The Second Best Bed

25th September

Wednesday 25th September 7.30 pm

Running time 95mins including interval 

Written by Avril Rowlands, starring Liz Grand, directed by Chris Jaeger

When Shakespeare died, he famously left his wife Anne only one thing – the second best bed. This superb one-woman play, full of both humour and pathos, has received great critical acclaim since its premier at the Swan Theatre Worcester in 2012. Liz Grand stars as Anne Hathaway on the night of Shakespeare’s funeral. The wake has finished, the mourners have all gone home, leaving Anne to remember her life with the most talented playwright the world has ever seen. Or was he? Did he write the plays? His widow would know if anybody did. Wouldn’t she?

“Lifts the lid on a Tudor can of worms……..a showcase for the towering acting skills of Liz Grand.” Worcester News

Liz Grand performed ‘The Second Best Bed’ at the International Shakespeare in Romania in April 2018 and was given three curtain calls and a standing ovation for over five minutes from the international audience.

“It was truly marvellous!!! They just wouldn’t stop clapping!!!”  Heidi Gowthorpe

“Our Cheltenham audiences loved ‘The Second Best Bed’, considering it a ‘tour de force’.  Real value-for-money theatre with great production values.”                                                           Paul Milton -Artistic Director Cheltenham Everyman

 “Dressed in black, Mrs. Shakespeare mourned the death of ‘our bright star’. But this was neither an ordinary soliloquy nor an ordinary widow. Buxom and bawdy, she displayed a passionate feat of character (and memory) as she wove a cunning plot-line of one of the greatest literary mysteries that left the audience spellbound.”Jude Owens- Cheddar Arts Review  “Thank you and your company for ‘The Second Best Bed’, we were very pleased to sell out. Your team made it a very smooth day and the audience really enjoyed Liz’s performance and the play.”      Brian Kirk – Yvonne Arnaud Theatre 

 “A delightful twist to the Shakespeare story which has brought a wonderfully different dimension to the Festival.  Absolutely excellent!”   

Deborah Liggins – Administrator, Worcester Three Choirs Festival

 “We were thrilled by the play, as was our audience at this sell out event. Liz Grand gave a formidable performance, up close and very personal, generating smiles, laughter and tears. The organisation of the touring theatre was superb, creating a magical set from the back of a transit van.”        Rosalind Turner – Programme Director Shoreham Wordfest

  “Thank you for getting us off to such a fine start. All reports have been excellent. Thanks so much and many congratulations.”     Rosie Turner –  Director Canterbury Festival

 “A wonderful evening …. what a talented and delightful actress Liz Grand is! It was a stunning tour de force of a performance, balancing just the right amount of drama, humour and pathos.”       Gill Scard , Cheddar Arts

“The audience loved the evening and we have had nothing but praise from the 200+ people who were there.”      Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival

“A super performance which was enjoyed by all.  People were certainly discussing it afterwards ….a really good play.”        Elizabeth Davis – Hungerford Arts Festival.

“We had some wonderful feedback here . Thanks so much for a great production.”                Sharon Buckler –  Theatre Co-ordinator, Quay Theatre, Sudbury


“If there had been less people, I would have cartwheeled out of the theatre!”

Audience member at the Astor Theatre, Deal

 “They loved ‘The Second Best Bed’ at Conford.”   

Nadine Fry – Hog The Limelight, Hampshire Rural Touring

 “It really was a tour de force ….. the audience loved it and our Mrs S was brilliant !  Nick was fantastic in getting the set in and out.”  

John Bethell MBE  – Mananan Festival , Erin Arts Centre, Isle of Man

  “Liz did indeed ‘do the business’ – and then some! The audience loved her.” 

Donald Douglas – Actor and Programmer, Theatre Le Colombier, near Toulouse, France

 “A  very interesting and thought provoking re-think of the possibilities surrounding the Bard’s authorship of his works – was wonderfully accomplished and convincing, leaving the very appreciative audience thinking, talking and feeling thoroughly entertained.”

Stuart Newton – Artistic Director Heron Theatre, Beetham.

 “Lifts the lid on a Tudor can of worms…a showcase for the towering acting skills of Liz Grand.”      John Phillpott – Worcester News

 “We very much enjoyed having Liz at Leith Hill Place and the show was great. The audience was very appreciative and it all went very smoothly.” 

Gabrielle Gale – Operations Manager, National Trust, Leith Hill Place, Dorking.

 “We enjoyed working with you and consider the evening was a triumph….  the audience was most enthusiastic.”         Tim Norris – Stow-on-the-Wold Festival

 “Throughout, Chris Jaeger sprinkles his director’s gold dust on a work that places a new slant on a mystery that will captivate generations to come.” 

John Phillpott – Berrow’s Journal

 On behalf of the Wedmore Arts Festival Committee, thank you, Liz and everyone else involved for bringing Second Best Bed to Wedmore. It was a fabulous evening, and I hope that everyone involved enjoyed it as much as the audience. We do hope you might return in 2019?”

Committee – Wedmore Arts Festival  

 A good, well-written and thought-provoking play….. and a star turn from Liz Grand who never fails to amaze.”   

David Wright –  ex Chairman of the Swan Theatre, Chairman of the Elgar School of Music

 “I went to see ‘The Second Best Bed’ at the Swan Studio when Liz Grand gave a stupendous performance as Anne Hathaway.  A fantastic evening.”  

Letter published in the Worcester News from Jean Harris



£16 (£14 concessions)

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