When Shakespeare died, 400 years ago, his will made detailed and extensive provision for his substantial property portfolio but included only one mention of his widow, to whom he left his “second best bed”. The Bed is a new one-act play by Ger FitzGibbon and will premiere as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival next week. Taking the known facts about their marriage, families and children, the play explores Shakespeare’s death from the point of view of his widow, Anne Hathaway – a tempestuous, sensuous, and passionate woman, baffled and furious at her husband’s will.
The production, co-directed by Jack Healy of Theatre Makers and Ger FitzGibbon, stars Paula McGlinchey and features original music by UCC composer Irene Buckley. McGlinchey has previously performed as Gremio in Fortune Fool’s Taming of the Shrew, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth and Portia in The Merchant Of Venice both with Cyclone Repertory Company, and Sebastian in The Tempest at St John’s Mill in Cork.
Dates/Times/Venue: 1pm and 4.30pm on June 17th, 18th, 19th and 24th, 25th, 26th in the Unitarian Church on Prince’s Street, Cork city. For this production the Unitarian Church has been transformed. Seating capacity is limited, so book early.
Booking is via the Cork Midsummer Festival website, by phone (021 421513) and in person at the Festival Box Office, Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street, Cork (opens 11th June, Monday to Saturday, 12-6pm / Sunday, 1-6pm.)
Ger FitzGibbon is a former Head of Drama & Theatre Studies in UCC, and recently directed Juno and the Paycock at the Everyman Theatre, Cork.
Related events of interest
Bare Cheek Theatre Company & the Granary Theatre will present A Midsummer Night’s Dream from 21st-23rd June as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival.
Fortune’s Fool will tour with Ireland with Measure for Measure in July and August. The production comes to Cork – to Fota Arboretum and to Doneraile – on 14th, 15th, and 17th July. For details and for the full tour schedule see the British Council ‘Shakespeare Lives’ webpage.