Shakespeare's fool

Written by T.G. Hofman



“Shakespeare’s Fool is an economic, classy piece directed robustly by Ben Humphrey and brought to life by a multi-faceted Leetham who embraces the tears of the clown... ”


“Leetham is an imperious storyteller... ”

(Highly Recommended Show)


“Robin Leetham returns Kempe to vivid life...entirely believable and likeable. ”

About The Play

Will 'Cavaliero' Kempe was one of the finest performers of the Elizabethan age. Gentleman player, juggling jester, headmaster of Morris dancers and London's finest clown, until...he fell out with Will 'git face' Shakespeare.

Kempe died alone and poverty stricken, not very far from the original Globe Theatre, of which he was an original shareholder and faded into obscurity. A world away from his former life having supposedly originated some of literature's best-known characters, including Bottom, Dogberry, and Falstaff.

​Join Cavaliero Kempe as he gives his final performance to an audience of a mouse and a marrote, and tells us what really happened between him and William Shakespeare.​ A bittersweet tale, told by an idiot.​

The play premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2021 at theSpaceUK @Symposium Hall and received rave reviews from audience and critics alike. 

We are now in the process of booking tour dates for 2021-2022. Please sign up to our mailing list to be the first to know when Shakespeare's Fool will be coming to a theatre near you. 


 T.G. Hofman

Ben Humphrey

Costumer Designer
Hannah Marshall

Marotte Designer
Alice Humphrey

Mouse Wrangler
Susan Brunt

William 'Cavaliero' Kempe
Robin Leetham​


Susie Arnold

Lauren Armer

Nikki Bigmore

Julia Bridge

Janet Bright

Oliver Brooks

Roger Brunt

The Davidsons

Jon Fraser

Patricia Gale

Andrew Gibbs

Rick Godsall

Heidi Gowthorpe

Shane Grant

Diana Green

Stephen Grindle

Chris Harper

Janet Harvey

Rachel Handforth

Sue Hawkins

Alison Hellings

Pauline Hirst

Fiona Howard

Alice Humphrey

Paul Jennings

Carys Jones

Mary-Anne Keyes

Ellen Lowe

Genevieve Lowe

Harriet Lowe


Tim Manning

Kim Martyn Smith

David McCallum

Julie McGill

Kate McKenna

Rhîan McLean

Michael McWilliam

Rita McWilliam

Jo Miller

Katrina Monteith

Jess O'Sullivan

Anne Renshaw

John-Robert Partridge


Beth Raybould

Tom Riddell

Naomi Roberts

Charlie Ryan

Helen Sears

David Skelton

Bev Sykes

Jan Venables

Asha Warren

Mark Warren

Sue Webster

Mike Whitehouse

cAst & creatives



★★★★★ -

“Shakespeare’s Fool is an economic, classy piece directed robustly by Ben Humphrey and brought to life by a multi-faceted Leetham who embraces the tears of the clown...”

★★★★ -

“Robin Leetham returns Kempe to vivid life...entirely believable and likeable. ”

★★★★ - The Outlier Scotland

"Captivating and energetic...”


“Leetham is an imperious storyteller...This is an impressive and enjoyable piece of theatre – a scrupulously researched and imaginatively crafted script brought to life by an actor at the top of his game”

Audience reviews

Sophie Mander

"Fantastic one man performance!!"

Alex Clarke

"A wonderful show! Kempe's story is told dramatically and very amusingly. If I'd had time I'd love to see it again."


"Fabulous well written...beautiful pace and incredible storytelling...had us eating from palm of his hands...highly recommend."


"A highly energetic, entertaining performance from an engaging actor, which held our attention throughout the 75 minute performance. Ben Humphrey’s vision never fails."

Kevin Moss

"Loved it, very engaging. To see or not see is NOT the question.. Go see it, you'll have a good time!"

Jo Lakey

"Funny, engaging and full of pathos, this one man show about the life of Will Kempe is full of historical detail and information about Shakespeare. Told with energy and humour, I thoroughly enjoyed it."


"Was completely captured by this powerful performance, and learnt a lot from it. Recommended even if you're not a Shakespeare buff."

Caroline Howitt

"Beautifully written; doesn’t flag once in its 75-min run-time, which is particularly impressive in a one-man show. A joy for those who love Renaissance theatre"



Tour dates to be added soon.