11 Nov - 24 Dec 2021

Kiln Theatre presents
in association with Brent2020, London Borough of Culture


adapted by Zadie Smith

from Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath

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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…

A play that celebrates the human knack for telling elaborate tales, especially about our own lives.

Critically acclaimed, multi-award winning, best-selling author Zadie Smith makes her playwriting debut, transporting 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.

We’d also like to thank John and NoraLee Sedmak for their generous support of The Wife of Willesden.

Important Information

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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11 Nov - 24 Dec 2021

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Clare Perkins

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 Wallanderas 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. 

Further casting to be announced


Zadie Smith


Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW, and Swing Time, as well as two collections of essays, Changing My Mind and Feel Free 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


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 TeethHoly Sh!t, Red Velvet (which transferred to New York and lateto the Garrick Theatre as part of the Kenneth Branagh Season) and Handbagged (winner of Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre  also West EndUK tour, Washington DC and New York). Other productionfor Kiln Theatre include A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes, Multitudes, The House That Will Not Stand, Paper DollsWomen, Power and PoliticsStones in His Pockets, Detaining Justice, ThGreat Game: Afghanistan, Fabulation anStarstruck. 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 Ramayan(National Theatre/ Birmingham Rep), BelongDisconnect, Free Outgoing,Lift Off, ClublandThe Crutch and Sugar Mummies (Royal Court Theatre), Ruined (Almeida Theatre), Yellowman anAnna 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 No Boys Cricket Club anParty Girls (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Wuthering Heights (Birmingham REP), Heartbreak House (Watford Palace Theatre), Sugar Dollies and Shakuntala (Gate Theatre)A River Sutra (Three Mill Island Studios), Rhinoceros (UDavis, California) and A Doll’s House (Young Vic). 

Robert Jones


Guy Hoare

Lighting Designer

Ben and Max Ringham

Composer and Sound Designer

Kinnetia Isidore

Associate Costume Designer

Julia Horan CDG

Casting Director

Celise Hicks

Movement Director

Kev McCurdy

Fight Director

Hazel Holder

Dialect and Voice Coach

Hannah Hauer-King

Associate Director

Rianna Azoro

Costume Supervisor

Stage Management & Production

Alex Constantin

Company Stage Manager

Ella Saunders

Deputy Stage Manager

Keshini Ranasinghe

Wardrobe Manager

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 our The Wife of Willesden Circle, a group of generous individuals who are helping us bring this production to life:

Matthew Greenburgh and Helen Payne
Penny Badowska
Nicola Horton and Tiffany Evans
Frida Khan
Jonathan Levy and Gabrielle Rifkind
Frances Magee
James Baer and Henry Chu
Laure Duvoisin

To find out more about supporting The Wife of Willesden, please email and our Fundraising Team will be in touch.

Artwork by Muse Creative Communications

Photography by Michael Wharley