Poul Ruders

The Handmaid’s Tale

Memory is strength. Love is resistance.

1 Feb–15 Feb 2024

A powerful story of courage and survival in the face of repression, The Handmaid’s Tale is based on Margaret Atwood’s major novel of the same name.

Poul Ruders’ opera features a score that draws on medieval chants and gospel music. Together with a minimalist libretto by Paul Bentley, this production captures the dissonant brutality of the Republic of Gilead.

Women have been entirely stripped of their freedom and rights in Gilead. Fertile women, Handmaids, are forced to reproduce with Commanders of the Republic. Terror is a daily reality for Handmaid Offred. She defies the regime, refusing to surrender her identity and independence.

This thought-provoking work, revived after a successful run in 2022, asks questions around State power and the fragility of freedom.

Directed by Annilese Miskimmon, the ENO’s Artistic Director and conducted by Joana Carneiro the production has an exceptional cast including mezzo-sopranos Kate Lindsey as Offred and Susan Bickley as her mother, with soprano Rachel Nicholls as Aunt Lydia, Avery Amereau as Serena Joy, James Creswell as The Commander and ENO Harewood Artist John Findon as Luke.

‘One of the most powerful operas of the century’

The Financial Times

‘Three absorbing hours; well worth your time’

The Times

‘It is constantly gripping’

The Telegraph

‘Every aspect of the singing and production is impressive’

The Observer

Running Time
2hrs 45mins

There is one interval.

We have an Access Scheme for our audiences with a disability, a health condition, or different access needs to ensure everyone has a comfortable and enjoyable visit.
Tickets start at just £10 plus £3.75 booking fee and £1.50 Building Levy per ticket. A maximum of £10.50 per transaction is charged.
Sung in English, with subtitles projected above the stage

Age Guidance: 15+.
Please be aware that this production contains some adult content which may not be suitable for young audiences.

For more information, please contact our box office on 020 7845 9300 or [email protected]

Discover The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid's Tale 2023 Creative Team

The Handmaid's Tale 2023 Cast