The Royal Shakespeare Company brings its critically-acclaimed production of Queen Anne to the West End following a sell-out run in Stratford-upon-Avon.
A new play by Helen Edmundson (The Clearing, The Heresy of Love), Queen Anne tells the story of one of England’s lesser-known royals and her close relationship with childhood friend Sarah, the Duchess of Marlborough. William III is on the throne, England is facing war and Princess Anne is on the verge of being queen. As those around her fight for influence, Anne must decide whether even her closest confidante can be trusted.
A beautifully nuanced production, Queen Anne is directed by Natalie Abrahami (Happy Days) and stars Emma Cunniffe (Tales from Hollywood, Proof) as Anne and Romola Garai (Suffragette, Atonement) as Sarah.
Sparkling with powerful moments, this striking new play takes a compelling look at love turned sour. Coming to London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket for a strictly limited 13-week run, book your tickets to the RSC’s Queen Anne today!
Read more about Queen Anne on our blog.
★★★★★ 'As regal and captivating as the best historical royal dramas' - Radio Times
★★★★ 'An enticing glimpse of the passion behind the politics' - The Times
★★★★ 'A real summer treat' - Evening Standard
Queen Anne is not a monarch which many will be familiar, but the production left me wanting to learn more about this complex, challenging woman, and the personal and political forces surrounding her reign. Each member of the cast delivered highly memorable performances, with Queen Anne and Lady Marlborough rightly standing out. Excellent directions, slick transitions, a wonderful use of set, and live music, made it a highly enjoyable production to watch.
Brilliant- best play i’ve seen in a long time
Excellent acting and production. Clever use of doors on stage. Not sure about accuracy of using black actors. I am NOT being racist but historically I don't understand why. Romulai Garai outstanding in her portrayal of the scheming Sarah Churchill
Superb acting, great song diversions and clear plot.
A slightly mediocre, though factually OK) play, saved by some excellent acting. I particularly admired the two female leads: Romola Garai as the Duchess and Emma Cunniffe as the Queen herself, while Harley was wonderfully reptilian. Marlbourough himself was somewhat overplayed and, of course, in actuality, neither he nor William III were negroes.
Very interesting play with some excellent performances
Extremely well acted and energetic - it relates so well to the modern day political wranglings.
Started with great promise but then took some time to gain pace. The length of some of the pauses made one feel a little unfortable. The second half was far more energized which made up for a rather lack lustre first half.
Very well produced, we much enjoyed decor and costumes, wit and sophistication, and the understudy for R. Garai did a splendid job. Downside: Some of the actors did not speak quite clearly enough, it was too long by 1/2 hour, and the air conditioning in the stalls was absolutely freezing!!
One of the two leading actresses fell on the stage and was injured. She was replaced by the understudy part way through who did a commendable but not compelling performance. The acting, particularly Queen Anne who was excellent, was of variable standard and not believable. Interesting, good value but not exhilarating.
Beautifully acted. Enjoyed every moment of it. For me a beginner in history a great exposure to this period. My husband felt Perhaps a shade long. Disappointed to see empty seats but as a result we got great value seats.
This is a very engrossing play which covers a fairly little known but significant part of English history so it educates but also is very entertaining in its depiction of the characters, the machinations of government, politicians and press , whilst centring on the contrasting fates of Queen Anne and her erstwhile favourite Sarah Churchill. The acting is superb, the ensemble pieces are great fun and the (live) music adds to the drama significantly. Emma Cunliffe and Romola Garai are wonderful actresses who hold the audience rapt in their exchanges. The play is moving, too. We were gripped throughout.
We enjoyed the play immensely, wise, moving, and beautifully acted. Fine acting. History brought alive.
Really enjoyed this fabulous show and the brilliant acting. Also we were really looked after well by the theatre and its staff
Great cast, superb acting and a very interesting story. Sumptuous costumes too!
