Dear Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth

“I hope you aren’t thinking that I am a) dead b) annoyed. I’m neither, but I did have flu.”


Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell were two of America’s most brilliant poets. Their friendship was messy, intense, unconventional and profound. Through their lives, they wrote over 400 letters to each other, spanning decades, continents, political eras.

These are their words.

Susan Smith Blackburn award winner Sarah Ruhl has crafted a stunning and quietly bold piece of theatre about what it means to love someone, and all the questions we regret never asking.

Critic reviews

Intensity of two poets' bond established with playfulness and poignancy

Evening Standard

But this is as live as theatre can come – entirely within the moment, simultaneously mightily well coordinated and completely improvised. Worth watching for the novelty alone


A fascinating experiment

The Stage

Poets bare their souls in a lyrical show

The Guardian

Two giants of American poetry reduced to playthings

The Telegraph

Gate artistic director Ellen McDougall’s abbreviated, reworked staging of Ruhl’s play goes one step further, leading two different, unprepared actors through a kind of poetical treasure hunt each night

Time Out

Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell’s life-long relationship is explored with playful affection

Financial Times

Play of letters between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell is both tender and devastating

The Independent

The way the piece is constructed may come across as a somewhat basic idea, but the results are truly emotive and gripping

The Upcoming

McDougall hooks the audience with her direction and creates an appealing treasure hunt that is as interesting to witness as it probably is to act out

Broadway World

Date & time

Show ended
Thu 17 Jan - Sat 9 Feb, 2pm & 7.30pm


11 Pembridge Road, Notting Hill Gate W11 3HQ London, UK · Get Directions
out of 5 stars
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