Video 05: Miranda's Letter

What is it?

This year the British Council has commissioned a series of films using Shakespeare's works as inspiration as part of Shakespeare Lives 2016; an unprecedented global programme celebrating William Shakespeare’s work and his influence on culture, education and society on the 400th anniversary of his death.

The fifth in the creative films series, Miranda’s Letter’ is a moving story which explores mother and daughter relationships, or more often lack of the same in Shakespeare's cannon. Inspired by 'The Tempest' and filmed on the beautiful South Devon coast the film is both visually and emotionally poignant.

Director Theresa Griffiths' notes on making 'Miranda's Letter'

There has been much written recently about the lack of women directors. I felt strongly that I wanted to bring something to Shakespeare Lives which, in a small way, tried to address this. A story about motherhood and a young girl’s experience is, of course, not exclusively one for a female director or audience, but it springs from my own experiences.  

I started to think about Shakespeare’s work and the female characters in his plays and then, as a mother myself, I began to think about his portrayal of motherhood. It was then that it struck me – there are a lot of missing mums in Shakespeare’s plays. King Lear’s daughters have no mother within the play, neither does Ophelia and neither does Miranda in The Tempest, one of my favourite plays.  

Not to be there for your child, not to see them grow, must be every parent’s worst nightmare. It is impossible to imagine the anguish it must cause. Of course, a simple Google search turns up pages of just such pain, there for all to witness in blogs and newspaper stories. I simply absorbed this story from what I read and the script just followed. This is where Miranda's Letter began.....

More information

Find out more about the Shakespeare 2016 celebrations on

You will be able to find all current and future Shakespeare Lives videos on the specific playlist on our UK YouTube channel.