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The Welkin

a new play by Lucy Kirkwood

Now playing
Running Time: appox. 2 hours and 50 mins, inc. interval

5 star rating

Witty and dazzling. A thing of beauty.

The Upcoming
4 star rating

Ambitious, gripping and richly textured.

The Stage
4 star rating

A mighty new play. Magnificent.

Financial Times
4 star rating

Brilliant, brave and bold.

WhatsOnStage
4 star rating

Very funny, brutally honest and smartly irreverent.

Broadway World
4 star rating

Thumpingly great. Kirkwood is a genius.

Daily Mail
4 star rating

A fiercely pertinent drama for our time.

Metro

The Welkin

One life in the hands of 12 women.

Rural Suffolk, 1759. As the country waits for Halley’s comet, Sally Poppy is sentenced to hang for a heinous murder.

When she claims to be pregnant, a jury of 12 matrons are taken from their housework to decide whether she’s telling the truth, or simply trying to escape the noose.

With only midwife Lizzy Luke prepared to defend the girl, and a mob baying for blood outside, the matrons wrestle with their new authority, and the devil in their midst.

Find a cinema near you for the National Theatre Live broadcast of The Welkin on 21 May

Lucy Kirkwood (Mosquitoes, Chimerica) returns to the National Theatre with her new play, directed by James Macdonald.

Maxine Peake (Black Mirror, Funny Cow) plays Lizzy, and Ria Zmitrowicz (The Doctor), Sally.

Please note: This production contains adult themes and violence that some people may find distressing. Smoke effects are used. If you require further information, contact details are provided in our Help centre.

This play is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Plays Award
Production supported by the Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater

Talks and events

Actor Maxine Peake on The Welkin Wed 12 Feb, 3pm, £9/£6
How British Justice is Failing Women with Helena Kennedy Wed 12 Feb, 5.45pm, £9/£6
Exploring the Show: The Welkin Mon 24 Feb, 10.30am – 4pm, £60/£40/£15
Women in Georgian Society Wed 26 Feb, 6pm, £9/£6
Making Dramatic Violence Thu 27 Feb, 5.30pm, £9/£6
Writer Lucy Kirkwood and Director James Macdonald Thu 26 March, 6pm, £9/£6
Unfortunate Wretches: Women and the Gallows in the Georgian Era Fri 1 May, 6pm, £9/£6

The Welkin I Trailer

What do audiences think about The Welkin?

More info

The Welkin I Lizzy Luke

Twelve women. One murderer. An impossible decision. #TheWelkin

More info

From Script to Stage I Lucy Kirkwood and James MacDonald

Lucy Kirkwood and James MacDonald give their tops tips for writing and directing.

More info

The Welkin I Sally Poppy

Twelve women. One murderer. An impossible decision. #TheWelkin

More info

Cast

Natasha Cottriall
Hannah Rusted / US Sally Poppy
Natasha Cottriall
Daneka Etchells
US Mary Middleton/Emma Jenkins/Sarah Hollis
Daneka Etchells
Jenny Galloway
Judith Brewer
Jenny Galloway
Charlotte Cary
Haydn Gwynne
Zainab Hasan
Mary Middleton
Zainab Hasan
Aysha Kala
Peg Carter / Lady Wax
Aysha Kala
Helen Ludlow
Wendy Kweh
Philip McGinley
Mr Coombes
Philip McGinley
US Judith Brewer/Charlotte Cary/Sarah Smith/Lady Wax
Jules Melvin
Emma Jenkins
Cecilia Noble
US Mr Coombes/Frederick Poppy/The Justice/Doctor Willis
Daniel Norford
Maxine Peake
Lizzy Luke
Maxine Peake
Kitty Givens
Dawn Sievewright
US Elizabeth Luke/Ann Lavender / Fight Captain
Rebecca Todd
June Watson
Sarah Smith
June Watson
Laurence Ubong Williams
Frederick Poppy / The Justice / Doctor Willis
Laurence Ubong Williams
Shaofan Wilson
US Hannah Rusted/Peg Carter/Helen Ludlow/Kitty Givens
Shaofan Wilson
Hara Yannas
Ann Lavender
Hara Yannas
Sarah Hollis
Brigid Zengeni
Ria Zmitrowicz
Sally Poppy
Ria Zmitrowicz

Production team

The Welkin ticket prices and Access performances

Ticket prices

Monday - Thursday eves, all matinees
*£86, £66, £57, £46, £32, £15
Friday & Saturday eves
*£89, £69, £60, £52, £35, £20
Previews 15 - 21 January
*£69, £49 - £15

Access performances

Audio-described performances, for blind and visually impaired people:
Fri 27 March, 7.30pm
Sat 28 March, 2.15pm preceded by a Touch Tour at 12.45pm

Captioned performances, for deaf or hard-of-hearing people:
Sat 22 February, 2.15pm
Mon 24 February, 7.30pm
Wed 26 February, 7.30pm
 

*Some of the best seats in the house are premium priced. They help to ensure we can continue to offer low price seats for all our productions; the National Theatre is a charity and only 17% government-funded. This year nearly 30% of our tickets are available for £20 or less.

Smart caption glasses

Smart caption glasses are a revolutionary new way for people with hearing loss to enjoy performances at the National Theatre. For the first time, service users can experience our productions, including this one, from any seat in any theatre.

Find out about smart caption glasses

People wearing Smart Caption Glasses at a performance in the theatre

Photography (Maxine Peake and Ria Zmitrowicz) by Felicity McCabe

Help Centre

For general ticket information

Browse the frequently asked questions for tickets

For general ticket information

Browse the frequently asked questions for tickets