Two queens. One in power. One in prison. It’s all in the execution. Friedrich Schiller’s political tragedy Mary Stuart takes us behind the scenes of some of British history’s most crucial days.
Following a critically acclaimed, sold-out season at the Almeida Theatre in 2016-17, Robert Icke’s new adaptation of Mary Stuart will transfer to the Duke of York’s Theatre in London’s West End from 13 January 2018 for a limited run.
Playing both Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart, Juliet Stevenson (Hamlet) and Lia Williams (Oresteia) trade the play’s central roles, decided at each performance by the toss of a coin.
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.
Robert Icke previously directed Oresteia, Mr Burns and 1984 for the Almeida, and The Red Barn for the National Theatre. He received the Olivier Award for Best Director in 2016. He was previously Associate Director at Headlong before taking up the position of Associate Director at the Almeida Theatre. In 2017 he directed Hamlet starring Andrew Scott. The production 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.