After the Success of ‘Life of Pi,’ Playwright Lolita Chakrabarti’s Adopted Play ‘Hamnet’ to Open at Stratford-Upon-Avon
- After winning accolades in New York, she is set for another round of critical acclaim with her play about William Shakespeare’s wife Anne Hathaway.
Fresh off the critical success of Yann Martel’s “Life of Pi,” which she has adopted for the Broadway play, Lolita Chakrabarti, the British actress and writer, is ready to bask in acclaim for the new play “Hamnet” which she has adopted from Maggie O’Farrell’s best-selling 2020 novel of the same name. The play opens at Swan Theater in Stratford-Upon-Avon in April.
Hamnet is the son of Anne Hathaway and William Shakespeare whose early death at 11 years old causes the bard to leave for a career in London leaving her beloved. The play is about Anne, called Agnes in the play (which is believed to be her real name), about whom very little is known. This year marks the 400th anniversary of Anne’s death.
Chakrabarti was born in 1969 in London, England, to a mixed-race family of Indian and English heritage. Chakrabarti is best known for her work in the theatre, both as a performer and a writer, and has received critical acclaim for her contributions to the industry.
She was awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2021 Birthday Honors for services to drama.
Chakrabarti’s acting career began in the late 1980s when she appeared in small roles on television shows such as “The Bill” and “Casualty.” However, it was not until the 1990s that she began to receive recognition for her work. In 1994, she appeared in the West End production of “Les Miserables,” and went on to perform in several other major productions, including “The Vagina Monologues” and “The Shadow of a Gunman.”
In addition to her work as an actress, Chakrabarti is an accomplished writer. She wrote her first play, “Red Velvet,” in 2012, which was based on the life of the African-American actor Ira Aldridge. The play received critical acclaim for its exploration of race, identity, and the power of theatre. It earned Chakrabarti a nomination for the Olivier Award for Best New Play.
In addition to her Olivier Award nomination, Chakrabarti has been nominated for several other awards, including the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best New Play for “Red Velvet.” She has also been awarded the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards.
Chakrabarti’s writing credits include the BBC drama “Hear Me,” and the television film “A Long Walk to Finchley.” She has also written for the stage, including the play “Souls,” which was produced at the Royal National Theatre in London in 2013.
Chakrabarti is married to actor Adrian Lester and they have two daughters.