theatre), Ruined (Almeida Theatre), Yellowman and Anna in the Tropics (Hampstead Theatre), Secret Rapture and The Misanthrope (Minerva, Chichester Festival Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Chichester Festival Theatre), Pure Gold (Soho Theatre), The NoBoys CricketClub andParty Girls (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Wuthering Heights (Birmingham REP), Heartbreak House (Watford Palace Theatre), SugarDollies andShakuntala (Gate Theatre), A River Sutra (Three Mill Island Studios), Rhinoceros (UC Davis, California) and A Doll’s House (Young Vic).
Ben and Max Ringham
Composer and Sound Designers
Associate Costume Designer
Julia Horan CDG
Dialect and Voice Coach
Stage Management & Production
Company Stage Manager
Deputy Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager
Costume Maker and Wardrobe Maintenance
Wigs, Hair and Makeup Supervisor
Seb Barresi, Paul Salmon
Illusion Design and Construct & Kiln Theatre Workshop
10 December 2021, 7.30pm
At the Gala Evening, every ticket includes a complimentary drink upon arrival, a free programme and other surprises to be announced. All proceeds from the evening are in aid of Kiln Theatre, helping us to create innovative productions, make theatre available to our local community and to connect everyone, whatever their background, through the power of performance. Book now >
A huge thank you to the supporters who have helped us bring this production to life:
Jon and NoraLee Sedmak
The Wife of Willesden Circle:
Matthew Greenburgh and Helen Payne
Nicola Horton and Tiffany Evans
Jonathan Levy and Gabrielle Rifkind
James Baer and Henry Chu
To find out more about supporting The Wife of Willesden, please email email@example.com and our Fundraising Team will be in touch.