Kemp’s Jig

“And let those that play your clowns say no more than is set down for them..”

1598: Meet Will Kemp  – celebrity comedian, international superstar of the Elizabethan stage and the original “9 Day wonder”, about whom the above quote from Hamlet is said to be written.

A “horrible histories” for all ages, Kemp’s Jig makes Shakespeare accessible by sending him up – his supposed lack of a sense of humour is a running joke throughout the play –  and also gives an insight to the unglamorous side of life in Tudor England, using aspects of commedia dell’arte, music hall revue and storytelling to illustrate Kemp’s adventures.

As Shakespeare’s plays began to require comic actors rather than comedians Kemp’s style (comedy dog, slapstick and all) became less and less suitable and Shakespeare and Kemp parted ways.  Kemp resigned his shares in “The Lord Chamberlains Men”  and embarked upon a bizarre publicity stunt to cash in on his popularity and superstar status:  In February 1600 he began a 125 mile Morris dance from London to Norwich, and later published his diary of the event “The Nine Daies Wonder”.  And that is where our story begins…

Kemp’s Jig has been seen at the Royal National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and all across the globe.  The original production was the subject of a TV documentary (introduced by Sir Peter Hall) and its original writer and performer Chris Harris toured the US (as Kemp) with Sam Wanamaker’s company to raise sponsorship for the building of Shakespeare’s Globe.


This new production comes direct from gaining a new audience and rave reviews at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Friday 15 November

Tickets: £12 | £10 Concessions or online: Book Now
Box Office: 01904 613000

Please note there is a £1.50 per transaction charge if booking online. There is no transaction charge if booking by phone or in person through the Riding Lights Box Office. If you would like your tickets posted to you then there is a 50p charge to cover postage costs