January 19


It’s 1611, and Shakespeare’s latest play has travelled from London to the north of England. Soon scandal rocks Corbridge, as maidservant Cicely Lee is accused of committing adultery with her former master. What is the truth of it – and will Cicely’s voice be heard? The Defamation of Cicely Lee puts Cymbeline in conversation with contemporary issues and asks what we inherit from the past and how telling our stories can create a more equal future. Winner of the second year of Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries (SNC).

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About SNC

Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries is ASC’s  groundbreaking, industry-changng undertaking that is discovering, developing, and producing a new canon of 38 plays that are inspired by and in conversation with Shakespeare’s work.

An SNC Staged Reading is a theatrical experience where an early draft of a new play in response to Shakespeare is read aloud by actors, with scripts in their hands; these presentations (sometimes at music stands, sometimes with rehearsal cubes or minimal staging) offer audiences a glimpse into the playwriting process and give playwrights and artists the opportunity to evaluate the play’s strengths and weaknesses before it is subject to the additional pressures and scrutiny that a full production brings. The knowledge gained from our staged readings will directly impact rewrites and preparation for our upcoming SNC productions.