“Superb... an instant classic” —Daily Mail
“The great quality of Edmundson’s play is that it has the sweep, the intrigue, and the bold theatrical effects of the original Spanish Golden Age dramas... an unmistakable winner.” —Daily Telegraph
“A bold and eloquent play that confronts titanic conflicts between church and state, faith and creativity, and male and female power-structures” —Guardian
In the late 1600s, in a convent in Mexico, a gifted and progressive writer finds herself at the center of a deadly battle of ideas. Celebrated by the Court but silenced by the Church, she is betrayed by the very people she thought she could trust.
Inspired by the extraordinary life of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Helen Edmundson's The Heresy of Love is a powerful drama about a clash between organized religion and personal faith, full of intrigue and danger, ruthless ambitions and illicit desire.
Premiered by the RSC in 2012, The Heresy of Love was revived in a new production at Shakespeare’s Globe, London, in 2015.
Helen Edmundson’s first play, Flying, was presented at the National Theatre Studio in 1990. In 1992, she adapted Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina for Shared Experience, for whom she also adapted The Mill on the Floss in 1994. Both won awards—the TMA and the Time Out Awards respectively—and both productions were twice revived and extensively toured. Shared Experience also staged her original adaptation of War and Peace at the National Theatre in 1996, and toured her adaptations of Mary Webb’s Gone to Earth in 2004, Euripides’ Orestes in 2006, the new two-part version of War and Peace in 2008, and the original play Mary Shelley in 2012. Her original play The Clearing was first staged at the Bush Theatre in 1993, winning the John Whiting and Time Out Awards, Mother Teresa is Dead was premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in 2002 and The Heresy of Love was premiered by the Royal Shakespeare Company in the Swan Theatre in 2012. Her adaptation of Jamila Gavin’s Coram Boy premiered at the National Theatre to critical acclaim in 2005, receiving a Time Out Award. It was subsequently revived in 2006, and produced on Broadway in 2007. She adapted Caldero´n’s Life is a Dream for the Donmar Warehouse in 2009, and Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons for the Bristol Old Vic in 2010, which subsequently transferred to the West End before embarking on a national tour in 2012. Her adaptation of Émile Zola's Thérèse Raquin was premiered by the Theatre Royal, Bath, in 2014.