Mrs Shakespeare

William Shakespeare has been reincarnated as a woman and is the cause of confusion and frustration for her therapist, Henry. During her sessions with him she decides that the Hamlet she wrote 400 years ago, the Hamlet we all know today, was well below standard. An entire rework of the play is needed. Ophelia is to take centre stage, and all her male counterparts are to be shoved into menial roles, and they are not going down without a fight.

A Shakespearian play couldn’t have been given a more ludicrous premise, but it was carried off brilliantly by Irene Kelleher with humour, passion and endless amounts of energy.

A Shakespearian play couldn’t have been given a more ludicrous premise, but it was carried off brilliantly by Irene Kelleher with humour, passion and endless amounts of energy. As the one and only performer on stage throughout the entire performance, backed up only by a few pieces of incidental music and amusing props, Kelleher was outstanding. Her energy never waned and every line was bursting with character. Each of the main characters were distinguishable and well defined by the comic mannerisms offered to them: Henry’s heavy German accent, Hamlet’s sassy strutting, Claudius’ angry mopping. The script is packed with witty takes on Shakespearean prose, creating a unique cast of characters in a very unique situation.

However, behind all the silliness a sobering reality lies, and it is only towards the end of the play that the Shakespearian charade begins to fall away and the delusions of the loveably mad William come to the fore. The therapy sessions with Henry and William’s journal entries cleverly serve to etch away at William’s world until reality and fiction merge together and unravel at once, culminating in a delicate and touching finale in which William asks the question that all writers make their characters ask themselves: who am I? It is easy to say that Ian Wild’s script is all at once funny, clever, and inspiring and offers the Fringe one of the most interesting plays to see this year.

It was truly a wonderfully written comedy that filled the hour with laughter; a definite must-see.

Reviews by Lois Zoppi

Sweet Werks 2

Good Grief

Sweet Werks 1

The Hunters of Ghost Hall

Middle Street Synagogue

Middle Street Synagogue Open Days

MEET: Outside Old Ship Hotel

The Subversive Sussex Walk


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

William Shakespeare, reincarnated as a woman, finds herself in a mental asylum and comes to the conclusion that she has made a complete mess of writing 'Hamlet' 400 years earlier. Armed with a quill and beset by a rebellious cast who are anxious not to be rewritten, she embarks on an epic reformulation of theatre’s most famous text under the new title ‘Ophelia’. Unfortunately, William’s therapist is unsympathetic. Is that because he’s a reincarnated Christopher Marlowe?

Most Popular See More

Only Fools and Horses - The Musical

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £45.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Heathers The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets