Queen Anne offers an insightful and commendably believable depiction of the reign of one of England’s lesser known monarchs, and her complex relationship with childhood friend Sarah Churchill. Though the play takes time to get into its stride, the second Act is quite exceptional. Emma Cunniffe and Romola Garai give wonderful performances, and the play has an extremely satisfying payoff.
Helen Edmundson has translated a thousand pages, with nearly that many characters, into an intimate chamber drama to appear at the Brockley Jack Studio Theatre in March. Anna Karenina tells the story of the wife of a provincial governor, who revolts against a superficial existence of compromise and embarks on a scandalous affair with a charming officer Count Vronsky. As Anna is brought to the brink of destruction, she must finally decide whom she is living for. Edmundson’s plays include The Clearing (Bush Theatre), Mother Teresa is Dead (Royal Court), Mary Shelley (Shared Experience at The Tricycle and on tour), and The Heresy of Love (Royal Shakespeare Company). Her other work includes Coram Boy (National Theatre and on Broadway), a new version of Calderon’s Life is a Dream (The Donmar), a musical adaptation of Swallows and Amazons, written with composer Neil Hannon, (Bristol Old Vic, West End and on tour) … Read more
The Globe is not really a space for claustrophobic intense drama and this production really brings that home. This production would look and feel very different in the Sam Wanamaker Theatre and probably should have been programmed there. The openness of the space works against the building tension in Edmundson’s writing and Dove’s direction does not utilise the wide spaces in a way which enhances or accentuates the dark, brooding and Machiavellian aspects of the religious politics and the dogma dissection.