Queen Anne at Theatre Royal Haymarket tickets
Queen Anne at Theatre Royal Haymarket tickets

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Overview

The Royal Shakespeare Company are set to bring their production of Queen Anne by Helen Edmundson to the Theatre Royal Haymarket, following an acclaimed run in Stratford-upon-Avon. Queen Anne is set to begin previews on 30th June 2017, with an official opening on 10th July and continuing its strictly limited season until 30th September 2017.

Queen Anne originally opened at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon during Winter 2015, where it was overwhelmingly well received by audiences and sold out its initial season.

Beginning in 2017 with William III leading the nation and the country on the verge of war, Princess Anne is soon to become Queen and her advisors battle for influence over the future Queen. Her close personal friend, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, begins to increase the pressure in order to advance her own power. Fighting off blackmail and deception, Anne needs to decide where her allegiances lie and what is more important – the country or friendship.

Set between her accession in 1702 and her husband George’s death in 1708, Queen Anne depicts the heavy influences the Duchess ended up having on the Queen’s reign.

Queen Anne is written by Helen Edmundson, one of Britain’s most acclaimed writers of screen and stage. Her recent adaptation of Therese Raquin on Broadway was nominated for Outstanding New Broadway Play at the Outer Critics Circle Awards, while she won the 2005 Time Out Award for Coram Boy, and 1994 TMA Awards for The Clearing and The Mill on the Floss.

The play stars Romola Gari as Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. Gari is known for her various work on stage and screen, including the films Atonement, Suffragette and Amazing Grace and plays Measure for Measure, Three Sisters and The Village Bike.

She is joined by Emma Cunniffe (Tales from Hollywood, Losing Louis and Women Beware Women), who returns to her role of Queen Anne, after originating in it during the 2015/2016 season at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Stratford-upon-Avon home.

Set to be one of the most exciting transfers of 2017, Queen Anne is the perfect opportunity for West End audiences to catch one of the most universally acclaimed new Royal Shakespeare Company production. Previews of Queen Anne are set to begin at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London’s West End on 30th June 2017 and run for a limited season until 30th September 2017.

Recommended for

Queen Anne is perfect for those who regularly enjoy the Royal Shakespeare Company’s repertoire but are interested to see a new and exciting story with its roots in one of the most unique and interesting tales of the British monarchy.

Dates and times

Running time: 3 hours (including interval)
Opened: 30 Jun 2017
Press night: 10 Jul 2017
Booking from: 29 Sep 2017
Booking until: 30 Sep 2017

Location and map

Theatre Royal Haymarket
Haymarket
London, SW1Y 4HT

48 Reviews Add review

At this RSC production I was sat in front of two women who seemed be in a war of one up-manship with constant corrections and this... More

braintree 155cm, 35 reviews, 5 helpful votes

At this RSC production I was sat in front of two women who seemed be in a war of one up-manship with constant corrections and this odd sense of tension (oddly only broken when they agreed Wind in the Willows was terrible the fortnight before). Helen Edmundson’s play is a study in humanity’s need for dominance, especially as much as it is a historical romp. Romp we do! With the production opening with a song and dance number about Anne’s weight and yet another unsuccessful pregnancy. It is very reminiscent of Shakespeare’s Globe’s Nell Gwynn and that is the issue with this production everything it does feels reminiscent of recent productions. The bawdiness of Gwynn, the homage to Shakespeare is as much an homage to King Charles III and there’s even glimpses of Mr Foote’s Other Leg but instead of Benjamin Franklin we get a glimpse into the world of Jonathan Swift. These are minor problems in a solid story of Queen Anne’s reign as we witness the rise of woman who is quick to play the fool but manages to block any attempts to take away her right to throne. Emma Cunniffe returns to the title role in this transfer to London from Stratford Upon Avon and strikes the tone of naivety and determination, dominated by the sadness of 17 pregnancies ending in failure she throws all her maternal instinct into the monarchy and all that love into her intense relationship with Romola Garai’s Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough. In any other world Churchill would be Queen Bee instead she resents that beauty and wit is usurped by Queen Anne’s direct line to God. What follows over the next 2 hours and 45 minutes is a rivalry that would put Betty and Joan to shame. Theatre rarely shows women at war like this, the obvious comparison is Jean Genet’s The Maids, but it has to vie for the attention of the audience amongst Act of Unions (many laughs as how the Scottish are untrustworthy and aren’t England’s allies), the rise of uncensored satire, Anne’s fanatical Protestantism, bordering on Catholicism and the shadow of Jacobite rebellions, which support her half-brother’s claim to the throne and her relationship with Parliament, who killed her grandfather. The plain wood panel set by Hannah Clark is in contrast to her lavish costume design but suits the play’s many scenes with the many scene changes and Natalie Abrahami skilled direction makes these set changes feel far less tedious than they should. Aided by Charles Balfour’s mix of candle and modern lighting this production feels like it could be at home in the Sam Wanamaker. The two female leads give great performances, Garai’s sycophantic necessity combined with contempt and Cuniffe’ss naturally ruthless streak with undercurrents of naivety play well against each other but this feels very much a strong ensemble work rather than a play dominated by its leads, with Beth Park, James Garnon and Richard Hope providing great support as Abigail Hill, Robert Hrley and Sydney Godolphin who become the Queen’s confidants when Churchill lets her down and Chu Omambala as John Churchill who become a pawn in the game Anne and Sarah play. This is a strong work from Edmundson and though it’s casting choices (which I loved) may seem controversial to some older patrons (with one woman commenting “Orange is the New Black” regarding Dave Fishley as William III) this is exactly the sort of traditional storytelling the Theatre Royal Haymarket should be showcasing.

