The Herbal Bed
by Peter Whelan
19th - 27th November 2010
~ Directed by Jan Palmer Sayer ~

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The Herbal Bed is Peter Whelan's brilliant retelling of a scandal involving Shakespeare's eldest daughter, the upstanding and virtuous Susanna Hall. Susanna is married to a well-loved and respected local physician, John Hall. Humanitarian in nature, he benevolently uses his fees from the rich to treat the poor. Together, they maintain a herbal garden blessed with a crop that seems to have miraculous healing qualities.

One night, Rafe Smith, their handsome married neighbour, is observed secretly leaving the garden, and Jack Lane, John's scheming student, accuses Susanna of adultery. Susanna sues Jack in the ecclesiastical courts at Worcester Cathedral to protect her name and save her husband's practice. But the allegations threaten to destroy everything the Halls have created, at a time in history where a woman's reputation was as fragile as the health of John's patients.

Cast
Verity MannSusanna Hall
Chris JanesJohn Hall
Patrick SunnersRafe Smith
Emily BurnhamHester Fletcher
Andy BakerJack Lane
Paul MortonBishop Parry
Gavin PalmerBarnabus Goche
Lulu Mann / Chloe LeeElizabeth Hall
Crew
Derek PalmerStage Manager
Chris SmithAsst.Stage Manager
Ken AllfordLighting
Ian CullenMusic & Sound
Angela Reiss & Martina MilicProps
Shelagh Maughan & Karen StephensWardrobe
Peter ReissPrompt

Photos by Steve Beeston Photography
Review by John Webber