‘Two Queens. One in power. One in prison. It’s all in the execution’ …and two exceptional actresses, Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams.
After a sell-out run at the Almeida Theatre, Robert Icke’s new adaption of MARY STUART transferred for a limited run at the Duke of York’s in London’s West End. The political tragedy verse play by Friedrich Schiller, which premiered in 1800 depicts the last days of Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I. Both Juliet and Lia played alternated the roles of the two Queens depending on who called heads or tails.
“Lia Williams and Juliet Stevenson switch roles at the toss of a coin to play the warring queens in Robert Icke’s explosive production,” wrote Susannah Clapp in her five-star Guardian review. Both signed my drawing at the stage door before the run ended on Saturday.
Critics are unanimous about Juliet Stevenson’s latest stage incarnation in Samuel Beckett’s HAPPY DAYS at the Young Vic. Playing Winnie,a woman tragically aware of her mental plight, requires the actress to be buried in a mound of sand. Sarah Hemming of the Financial Times wrote, “Lear in the storm, Winnie in the sandheap: Two of the greatest stage metaphors for the human condition and two of the most challenging roles for an actor.” The Guardian’s Michael Billington said Juliet “gives a remarkable performance.” and Henry Hutchings of the Evening Standard adds, she “brings grace, poise and a crazed resilience to the incurably optimestic Winnie.” Extra performances have been added due to demand with the play finishing 8 March.