In autumn 2022 it was announced that Rona Munro would be returning to Scottish stages with a bold new production: ‘James IV – Queen of the Fight’, directed by Laurie Sansom – the formidable duo who brought us James I, II and III. As anticipation mounts, Capital Theatres are delighted to announce the full cast and creative team who will bring the next part in this extraordinary cycle of plays to life. This chapter reveals the vibrant cultural mix of the Scottish court, enriching our understanding of our nation’s history.
Scotland 1504 is seen fresh through the eyes of new arrivals Ellen and Anne, two Moorish women who were expected to take their place at a royal court… but not this one. Both women now have to fight to find and keep a place in the dazzling, dangerous world of the Scottish Court of James IV. It’s a world where war is never far away, words of love and promises of peace are not what they seem and where poets might turn out to be more dangerous than any assassin.
Employing the same wit and theatricality of the first three James Plays (James I, II and III) acclaimed playwright Rona Munro takes you back to a thrilling and uncharted period of Scottish history in this brand-new production. Join us on the journey.
Rona Munro’s vividly imagined trilogy has already brought to life three generations of Stewart kings who ruled Scotland in the tumultuous fifteenth century to the acclaim of audiences and critics from Scotland to Auckland. They were acknowledged as a landmark event in Scottish and UK theatre. Now comes James IV with Laurie Sansom directing once more.
Writer Rona Munro and Director Laurie Sansom are reunited with Designer Jon Bausor who also worked on the first three plays; and joined by Venus ex Machina as Composer. British Historian Dr Onyeka Nubia has been working as a historical consultant on the project. The team is completed by Movement Director Neil Bettles, Sound Designer Garry Boyle, Casting Director Laura Donnelly CDG, Associate Director (Rehearsals) Jaïrus Obayomi, Associate Director (Tour) Luke Kernaghan, and Lighting Designer Lizzie Powell.
Blythe Duff said: “I was delighted to find out the brilliant Rona Munro had worked her magic and created James IV. I was given a tantalising glimpse of the script when Laurie Sansom invited me to workshop the piece in May 2021. Being back on the Festival Theatre stage during that week reminded us of the extraordinary legacy and impact The James Plays had, not only personally, but on audiences when it toured nationally and internationally in 2014/16.
“It was an extraordinary part of my life, and I was transported once again with Rona’s storytelling and forensic detail.
“As ever her wit shines through. Always revealing the strength of her female characters. The partnership and trust she has with Laurie Sansom is evident and so important in bringing all the elements together. I just can’t wait to be back in the rehearsal room and be with the wonderful team who are ready to bring their creativity and expertise to the next exciting chapter of Scotland’s history. I feel sure the audience are ready too.”
Daniel Cahill said: “Rona’s work has always meant a lot to me, as indeed it does to every young Scottish actor and to be a part of Laurie’s magnificent vision in the original James Plays was a real honour. Now, to be revisiting the character of James who I played when we were both nearly 10 years younger feels like something special. I have still got such vivid memories of what he went through as a kid and I feel that with this bridge to the original trilogy, the momentum of the of plays is going to be carried through into this next chapter.
“To go through such an intense and personal journey with James and then to have both him and myself age 10 years before reuniting in a new production to bring his story to an end feels like an apotheosis on a whole other level.”
Danielle Jam said: “I’m excited to perform in the next chapter of this incredible story and I hope to honour Ellen’s journey as much as she deserves.”
Laura Lovemore said: “I am beyond buzzed to be part of the James legacy! Can’t wait to share this sick story with everyone.”
Co-produced by Raw Material, the award-winning, independent, producing company, and Capital Theatres, Scotland’s largest theatre charity based in Edinburgh, in association with National Theatre of Scotland, the production will open at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh at the end of September 2022 before touring to Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness and Stirling. See full dates below.
Friday 30 September – Saturday 8 October 2022 Festival Theatre Edinburgh
Tuesday 11 – Saturday 15 October 2022 Theatre Royal, Glasgow www.atgtickets.com | 0844 871 7615
Tuesday 18 – Saturday 22 October 2022
Dundee Rep www.dundeerep.co.uk | 01382 223530
Wednesday 26 – Saturday 29 October 2022
His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen
www.aberdeenperformingarts.com | 01224 641122
Wednesday 2 – Saturday 5 November 2022 Eden Court Highlands, Inverness www.eden-court.co.uk | 01463 234 234
Wednesday 9 – Saturday 12 November 2022
Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling
www.macrobertartscentre.org | 01786 466 666