“A superlative performance”. For over twenty years, Royal Shakespeare Company veteran Eileen Page became firmly associated with Eleanor of Aquitaine, thanks to Catherine Muschamp’s one-woman history play. Page gave her final stage performance in the role last year at Tara Theatre. As that legendary performance is now released on audio by B7 Media, here’s a snapshot of what critics say.
Eleanor of Aquitaine: Mother of the Pride, written by the late Catherine Muschamp, showcases a remarkable one-woman performance by veteran actress Eileen Page, bringing to life another formidable woman, far ahead of her time.
Eleanor Aquitaine (1137-1204) witnessed and influenced some of the Middle Ages’ most dramatic events, including the murder of Thomas Becket and her own rivalry with Henry II’s mistress, ‘fair’ Rosamund Clifford. A woman of extraordinary courage, beauty and iron will – uniquely, Queen of France then Queen of England and mother of two English Kings – Eleanor of Aquitaine’s name was legendary even before her death.
Eileen Page first performed Catherine Muschamp’s play 22 years ago. In May 2018, the play was revived for three performances only, as part of Tara Arts’ “I’ll Say It Again!” month-long festival of work by female artists, celebrating the centenary of women’s suffrage in the UK. The performance is now released as both CD and digital download by independent producer B7 Media.
Page’s 70-year career encompasses Shakespeare, contemporary writers, musical theatre, film and television. Her long association with the RSC included Peter Brook’s production of Love’s Labour’s Lost, Henry V with Paul Scofield, Mother Courage, Richard II, The Winter’s Tale and Waste with Judi Dench.