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The Crown’s Emma Corrin ‘very excited’ to be leading Virginia Woolf’s Orlando on stage

"I’m in absolute bits".

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Netflix

A breakout star of the Netflix series, The Crown, Emma Corrin is taking a lead in the stage adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.

The 1928 novel by Woolf is considered by many a feminist classic and an exploration of gender identity and is said to have been inspired by the family history of Vita Sackville-West, a friend, and lover to Woolf. 

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A post shared by Emma Corrin (@emmalouisecorrin)

Posting on Instagram on Saturday (30 July) Corrin said they were “very very very excited” and that “I’m in absolute bits. huge honour to be working with @michaelgrandagecompany again and to be bringing Orlando !!! to the west end”

In a statement Michael Grandage, the play’s director, said: “Neil Bartlett’s joyous new adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando dances through time and gender, challenging us to remember that nothing really matters except the courage to be yourself.

“It is one of the most surprising stories in the English language, and with its inspiring vision of all bodies having equal rights to love, I’m delighted that Michael Grandage Company is returning to the West End with Emma Corrin to bring this timely story to a whole new audience.”

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Corrin, 26, who has discussed their gender identity before and uses they/them pronouns, will play the lead role of Orlando.

Speaking to Vogue in July Corrin said: “In my mind, gender just isn’t something that feels fixed and I don’t know if it ever will be; there might always be some fluidity there for me.”

They added: “I feel much more seen when I’m referred to as ‘they,’ but my closest friends, they will call me ‘she,’ and I don’t mind, because I know they know me.”

Speaking to ITV News last August Corrin said “visibility is key,” while referring to their journey as “a long one and has still got a way to go.”

They also say they are still figuring things out and that “it’s going to be an ongoing journey, but I hope that sharing it helps people.”

The Crown star first hinted at being a part of the Queer community in April 2021 with an Instagram post of her dressed in a bridal gown with the caption: “ur fave queer bride”.

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Theatrically, Corrin was last seen on stage in the play Anna X, for which they were nominated for an Olivier award. They will soon be seen in the upcoming film, My Policeman opposite Harry Styles. 

Michael Grandage is to direct the Neil Bartlett-penned adaptation which is expected to see curtains up later this year although no dates have been confirmed. 

The Attitude September/October issue is available to download and order in print now and will be on newsstands from Thursday 4 August.