A solo play celebrating the life and achievements of pioneering writer Aphra Behn is to go on a mini tour of venues in London and Kent.
Written and performed by Claire Louise Amias, The Masks of Aphra Behn uses excerpts from Behn’s letters, poetry and plays to bring the 17th-century playwright to life.
Directed by Pradeep Jey, it will be performed at the White Bear Theatre in Kennington, London, on January 11, 12 and 13 January 2023, The Space in London’s Docklands on February 17 and 18 and The Brooke Theatre in Chatham in Kent on February 22, taking Behn back to the county where she was born.
It also features costume design by Anna Sargent and sound design by Keri Chesser. It is being staged by theatre company A Monkey with Cymbals.
The show sees Aphra herself take to the stage in 1677 in front of an audience getting ready to watch her best-known play, The Rover. She recounts the extraordinary tale of her time as a spy for King Charles II in the Dutch Wars and how she became the first professional female writer.
The show premiered at the Women and War Festival in London in 2016 before going on a national tour, taking in regional theatres and both the Edinburgh and Rada Festivals. It celebrates Behn at a time when the A is for Aphra campaign continues fundraising for a statue of Aphra Behn.