This was a powerful absorbing bit of history brought out well in this performance by a group of very competent actors. It was lively and though slightly slow to build up maintained an exciting level of interest. The development of Anne from whimpiness to powerful independence was beautifully captured as was the controlling arrogant wilful self aggrandisement of Sarah Churchill by the two main actresses. An absorbing and enjoyable play and supplemented by amusing interludes of cartoon like buffoonery by a host of fine supportive performances. Well worth seeing !
A well acted and enjoyable performance by a truely professional cast despite a few glaring historical inaccuracies.
This performance of "Queen Anne" was exceptional. The writing, staging and acting were superb.
Really enjoyed Queen Anne. It was an informative and entertaining evening. All of the cast were fantastic but was particularly impressed with Emma Cunniffe as a lead. Despite being a pitiful and amusing character at first, she was able to subtely reveal her inner strength. Highly recommended.
Fabulous production/acting from the whole cast, but particularly the two leading ladies.
Wonderful historical drama beautifully acted and staged. I defy anyone in the audience to state that they didn't learn anything about the history of the setting they already knew beforehand.
A very interesting play about a queen that is not known as well as other English monarchs are and therefore is at ample time explored as well as her most interesting relationship with her intimate friend Lady Sarah Marlborough. (No spoilers included in this review
A superb evening with two stellar performances from Cunliffe and Garai. Also , a great ensemble piece, pity the publicity gave the impression of a two handed. Only criticism , King William too pantomimey shouty. Stunning set and thought provoking content, particularly , if like me you area bit vague about the space between Elizabeth I and Victoria! References to union with Scotland very timely...
Fascinating drama about a little known historical period. Both funny and sad in equal measure. The political machinations resonate with the contemporary situation. My only criticism was the use of black actors to play white historical characters such as the king. This is fine for other characters but didn't work with known characters. However, all actors were excellent.
A fascinating play wonderfully acted, superbly directed. What a treat to enagage with interesting material, fascinating characters all dramatically and thewatrically created for thinking, feeling adults
A good well written play superbly acted. The relationship between Queen Anne and Sarah Churchill was complex and changed throughout the play. There was a lot of tension and you became emotionally involved. The time wizzed past. My friend and I came out wanting to know more about the historical period and the characters.
A wonderful insight to a period in history that's reviles a great story line. Acted wonderfully and a great night out.
A great set of performances from a troupe of hard-working and nuanced actors. It's a shame the script was so heavy on historical exposition and so light on uncovering the emotional depths of some truly fascinating relationships. Romola Garai is capable of so much more, but the Sarah Churchill character develops little throughout the play and gives Garai nothing to work with, but haughty indignation (which she does well). Emma Cunniliffe's Queen Anne is humane and likeable, but the depth of her suffering and resilience is too often lost in the mire of weighty plot. The songs were truly awful (I cringed) and companies like the RSC should really be above shoe-horning substandard musical interludes into otherwise serious plays. Worth it for the performances.
A very engaging historical play, it definitely helps to know something of the key political characters of the day, as well as the lead-up to Anne's accession to the throne, before you see this. Wonderful acting, clever set and scenery changes make the performance very fluid and fast-moving. The dim lighting is authentic, but eventually rather tiring, as this is a long piece. Queen Anne appears as a vulnerable, but essentially humane and responsible monarch. I think the play could take this further if her development over the years, both personal and within her relationship with Sarah Churchill were given greater emphasis.
This is an excellent entertainment. The characters are intelligently and touchingly portrayed; the plot is full of political and religious intrigue. It's brilliantly acted by the RSC and greatly enhanced by the use of live musicians. Highly recommended.
Witty and brilliant. The acting was arresting, A great depiction of the political intrigues and power struggles of that age with interesting parallels to the present day. A must-see show.
Queen Anne did not immediately ring the bell. But after this performance, I am in awe and in love with the queen, the history, and the powerful actors and actresses. The usage of the beautiful wooden stage was cleverly done throughout the play. Songs and dances were fun to watch and shook up the audience and atmosphere. The characters were well chosen as well as extremely professionally well played. I am a fan - go watch it yourself - this play is way too underrated !!!
