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Alexander MacKendrick's Mary Queen of Scots

The world premiere of Alexander Mackendrick’s unproduced screenplay on the most turbulent year of Queen Mary's life. Starring Glenda Jackson and Ellie Bamber.

The world premiere of Alexander Mackendrick’s unproduced screenplay on the most turbulent year of Queen Mary's life. Starring Glenda Jackson, Ellie Bamber, Mark Bonnar, Emun Elliot, Edward Holcroft, Struan Rodger and Bill Paterson.

It’s 1566 in Edinburgh. Two clans – the Hepburns and the Douglases – are at war. Two religions are in conflict - Protestant against Catholic. Two countries, England and Scotland, are about to collide.

At the heart of it all is 23-year-old Mary Queen of Scots. She is seven months pregnant.

We begin with a betrayal. Mary’s half-brother Murray and her English husband Henry Darnley conspire with William Maitland – Secretary of State and arch manipulator – to kidnap Mary’s young Italian private secretary Rizzio, who is rumoured to be the father of her unborn child. Darnely is adamant that he wants no violence in the kidnapping, but Rizzio is murdered.

In the aftermath, Murray, who Maitland has made sure remained absent from the event, attempts to convince Mary that he had no involvement in the conspiracy and tries to manipulate her into pardoning the murderer. However Mary, vulnerable now but with a steely intelligence, outwits them and manages to escape with her four ladies in waiting to the protection of James Bothwell, leader of the Hepburn clan.

Caught in an internecine web of plot and counter plot, treachery and betrayal, Mary must use every skill at her disposal to maintain her rightful position as Queen.

Will her secret affair with Bothwell be the making of her or lead to her destruction?

Cast:
Mary Stuart..............................................Ellie Bamber
Narrator....................................................Glenda Jackson
Maitland……………………………………….Mark Bonnar
Bothwell / Kerr……………………………..Emun Elliott
Darnley…………………………………………Edward Holcroft
Morton………………………………………...Bill Paterson
Ruthven / Du Croc / Knox……………Struan Rodger
Murray / Rizzio / Taylor / Scout……Kevin Guthrie
Paris / Porter…………………………………Jamie Quinn
Mary Seton / Mary Fleming………….Katharine O’Donnelly

Original Screenplay by Alexander Mackendrick and Jay Presson Allen
Directed by Hope Dickson Leach
Executive Producers: Laurence Bowen, Peter Ettedgui, Sandy Lieberson and Frank Stirling
Sound Designed by Wilfredo Acosta
Composed by Hutch Demouilpied
A Dancing Ledge production for BBC Radio 4

1 hour, 27 minutes

Last on

Sat 8 Dec 2018 14:30

Broadcast

  • Sat 8 Dec 2018 14:30

The Shakespeare Sessions

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