400 years on, a tale of Shakespeare and sex is coming to Abbots Langley

Graham Ford, Niki Davison, Sarah Cunnane and Jerome le Forestier rehearse for The Herbal Bed
Graham Ford, Niki Davison, Sarah Cunnane and Jerome le Forestier rehearse for The Herbal Bed

Dramatic events that took place exactly four centuries ago provide the inspiration for the Abbots Langley Players’ next production.

The Herbal Bed by Peter Whelan will be staged at the Henderson Hall in the village from Wednesday, November 20.

The play is based on the true story of a 1613 court case for slander brought by Susanna Hall – elder daughter of William Shakespeare and the wife of apothecary Dr John Hall – following accusations of ‘lewd behaviour’ with Rafe Smith, a local haberdasher and family friend.

The accusations were made by Jack Lane, son of local gentry and a notorious troublemaker – a part played by David Tennant in the original production.

The play was originally written for the Royal Shakespeare Company and blends historical facts and characters with imagined events to create a portrait of the passions and dangers of life in early-Jacobean England, using the events that could have led to the slanderous statement being made as inspiration.

The production will run until the Saturday with evening performances at 7.45pm and a Saturday afternoon matinee at 2.30pm.

Check availability and reserve tickets by calling the box office on 0844 8045354.

Click here to see and hear the director and members of the cast talking about the play and their part in it