The show went over my head and I didn't quite get it. I wasn't sure of the storyline so the show dragged a bit. All in all it wasn't what I was expecting. However, the actors delivered their parts fairly well particularly Queen Anne.
A brilliant production - a really brilliant and interesting play. Combined history and entertainment and is well worth seeing.
Wow. A riveting play, full of political and emotional intensity but also very entertaining, brilliantly acted. I'm haunted by the voice of Queen Anne.
Highly entertaining g
We thoroughly enjoyed the play. It exceeded our expectations-well acted, informative and gripping plot. We would highly recommended it to our friends
First class, outstanding play, at times gripping. I fully recommend it,
This was an absolutely brilliant production. Fantastic performances from all the actors, the actress playing Queen Anne was simply superb. Wonderful sets, costumes, atmosphere. One of the best plays I have seen!
This was a great play - brilliantly acted by the two female leads and the ensemble. A very interesting period of history excellently brought to life and the relationship between Queen Anne and Sarah Churchill was vividly brought to life.
Great show, very interesting to learn more about one of the least known Queens. Very well acted and set was fantastic.
Last night I saw the powerful, and extremely well acted, history play, the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Queen Anne. The work centered on the intense relationship between Queen Anne and Sarah Churchill, First Duchess of Marlborough. Initially, they were very close as Sarah and her husband, John, guided many of Anne's actions. When Anne came more into her own and began to make decisions herself, Sarah reacted negatively. Finally, she went too far and was thrown out of Court. This happened despite the fact that her husband, The first Duke of Marlborough and a capable soldier, led England to some of its greatest victories over the French including the Battle of Blenheim. The Churchills were rewarded with Blenheim Place outside Oxford, that I visited earlier. The palace was where Winston Churchill spent much of his boyhood. It was interesting to learn the back story not reported on that site. Eventually, both Sarah and John had to flee to Europe and did not return to complete the palace until after Anne's death. John died first and Sarah completed it in its grandeur to honor him and her ambition, but the excess was controversial in its day. Sarah's diary gave Anne a bad reputation that lasted for years but more recent historians have recognized Anne's contribution to the rise of prosperity and the arts that occurred during her reign. I fact checked every detail in the Wikipedia and its seems that all the side plots and main events are completely accurate.
Best play have seen all year and incredible costumes too!
Conflicts of personalities and policies are bought into sharp relief by the focussed acting of a brilliant cast. The look and feel of the production convincing transports us back to the early 18th Century.
A beautifully written and well told story with women at the centre of the plot who's narratives were not driven by men or romance! A rarity. Gorgeous performances too. Maybe a little longer than it needed to be.
I really enjoyed this, a wonderfully developing battle between two women who try to push through their agendas for different reasons. Thoroughly enjoable and interesting.
It's a good night out at the theatre when you can admire great acting and also learn something new. I wasn't very clued up on this time in history but this play has given me a thirst to learn more. The acting was excellent throughout, the set was very atmospheric and the play went by very quickly. Go and see it before the time runs out!
Wonderful examination of the relation ship between Anne and Marlborough but could have shown a little more of their closeness before the betrayal and manipulation. Great reprise of a disputed historical era.
Haymarket. SW1Y 4HT.
No refunds or exchanges after purchase.
Good To Know
Queen Anne is directed by Natalie Abrahami (Happy Days) and plays for a strictly limited thirteen week season presented by TRH Productions, Scott Landis and Tulchin Bartner Productions.
*** Patrons in the Gallery should be aware that seating is on cushioned wooden benches Gallery - please note there are 65 steps up to this level.
How Does It Work
You will receive a confirmation email. Please print this email and bring it with you and present to the Box Office. We recommend you arrive a minimum of 30 minutes before the show.
When Can I Go
Fri 30 June – Sat 30 September 2017 (13 week limited run)
Thursday 2.30pm & 7.30pm
Saturday 2.30pm & 7.30pm
Where Do I Go
Theatre Royal Haymarket, 18 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HT.
By Tube: Piccadilly Circus; Leicester Square or Charing Cross Tube Station