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The James Plays

James I: The Key Will Keep The Lock

This show has now closed, please visit our London Shows page for a full list of current productions.

About the Show Less...

Part of a trilogy of new history plays, James I explores the complex character of the colourful Stewart king. Read More >

Part of a trilogy of new history plays, James I: The Key Will Keep The Lock explores the complex character of the colourful Stewart king.

Through bold and irreverent storytelling, the play charts the story of the royal who at the age of 13 was captured and crowned King of Scots in an English prison. 18 years later he was delivered home with a ransom on his head and a new English bride.

Having returned to a poor nation, with nobles ready to tear him apart at the first sign of weakness, James is determined to bring the rule of law to a land riven by warring factions, but he faces terrible choices if he is to save himself, his queen and the crown.

James I is part of Rona Munro’s trilogy The James Plays and runs alongside James II and James III. Exhilarating and vividly imagined, they bring to life three generations of Stewart kings who ruled Scotland in the tumultuous 15th century.

While each play stands alone as a unique vision of a country tussling with its past and future, together they create an intricate and compelling narrative on Scottish culture and nationhood.


Important Dates & Timing

Previews From: 10/09/2014

Opening Night: 25/09/2014

Closing Night: 28/10/2014

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Cast & Creative


Cameron Barnes, Daniel Cahill, Ali Craig, Blythe Duff, Nick Elliott, Peter Forbes, Andrew Fraser, Sarah Higgins, Stephanie Hyam, Gordon Kennedy, David Mara, Beth Marshall, James McArdle, Alasdair Macrae, Rona Morison, Andrew Rothney, Mark Rowley, Jamie Sives, Fiona Wood


Director - Laurie Sansom

Producer - , National Theatre, National Theatre of Scotland and Edinburgh International Festival

Designer - Jon Bausor

Lighting Designer - Philip Gladwell

Sound - Christopher Shutt & Nick Sagar

Author - Rona Munro

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