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Juliet Stevenson, Christopher Colqhoun and Michael Byrne in rehearsal for Mary Stuart (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

In rehearsal: Mary Stuart

Robin Johnson

By Robin Johnson Published 9 January 2018

Two queens: one in power, one in prison, and they’ve quite the remarkable story to tell. So with preparations for the forthcoming West End transfer of the Almeida Theatre’s acclaimed production of Mary Stuart well underway, we thought we’d invite you into the rehearsal room.

Following its sell-out success last year, Robert Icke’s new adaptation of this political power play is performed at the Duke of York’s Theatre from 15 January 2018 for a limited run, and from the looks of things, its drama promises to more fervent, ferocious and thrilling than ever.

Rehearsals for Mary Stuart (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Rehearsals for Mary Stuart (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Rehearsals for Mary Stuart (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Rehearsals for Mary Stuart (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Rehearsals for Mary Stuart (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Rehearsals for Mary Stuart (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Michael Byrne, Juliet Stevenson and Carmen Munroe in rehearsal for Mary Stuart (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Michael Byrne, Juliet Stevenson and Carmen Munroe in rehearsal for Mary Stuart (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

It’s not just the audience who’ll be unsighted going into the show: playing both Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart, Juliet Stevenson (Hamlet, West End) and Lia Williams (Oresteia, West End) trade the play’s central roles, decided at each performance by the toss of a coin. The duo reprise their roles from the show’s previous run.

Nazerene Williams, Lisa Chiu, Juliet Stevenson, Jane Macfarlane and Denise Stephenson in rehearsal for Mary Stuart (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Nazerene Williams, Lisa Chiu, Juliet Stevenson, Jane Macfarlane and Denise Stephenson in rehearsal for Mary Stuart (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams in rehearsal for Mary Stuart (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams in rehearsal for Mary Stuart (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Juliet Stevenson in rehearsal for Mary Stuart (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Juliet Stevenson in rehearsal for Mary Stuart (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Elliot Levey and Juliet Stevenson in rehearsal for Mary Stuart (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Elliot Levey and Juliet Stevenson in rehearsal for Mary Stuart (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

John Light and Lia Williams in rehearsal for Mary Stuart (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

John Light and Lia Williams in rehearsal for Mary Stuart (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Juliet Stevenson is an Olivier Award-winning actress; a star of both stage and screen. She won the Olivier Award for Best Actress for her role as Paulina in Death And The Maiden. Juliet has received three BAFTA TV Award nominations for Best Actress. In 2017 she played the lead role in Arthur Kopit’s Wings at the Young Vic.

Lia Williams’ stage credits include Mappa Mundi and The Houthouse at the National Theatre, Rosalind in As You Like It for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Oresteia at the Almeida Theatre and Trafalgar Studios. In 2016 she played the part of Wallis Simpson in the Netflix series The Crown.

Book your Mary Stuart tickets today! The show is also participating in our New Year Sale.

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