Theatre News

Jessie Buckley and Paul Mescal to star in Hamnet film

The award-winning book explores the death of Shakespeare’s son

Jessie Buckley and Paul Mescal, © Montclair Film, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons, Dublin International Film Festival, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Casting has been set for the big-screen adaptation of  Maggie O’Farrell’s award-winning book Hamnet.

The novel, which won the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction, has also been adapted into a WhatsOnStage Award-nominated stage show penned by Lolita Chakrabarti. It follows Shakespeare’s wife Agnes, who has to grapple with the death of her only son Hamnet while her husband is down in London. The piece also flashes back to follow the original courtship of the pair. It was longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and was shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize.

The film is to be directed by Chloé Zhao (Nomadland), who is collaborating on the screenplay with O’Farrell. According to a Vogue interview with Paul Mescal (A Streetcar Named Desire), the Olivier Award-winning star will reportedly play a young William Shakespeare in the film, joined by Jessie Buckley (Cabaret, Fargo) as Agnes. Further casting is to be confirmed.

Release date and more are to be revealed.

The stage show contnues to run at the Garrick Theatre.

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Closed: 17 February 2024