I, Elizabeth (4 stars)

This article is from 2015

I, Elizabeth

An intimate and richly detailed portrait of a young Elizabeth I

Scripted from the words of the monarch herself by performer Rebecca Vaughan, Dyad Productions' I, Elizabeth presents a tempestuous portrait of a young queen. Vaughan’s performance is rich and commanding, but has the fragile undertones of a gifted young woman buckling under a life of perpetual scrutiny and painfully aware of the precarious isolation that comes with the throne.

Petitioned by parliament to consider either marriage or the appointment of a successor, the young queen enlists the audience to act as her confidante while she ruminates on the duties and perils ahead. Vaughan is the very picture of Elizabeth I, complete with russett wig, powdered countenance, ringed fingers, and sumptuous period costume (constructed and designed by Kate Flanaghan).

The production, directed by Guy Masterson, is rich with historical detail yet sacrifices none of its white-hot theatrical potency. Although at times it can be hard to shake the feeling that similar ground is being re-trodden, it is none the less thrilling to watch Dyad breathe life anew into a remarkable historical figure.

Assembly Roxy, 623 3030, until 31 Aug (not 17 & 18, 24 & 25), 11.45am, £12–£13 (£11–£12).

I, Elizabeth

  • 4 stars

Dyad Productions 1568: at a vital crossroads in history, a young queen steps from the shadows to confess her thoughts on marriage, succession, religion and war. But time is against her. Using only Elizabeth's words, the much loved 2010 hit returns to Assembly for a limited run. Its political parallels acutely relevant…