Two queens. One in power. One in prison. It’s all in the execution.

Recounting one of the biggest turning points in British history, Friedrich Schiller’s Mary Stuart gives audiences an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart’s relationship up to and including Mary Stuart’s trial.

Director Robert Icke’s adaptation of the political tragedy transferred to the Duke of York’s theatre after a critically acclaimed, sold-out run at the Almeida Theatre.

Olivier Award-winner Juliet Stevenson and prolific West End actress Lia Williams reprise their roles and play both Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart. The two actresses will trade roles, with a coin toss deciding who plays which at the start of each performance.

Juliet is a star of both stage and screen. She won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in 1992 for her role as Paulina in Death And The Maiden, and has been nominated a further four times. She’s also 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’s 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.

Also rejoining the cast are Rudi Dharmalingam (Mortimer), David Jonsson (Davison), John Light (Leicester), Carmen Munroe (Kennedy), Eileen Nicholas (Melville) and Daniel Rabin (Kent).

Robert Icke won the Best Director Olivier Award in 2016 for Oresteia. He was also nominated for the Best New Play Olivier Award in 2014 for 1984.He was previously the Associate Director at Headlong before becoming the Associate Director at the Almeida Theatre. In 2017 he directed Hamlet starring Andrew Scott, which later transferred to the Harold Pinter Theatre.

Mary Stuart was first performed in Weimar, Germany in June 1800. It later formed the basis for Gaetano Donizetti’s opera Maria Stuarda which premiered in 1835. In 2005 the play was revived at the Donmar Warehouse, using a translation by Peter Oswald, and starred Janet McTeer and Harriet Walter.

Dramas have a rich history in the West End; find out more about plays in London.

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