‘They did not understand, you see, that what is stitched with a needle is not always innocent… Needles are dangerous.’
The year is 1569, and in a cold, stone room in a Staffordshire castle, a group of women sew elaborate tapestries. Rich or poor, at home or held against their will, four women’s lives intersect on the point of a needle.
Embroidery is their escape, their sanity, and their expression: of love, loss, artistry and power. For these women’s stitches have the power to change not just their own lives, but the course of English history.
Inspired by the tapestries created when Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned by her cousin Queen Elizabeth I, The Glove Thief by Beth Flintoff is part of Platform, an initiative from Tonic Theatre in partnership with Nick Hern Books. Aimed at addressing gender imbalance in theatre, Platform comprises big-cast plays with predominantly or all-female casts, written specifically for performance by young actors.
‘Captures the palpable frustration of women who, while strong in mind and will, are nonetheless held back by the machinations of men… tells a good story in a lively way that, if anything, makes [its] message all the more poignant’
— Drama Magazine
‘Warm, intelligent, exciting and accessible historicised drama… an exciting story refreshingly told which places independent women of all classes centre stage’
— Teaching Drama