Sunday, 18 December 2016


I braved Black Eye Friday - and yes, it was horrible, even at 5pm when they'd only been drinking all afternoon. (It's unnerving standing on an escalator behind a very, very large lady who's literally rolling drunk.) But it was worth it, because I was on my way to see two queens going head to head in an electrifying performance of Mary Stuart.
I tried to book tickets months ago, but it was sold out - then by chance I realised that some cheap tickets were released a few days ago. Thrilled? £10 to see Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams ...
The production starts each night with the spin of a coin, to determine which actress plays Elizabeth and who plays Mary ... it came up tails. Juliet Stevenson as Elizabeth, Williams as Mary.
Oh, it was riveting - and the toss of the coin really pointed up the fragility of Elizabeth's claim to the throne and how easily it could have fallen the other way. As for the dodgy courtiers, wriggling out of responsibility ...
Elizabeth's crown seems as lonely as Mary's prison.
Now, of course, I'm aching to see it again, the other way round. There's a review here.

Joan Plowright was just ahead of me in the ticket queue - so beautifully dressed! I thought how wonderful to be still going to the theatre quite alone at her grand age. Though I hope she got home all right. It was not pretty out on the streets ...

7 comments:

Veronica Cooke said...


How exciting to toss a coin each evening! The downside is you have to learn two sets of lines...

Yes, the great British public at play is often not a pretty sight. I expect Joan Plowright could wither them with just a stare!

Mary said...

I thought I could wither them with a stare, Veronica - but they're all so much bigger than me!

It must be nerve-wracking standing there each night not knowing which role you'll perform. They were amazing.

Sue said...

Gosh what a treat- Juliet Stevenson is my favourite actress ever.

Cosy Books said...

Loved reading about your evening out, as always, but then my eyes came out on stalks...Joan Plowright! I miss seeing her in films, and her voice makes me feel like I'm in a cloud with a cup of hot chocolate.

Mary said...

She was wonderful, Sue - and it really was a treat as I'd abandoned all hope of a ticket!

She looked so elegant, Darlene - I thought I read that she's retired because she wasn't well, although you can hardly blame anyone for retiring in their 80s. But she looked wonderful, and I so admired her independence. Hope I'm still out and about on my own when I'm her age.

Anonymous said...

I read that she had macular degeneration, so she could hardly see !

Anonymous said...

I read that she had macular degeneration, so she could hardly see ! Ash