Will

or Eight Lost Years of William Shakespeare's Life

The play tells the story of how a young man will become the poet William Shakespeare. It is bursting with echoes to his future works, as well as modern music and free dance, in-between fantasies and reality. Performed by five multifaceted actors, Will is a physical, lively and poignant piece that has been produced in 2 languages, has toured in 3 countries with 4 different casts, counting more than 50 performances to date. It has been nominated for two Offies - Off West End Awards (Best Director, Best Supporting Male in a Play), and has had rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. 

England, 1582. The young Will Shakespeare is living in the peaceful town of Stratford-upon-Avon in the heart of England with his newlywed wife, Anne. But something’s missing. He’s dreaming of prophecies, rough magic and words no one is able to find. As he starts following these dreams, life takes him on a journey, from under the protection of an immensely rich Lord to nights in taverns with travelling players. But Elizabethan England is not an easy place to thrive, and the world's stage has more than one surprise in store for him…

Vibrant, intelligent, exciting, this is a cleverly written and beautifully enacted production. Theatre at its lively moving and spontaneous best. I loved it and clearly so did the rest of the audience. Highly recommended!

Jane,

Edinburgh Fringe

audience member

Fascinating.

A tender love letter to Shakespeare.

The Stage

A lovingly crafted vision of one man's quest for purpose. Filled with romance, wit, heartbreak, grief,
passion and a much-mocked obsession with Ovid, Will is a wonderfully thoughtful and moving re-imagining of
Shakespeare's so-called lost years.

Dr. Anjna Chouhan,

Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

12-24 August 2019

Greenside @ Royal Terrace, Edinburgh

"Will himself would have liked this." Derek Awards

"Absolutely loved this. It was a wonderful piece of writing delivered by a skilled and talented cast with laughter and tears. Perfect!" Deirdre, Audience member

"This is a well crafted fast paced visceral and intelligent, sexy and rich exploration of William Shakespeare and his early years from poet and lover to player and, maybe, playwright. Victoria Baumgartner is a writer and director to watch. So pleased to catch up with the company with Kath Burlinson. Grab a ticket - I suspect this is a good piece for national and international touring after some expansion away from its fringe slot constraints, and with a workshop programme which Victoria as director and multi-lingual scholar of Shakespeare could offer." Chris Grady, Theatre producer & Founder of the MA in Creative Producing at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts

"I saw this this afternoon. I cannot recommend it highly enough! If you're in Edinburgh, go see it!! If you're not in Edinburgh, come to Edinburgh and go see it. Hugely talented cast and crew. It has everything; emotion, action, excitement, laughter, tears, love and tenderness. And some amazing physical scenes." Sarah, Choreographer

"Remarkable is exactly how I would describe this show." Lung Ha Theatre Co

For its run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Will & Co benefited from a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. We are very grateful to all our benefactors!

The George Inn, London

3-4 August 2019

Southwark, London

"This is - without doubt - nothing less than a spectacular treat. The cast are phenomenal - such energy and passion. It is beautifully written, directed and performed. It takes you on a roller coaster journey. You laugh, cry and are movedGo experience this amazing group of dedicated actors!" Eileen, audience member

SETT Festival,

Stuttgart, Germany

17-18 November 2018 Stuttgarter Theater Treffen, Bi-annual European Theatre Festival, Theater tri-bühne, Germany

"Baumgartner stages all this in a very lively manner, with music and improvised dancing. It is fresh and sometimes so movingly played that one feels a lump rising in one’s throat.”

Stuttgarter Zeitung, Germany

High school of les Creusets

Theatre Interface

Sion, Switzerland

8-13 October 2018

"Unmissable” Le Nouvelliste, Switzerland

"I really enjoyed the show and the fantastic cast”

Her Majesty's Ambassador in Switzerland, Jane Owen

Rose Playhouse

London, UK

27 March - 21 April 2018

"What unfolds on the stage is absolutely magical.” The Spy in the Stalls

"An engrossing play which over the course of eighty minutes (eight years in eighty minutes) does what Lord Reith declared ought to be the mission of the BBC: to inform, educate and entertain.” London Theatre 1

"Baumgartner’s firm belief in the power of poetry and well-placed emotional beats make Will a strangely fascinating work." The Stage

"Ronnie Yorke is exceptionally funny (I mean, really laugh out loud funny) as Richard Burbage." Everything Theatre

During its Rose Playhouse run in London, Will was nominated for two Offies - Off West End Awards: Best Director (Victoria Baumgartner) and Best Supporting Male (Ronnie Yorke).

Cast & Creatives

Writer & Director Victoria Baumgartner
Costumes Karolina Luisoni

PR & Communications Noémy Menyhart

Assistant Director Ruth Hunduma / Elodie Miserez

Photography Marie Lauria / Julien James Auzan / Kieran Taylord-Ford

Trailer La Paire de Cerises

Will Shakespeare Sam Veck

Anne Hathaway-Shakespeare Katherine Moran

Olivia Burbage Beatrice Lawrence / Charlie Mackellar

Richard Burbage Ronnie Yorke / Xavier Loira / Kieran Taylor-Ford

Earl of Southampton / Kit Marlowe / Gravedigger Charlie Woodward / Jack Spencer

With the generous support of

The Swiss Authors' Society

The City of Lausanne, Switzerland

The Swiss Cultural Fund UK - Swiss Embassy in the UK

Comba Consulting

Co-Productions with the Lausanne Shakespeare Festival and Unfolds Theatre

And all our Kickstarter campaign supporters Adrian Fernandez, Alexandra Cottier, Alexis Michalik, Alma Gudzevic, André Gurtner, Anna Rumball, Antony Weeks, Aude Bourrier, Bertil & Marie Cottier, Blaise Bersinger, Brian Benacloche, Camille Mottier, Caroline Genolet, Charlotte Scobie, Chris Hemmens, Cynthia Benassi, Donatella Gabrielli, Fanny Comba, Florent & Marie Carbone, George Veck, Gergely Odor, Gillian Barmes, Hazel Veck, Hélène LaGrotteria, Isabelle Munyankindi, Hon. Prof. Jacques Dubochet, Jade Andrey, Jean-Claude Sauthier, Joe Evans

Joseph Veck, Juliette Genolet, Kate Maravan, Katherine Moran, Kickstarter, Laura Beer, Léa Fanchon, Luca Da Pare, Lyudmyla Dutruel, Marine Spalletta, Mélanie Carrel, Melissa Allcock, Nicole & Hans Baumgartner, Nina Babayan, Olivier Maillard, Olly Bovay, Peter Hevoud, Pierre Fankhauser, Pierre Magnenat, Prof. Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet, Prof. Kevin Curran, Raphaël Braunschweig, Sara Dominguez, Sarah Emmerson Morley, Sébastien Rey, Sergio Mendolia, Sofia Armella, Stefanie Ginster, Susan Morris, Svitlana & Pierre Willi, Sylvie Stefanelli, The Creative Fund by Backer Kit, Thomas Wiesel, Tibor Menyhart, Trish and Steve Down, Valérie Boujon, Vera Presas, Veronika Mendiola, Vitaliy Nedelko, Zelda Chauvet & all those who wished to remain anonymous.