braintree 155cm, 35 reviews, 5 helpful votes

This is an RSC production, so you just know they're going to take it seriously. A wood-panelled stage sees actors in elaborate, ea... More

u2fancat 5'6'', 27 reviews, 0 helpful votes

This is an RSC production, so you just know they're going to take it seriously. A wood-panelled stage sees actors in elaborate, early 18th century wigs and frock coats start with one of the musical satire numbers that punctuate the performance, providing some light relief. Otherwise, this is quite a weighty play - runs for almost three hours, including interval. Quite historically accurate, from what I know. The play concerns itself more with two real-life characters who had her ear, and the power play between them, and the opposing political factions that they represented. It's very, very good. Long, as I say - and you'd probably better be interested in the history, or it's going to drag. But the acting is superb, all around. And the singing is top-notch. I would expect nothing less of this company. The parallels with modern current affairs are interesting, what with Britain's foreign interests, then and now - and there is a fascinating switch in power from the old favourite to the young protege that she had promoted. Best of all though is the dramatic, but believable, transformation of Anne herself when she takes the throne. Beforehand, she'd been rather feeble, weak-willed, easily persuaded; you'd be forgiven for thinking she was a bit dim. By the end, she knows her own mind, she's forceful and determined. Excellent production - runs through September. Do try and shop around for tickets.

u2fancat 5'6'', 27 reviews, 0 helpful votes

I knew nothing about this period of history (other than that it produced some very fine furniture!), so it was fascinating to lear... More

jenniepollock 4'11, 7 reviews, 0 helpful votes

I knew nothing about this period of history (other than that it produced some very fine furniture!), so it was fascinating to learn more. The play was rather long (nearly 3 hours, including interval), but I can't say as there was anything I thought they should have cut. In fact, if anything, I'd have liked to see the time when Anne and Sarah were good friends - by the time the play opened, Sarah was already finding Anne tiresome, and that meant we never had sympathy for her. Other than that, the story was interesting, the pacing good, the acting excellent, and the staging simple but effective. Well worth seeing, if you've got the time.

jenniepollock 4'11, 7 reviews, 0 helpful votes

This is one of the finest period plays I've seen - costumes were phenomenal. The play was obviously biased towards Queen Anne ... More

SaraSparrow 5'8", 32 reviews, 0 helpful votes

This is one of the finest period plays I've seen - costumes were phenomenal. The play was obviously biased towards Queen Anne as a sympathetic character, but Romola Garai used this to her advantage and appeared to relish in her role as primary antagonist of the queen. It was superbly acted by all, and the supporting cast of characters really added to the atmosphere. My favourite part of the show however remains the bawdy musical interludes - low brow humour natural but incredibly hilarious nonetheless.

SaraSparrow 5'8", 32 reviews, 0 helpful votes

If you asked me what happened in Queen Anne I wouldn't be able to tell you. There wasn't enough plot to keep you gripped throughou... More

bryonyjameson 5"7, 40 reviews, 0 helpful votes

If you asked me what happened in Queen Anne I wouldn't be able to tell you. There wasn't enough plot to keep you gripped throughout and there seemed to be mostly filler scenes - with the music scenes used to wake you up. We were never taught this era/monarch at school so maybe if you know the history - this will be definitely up your street. I didn't feel moved by any of the "dilemmas" or blackmail attempts. Neither of the characters caught my favour so I was just left indifferent at the end. I was hoping there might be a more dramatic ending - conviction for Marlboroughs - but I guess you can't change history! What I did like was the set - simple yet used effectively. With the beautiful theatre surroundings, you did feel like you were in a Stuart royal court! The costumes were also magnificent and helped with the escapism and setting.

bryonyjameson 5"7, 40 reviews, 0 helpful votes

I wasn't familiar with the story of Queen Anne, but this new play brought me up to speed and was riveting. The performances of the... More

helenkeegan 5' 3", 38 reviews, 0 helpful votes

I wasn't familiar with the story of Queen Anne, but this new play brought me up to speed and was riveting. The performances of the two leading ladies were fantastic. The set, although seemingly fairly minimal, worked very well to create the different settings and the costumes are sumptuous. One of the best plays on in the West End at the moment.

helenkeegan 5' 3", 38 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Queen Anne was a good production but far too long. Ramola Garai and Emma Cunniffe were great in their respective roles, however I... More

joc78 5"4, 197 reviews, 2 helpful votes

Queen Anne was a good production but far too long. Ramola Garai and Emma Cunniffe were great in their respective roles, however I was waiting for some big event to happen in the production and left feeling slightly under-whelmed. I couldn’t fault the acting however and the costumes were a marvel. I wouldn’t’ pay over the odds to see this one again but as it’s an RSC production, you know it’s going to be a good standard!

joc78 5"4, 197 reviews, 2 helpful votes

Enjoyed this a lot. Acting was very strong, set was interesting and the costumes gorgeous.

musicalseats 162 cm, 141 reviews, 28 helpful votes

Enjoyed this a lot. Acting was very strong, set was interesting and the costumes gorgeous.

musicalseats 162 cm, 141 reviews, 28 helpful votes

Saw Queen Anne at this venue. Very informative and enjoyable show so even the 3 hour run did not seem that long.

aud123 4' 9", 23 reviews, 2 helpful votes

Saw Queen Anne at this venue. Very informative and enjoyable show so even the 3 hour run did not seem that long.

aud123 4' 9", 23 reviews, 2 helpful votes
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