The Empress


Produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company THE EMPRESS is coming to the Lyric Hammersmith for a limited run later this year!

Spanning 13 years over the ‘Golden Era’ of Empire, this story blends the experiences of Indian ayahs and lascars who worked on the ships carrying trade goods, alongside the first Indian politician to be elected as a Member of Parliament. This epic story reveals how socially diverse the Asian presence was in nineteenth century Britain.

Transferring directly from the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, written by Tanika Gupta and directed by Pooja Ghai, this new production of THE EMPRESS will take you from the rugged gangways of Tilbury docks to the grandeur of Queen Victoria’s Palace, whilst unveiling the long and embedded culture of British Asian history.

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What is The Empress about?

It is 1887, the year Queen Victoria celebrates her Golden Jubilee.

Sixteen year old Rani Das, ayah (nursemaid) to an English family arrives at Tilbury docks after a long voyage from India, to start a new life in Britain.

On the boat, Rani befriends a lascar (sailor), an Indian politician and a royal servant destined to serve the Queen. Full of hopes and dreams of what lies ahead, they each embark on an extraordinary journey.

Will their expectations come true or will they have to forge a different path in their new country?

Ticket Information

Tickets not currently available.

Running Time

2hrs 45mins (incl. interval)

Cast & Creatives

Tanika Gupta (Writer), Pooja Ghai (Director)

Age Guidance: 11+

For group bookings of 10 or more:
Submit a request online

Or call 020 7206 1176

Venue Information

Lyric Hammersmith

Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King St, Hammersmith, London W6 0QL

Get Directions

Nearest Tube/Rail Station



27, 110, 190, 218, 267, 306, H91, N9, N11, N266

Nearest Car Parks

The nearest car park is the Kings Mall car park