Kiln Theatre presents


Adapted by Zadie Smith

from Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath

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After a sold-out, critically acclaimed run in 2021, Alvita, The Wife of Willesden returns for one more round at the bar.

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‘s ‘irresistably rambunctious’ (The Telegraph) The Wife of Willesden 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 comedy up close, and very, very personal.

The Kiln Theatre auditorium will be transformed into a local London pub, complete with pub tables in the stalls.

This production is now available to stream on National Theatre at Home.

Important Information

Age guidance: 15+

Post Show Q&A: 10 Jan 2023, 7.30pm & 27 Jan 2023, 7.30pm
Audio Described Performance: 12 Jan 2023, 7.30pm
Captioned Performance: 23 Jan 2023, 7.30pm

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The Wife of Willesden was originally produced in 2021 by Kiln Theatre in association with Brent2020, London Borough of Culture.

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Approximately 95 minutes with no interval

‘Zadie Smith and Indhu Rubasingham have concocted a stunning piece of freewheeling stagecraft.’

- The Times

‘Irresistibly rambunctious theatrical debut.’

- The Telegraph

Critics Picks of the Year 2021

- The Guardian, WhatsOnStage, TheatreWeekly

‘Simply outstanding.’

- BroadwayWorld

‘Perkins is power personified.’

- LondonTheatre

‘It’s dazzling to behold Smith’s intelligence at work.’

- Time Out


Marcus Adolphy

Winston/Mandela/Black Jesus

George Eggay

Pastor / Eldridge

Andrew Frame

Ian / Socrates / Bartosz

Troy Glasgow

Darren / Young Maroon

Claudia Grant

Polly / Sophie

Nikita Johal

Asma / Kelly

Scott Miller

Ryan / Colin

Jessica Murrain

Author / Zaire / Queen Nanny

Clare Perkins

Alvita, The Wife of Willesden

Ellen Thomas

Aunty P / Old Wife

Creative Team

Indhu Rubasingham


Robert Jones


Guy Hoare

Lighting Designer

Ben and Max Ringham

Composition and Sound Designer

Hannah Hauer-King

Associate Director

Kinnetia Isidore

Associate Costume Designer

Julia Horan CDG

Casting Director

Imogen Knight

Movement Director

Kev McCurdy

Fight Director

Hazel Holder

Voice & Dialect Coach

Jessica Mensah

Kiln-Mackintosh Resident Assistant Director


A huge thank you to the supporters who have helped us bring this production to life:

The Kiln Circle

To find out more about supporting us and/or The Kiln Circle, please email and our Fundraising Team will be in touch.