Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society to tell story of sex, slander and Shakespeare’s daughter

Bruce Cunningham as Rafe and Ed Batchelor as Jack in The Herbal Bed.

Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society (RADS) will tell a story of sex, slander and Shakespeare’s daughter with its next show which starts this week.

RADS’ next production will be The Herbal Bed by Peter Whelan.

Based on true events in Stratford upon Avon in 1613, The Herbal Bed tells the story of Susanna Hall, Shakespeare’s daughter as she is accused of adultery.

Not one to shy away from her accusers, Susanna takes them to court for slander and her situation is thrown into public scrutiny.

Written originally for the Royal Shakespeare Company and starring the likes of Liam Cunningham, David Tennant and Joseph Fiennes, The Herbal Bed has since found critical acclaim throughout the country and abroad, its witty script gripping audiences from the first scene.

The parallels of public inquisitions, twisted truths and outright lies still resonates 400 years later.

“The more I read the text the more I realised the significance of what wasn’t being said. Nearly every character has something to hide, something to which they do not wish to admit,” said director Gregan Davis.

“It’s a personal issue that becomes a public one and inevitably, as the play progresses, everything is dragged into the harsh light of day.”

The Herbal Bed wouldn’t be a complete play without the herbs themselves and RADS have found themselves lucky enough to work alongside Bolton Castle Medieval Herb Garden, near Redmire, and The Flower Studio on Finkle Street in Richmond to ensure this production has the authentic herbs that the real Susanna Hall would have found growing in her own herbal beds.

The Herbal Bed is on at Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond at 7.30pm from 23rd to 25th March.

Tickets are available at the Georgian Theatre Royal Box Office on 01748 825252 or on the website at