Weald & Downland Living Museum

Shakespeare’s Lost Women

22nd April 2019


Shakespeare’s Lost Women is a wonderfully touching and perceptive comedy about Deirdre Compton, an actress who has made a career playing luscious milkmaids, jesters and clowns while her mother plays Desdemona, Titania and Lady Macbeth. Unsurprisingly, they do not get on.

Shakespeare’s Lost Women premiered at Petersfield Shakespeare Festival before going on to several other sold-out performances. To introduce this new production, acclaimed Sussex writer Greg Mosse says:

‘The idea for Shakespeare’s Lost Women came to me while I was watching the wonderful but foolish Nurse in Romeo & Juliet. It’s amazing that she isn’t even on stage at the end. Then I thought about Jailer’s Daughter in Two Noble Kinsmen who doesn’t even have a name. Then I saw the RSC’sLove’s Labour’s Lost. In the second half, one of the men says that the lovely Jaquenetta is pregnant and will marry Don Armado, a comic Spanish nobleman. I thought: “What does Jaquenetta have to say about this?” And that made me think about other Shakespearean women whose stories never really get closure …’

In this clever, funny script, all the characters Deirdre Compton plays have parallels in her own life, leading to an unexpected but warm-hearted climax. The production will be followed by a lively and entertaining post show discussion.


Greg Mosse’s recent plays include Poisoned Beds (with Lucy Flannery), The Hawkhurst Gang, The Exchange, Number 60 to the Somme (with Carol Godsmark), Separate Ways (with John Gleadall), Daisy & Marvin Save the Day (with John Gleadall), Who Cares?, Self-Help, Gallery and a French short Il fut un temps. Greg is the leader of the Criterion New Writing script development program in London’s West End. The Gleadall & Mosse adaptation of Alfred Noyes’ ballad poem The Highwayman arrives in 2019.

John Gleadall is a composer and performer of popular song, equally at home writing for adults or children – or both. His repertoire is extensive and he accompanies this story of female resilience with evocative traditional songs and catchy new compositions. He says: ‘Music is powerful and can change the way people feel, think and act. It brings together intellect and feeling.’