REVIEW ROUND-UP: Queen Anne at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

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Emma Cunniffe and Romola Garai star in Helen Edmundson’s play Queen Anne. The Royal Shakespeare Company production, directed by Natalie Abrahami, continues at the West End’s Theatre Royal Haymarket until 30 September 2017. Here’s what critics have been saying about it:

The Independent: ★★★ “Romola Garai vividly projects the glamour and manipulative fake warmth of this duplicitous power-behind-the-throne.”

The Telegraph: ★★★★ “Garai brilliantly combines ebbing poise, suppressed panic and steely defiance.”

The Stage: ★★★ “As Anne, Emma Cunniffe gives a performance of tenderness and vulnerability.”

Evening Standard: ★★★★ “a rich and satisfying new drama”

The Times: ★★ “Too much politics and not enough passion in worthy herstory lesson.”

The Guardian: ★★★ “Edmundson’s play may be a history lesson, but it rescues Anne from the shadows and offers a rousing hymn to female agency.”

London Theatre.co.uk: ★★★ “This is a portrait of female friendship and female agency, and a rare showing of women power on the London stage.”

Exeunt Magazine: “Yet whilst it doesn’t make up for gaps in the National Curriculum, Edmundson’s play at least means I now see Queen Anne as less of a house and more of a human.”

British Theatre.com: ★★★★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. ”

Broadway World: ★★★★ “Like all good history plays, this will make you eager to read and explore further.”

The Upcoming: ★★★★ “Although portraying two very complex and intricate characters, both Cunniffe and Garai clearly have an incredibly established understanding of their real-life counterparts and their struggles during the queen’s reign.”

London Theatre1: ★★★ “It all just seems to run out of steam before it’s reached its destination.”

Time Out: ★★★ “For all the play’s formal orthodoxy, it’s important to remember that there is nothing at all orthodox about a weighty historical drama that’s almost entirely by and about women.”

Radio Times: ★★★★★ “This play is as regal and captivating as the best historical royal dramas. One might say it’s fit for a Queen.”

London Box Office.co.uk: ★★★★ “Under the direction of Natalie Abrahami, the play also provides an outlet for two superb performances; Emma Cunniffe as Anne and in particular Romola Garai as Sarah Churchill. Garai’s Sarah is truly machiavellian and has the audience eating out of her hands throughout.”

Culture Whisper: ★★★★ “This seldom-told historical period is brought to life by new talent and a compelling story of power and courtly machinations.”

The FT: ★★★★ “Helen Edmundson’s intelligent and enjoyable history play”

British Theatre Guide: “Emma Cunniffe delivers a sympathetic depiction of a troubled monarch trying to save her country and her religion, the goings on around her in Natalie Abrahami’s production but this is hardly another Madness or Wolf Hall.”

Theatre Cat: “Edmundson’s delicate rhythm and powerful bursts of monosyllable (“What mean the Scots? What irks them now?”) are as fresh and sharp as ever. Seek out the bargains. Don’t miss it.”

 

Emma Clarendon on Twitter
Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at theatre_emma.
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Emma Clarendon on Twitter
Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at theatre_emma.