Queen Anne is a gripping, beautifully written piece of theatre – a standard, brilliant RSC historical drama. Whilst the play is fairly complex (you have to concentrate to pick up on all the sinews of the story), there is a good amount of satire injected into the performance, so you don't get bogged down. Add a few well-placed, lively songs, and you're left with a production that is tense and full of depth, but also continuously engaging.
There are a lot of fantastic lines in this play; Helen Edmundson's writing is sublime. Her characters are raw and exposed, leaving the cast of Queen Anne nowhere to hide. Thankfully, the cast members draw on this and are all very convincing. Impressive and enjoyably authentic staging adds even more to the production and draws you further into the story and characters.
Romola Garai, playing the ambitious Sarah Churchill as a Lady Macbeth-type character, builds tensions well. And, just when it's getting a bit heavy, James Garnon, in the role of Robert Harley, swoops in to energetically buoy the production up. Queen Anne herself is played by Emma Cunniffe, who seamlessly conveys the contradictions of her character.
The quality of this production is indisputable, and tickets are only around £40 - £60. So make sure that you book to see Queen Anne before it closes in September. And why stop at seeing it once? This is the sort of play that you would get even more from if you watched a second time
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