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I Know My Own Heart

A Lesbian Regency Romance


  • Playwright

    Emma Donoghue 

  • Notes

    I Know my own Heart was first produced at the Playroom Theatre, Cambridge in 1991. It received its professional premiere as a one act play in April 1993, presented by Glasshouse in association with Project Arts Centre, as part of the Acts and Reacts Festival. The play was then re-written and presented as a full-length play, as listed.

  • Synopsis

    As the self-educated heiress to her uncle's estate near Halifax in Yorkshire, Anne Lister broke all of the rules of Regency ladyhood. She travelled unchaperoned, studied Greek and geometry, and refused to even consider marriage. She was also known for a flamboyant devotion to women that exceeded the 'romantic friendship' considered normal for the time. This play explores her affairs with three women over ten years, and probes the choices of a woman trying to understand and express herself in a society based on rules and silences. The play is loosely based on I Know my own Heart: the Diaries of Anne Lister, edited by Helena Whitebread (Virago Press, 1988).

  • Play Type

    Plays General

    Number Of Acts


  • Cast Size Female



Original Cast  
Anne Clare Dowling
Tib Orla McGovern
Marianne Eunice McMenamin
Nancy Aisling Cronin
Production Team  
Director Katy Hayes
Designer Peter Courtney
Producer Caroline Williams
Lighting Designer Marcus Collier
Costume Designer Sylvia Callan
Stage Manager Diane Richardson
Assistant Stage Manager Ciara Martin
Lighting Operator Stuart Anderson
Sound Operator Tadhg Hayes
Production Liaison Sian Quill
Graphic Design Margaret Lonergan
Photography Tadhg Hayes



  • Territory

    All Territories

  • Rights Type

    All Rights

  • Contact

    Caroline Davidson Literary Agency

  • Address

    5 Queen Anne's Gardens
    London W4 1TU

  • Phone

    + 44 (0)20 8995 5768

  • Email

  • Website


This information was taken from the original programme and promotional flyer. Additional information was supplied by a previous director of Glasshouse Productions.