‘You’re a wonder. You’re a window into a wide world.’
Scotland, 1504, 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.
Rona Munro continues her journey through an uncharted period of Scottish history with James IV: Queen of the Fight, which was first presented in 2022 by Raw Material and Capital Theatres in association with National Theatre of Scotland, and directed by Laurie Sansom.
It follows the spectacular success of Munro’s plays about James I, II and III, which were first performed by National Theatre of Scotland, transferred to the National Theatre, London, and were named Best New Play at the Evening Standard Awards.
‘Epic and intimate… abounds with curious, colourful characters… Scotland’s answer to Shakespeare’s cycle of history plays. The similarities are there in the scope of [Munro’s] script, the cross-section of courtly society she presents and in the flashes of humour that illuminate the evening. Most of all, they are in the play’s questing contemplation of royal and national identity, then and now… a fun and fascinating riposte to Shakespeare’
— The Stage
‘Explosive and chilling’
‘Passionate and timely… hilarious and shocking, with some killer put-downs… Munro skips so nimbly between tones and ideas that you barely notice the expansive ground she’s managing to cover. In shining a bright new light on diversity in late medieval Scotland, it’s a revelation. More than that, though, it reminds us of some profound questions about tolerance and power that are very much still with us today’
— Arts Desk
‘Ambitious and admirable… a history play that says a great deal about modern Scotland’
— Financial Times