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February 8, 2016

QUEEN ANNE by Helen Edmundson at the RSC Swan Theatre was exceptional. I know who Queen Anne is and where she fits into history but I didn’t know anything about her. Now through Helen Edmundson’s engaging tale I know much more about this incredibly interesting Monarch and her story. Her story is transformational and at its heart is the the relationship of two very powerful women, the Queen and Lady Sarah Churchill. How wonderful to enjoy a play with two significant female leads.

Great plays feel like one is eavesdropping into reality and this is exactly how I felt in this play. Privileged to be witness to how power evolves through relationships into meaningful actions. The simple yet very effective design using costumes to bring about this evolution of power is masterful in its simplicity. We meet Anne hiding behind curtains in her bed and we leave her as if she were posing for one of her great portraits that hang in the National Gallery.

Natascha McElhone is delicious as Sarah Churchill and commands the stage from the get go. However it is the transformation of Anne by Emma Cunniffe that was absolutely memorising. I feel I know this Queen more than any other now because of the empathy Emma Cunniffe has effused into her performance. Remarkable. They are duly supported by a fine RSC ensemble.

Queen Anne


From → Theatre

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