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A Glimpse of The Fair Maid in Rehearsals

The Fair Maid of the West, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, from Saturday 2 December 2023 - Sunday 14 January 2024. Press Night Tuesday 12 December.

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has released images of Amber James as Landlady Liz Bridges in The Fair Maid of the West, alongside a first look inside the rehearsal room to meet the full company of actor musicians.

Isobel McArthur’s new adaptation of The Fair Maid of the West by Thomas Heywood will run in the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon from Saturday 2 December 2023 to Sunday 14 January 2024.

Amber James and Emmy Stonelake. Photo by Mihaela Bodlovic © RSC.

Liz Bridges is an Elizabethan landlady who might seem ordinary, but it turns out that a life spent lending ears, mending hearts and serving beers has all been in preparation for the ultimate test of her character...

The Fair Maid of the West rehearsal images. Photo by Mihaela Bodlovic © RSC.

Isobel McArthur, an Olivier Award winning actor, director and playwright. Commenting on the play, she said: “One thing that excited me about staging a version of The Fair Maid of The West is how much of the action takes places in pubs. These theatres of the human condition! Where we may choose to perform or be the audience and all of human life plays out. So often in portside public houses a carousel of remarkable eccentrics pass through the harbours and doorways, leaving lasting impressions on all those bearing witness. Of course, all are in search of something: shelter, sustenance, company, often love.

Richard Katz, Tom Babbage and David Rankine.Photo by Mihaela Bodlovic © RSC.

“With this in mind, we knew we needed a cast who could bring great humour and heart, including brilliantly funny multi-rollers with keen dramaturgical minds, possessing of a great facility for both language and music. Our whole ensemble needed to be able to sing, play multiple musical instruments, move beautifully through Ana Inés Jabares Pita’s set and truly take over the Swan Theatre space with their luminescent, celebratory energy.”

Emmy Stonelake.Photo by Mihaela Bodlovic © RSC.

The Fair Maid of the West features Design by Ana Inés Jabares-Pita, Lighting by Sinéad McKenna, Music by Michael John McCarthy, Sound by Niamh Gaffney, Movement by Emily Jane Boyle, Dramaturgy by Pippa Hill, Fights by Claire Llewellyn. Casting is by Martin Poile. 

Read casting details here:

Amber James in rehearsal. Photo by Mihaela Bodlovic © RSC.

Audio Described, Captioned and Chilled Performances: Friday 29 Dec 2023 - 7.30pm and Saturday 6 January 2024 - 1.30pm.

Handheld Captioned Performance: Saturday 30th December 1.30pm.

Performance with Integrated BSL Interpreter: Saturday 13 January 2024 - 1.30pm.

Pre and Post Show Talks:

Creative Team Talk: Monday 11 December 5.15-6pm.

Post Show Stay Late: Thursday 28 December.

For tickets and further details go to: Box Office 01789 331111 of



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