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The Barn Theatre, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire
FROM THE BARN THEATRE ARCHIVE

The Lifeblood

By Glyn Maxwell
Directed by Glyn Maxwell
22nd – 30th April 2022 at 8:00pm
Matinee on April 30th at 2:30pm

Duration: 1hr 50mins approx. with one interval

The last days of Mary, Queen of Scots

Maxwell’s writing gleams with the wit of John Donne and is delivered in the rhythm of Shakespeare.

5/5
The Scotsman

Presented by arrangement with Glyn Maxwell and Bloomsbury Publishing

1588. Mary Stuart is held in captivity. She fled to England nineteen years ago, after being deposed in Scotland. Her cousin, Elizabeth I of England, gave her assurances of support, but no help came. Mary dwells in the squalid Chartley Manor with only Claude Arno, her loyal French secretary, for company. Their jailer, strict Puritan Sir Amyas Paulet, watches their every move.

One day a stranger appears. Thomas Gorge tells Mary he is in touch with the Catholic thrones of France and Spain, who stand ready to rescue her. Mary is enthralled by the romantic Gorge, who has smuggled a secret letter inside a beer-keg. It comes from a Catholic aristocrat, Anthony Babington, who will lead the group that will set her free. Mary is thrilled by Babington’s passion, though Arno warns her that the plot also includes a ‘design’ – code for assassinating Queen Elizabeth. Disregarding Arno, Mary replies eagerly to the letter…

Script available here: The Lifeblood

CAST & CREATIVE TEAM

Directed by
Glyn Maxwell

CAST

Mary Stuart
Claudine Arno
Dame Edith Paulet
Sir Thomas Gorge
Sir Francis Walsingham

With special thanks to Linda Croston and the Lacemarket Theatre, Nottingham; Farm Factory Studios; Margaret Wallace and Wyldsfilm.

Production PHOTOS

(Click image to enlarge)

MEDIA & REVIEWS​

Maxwell’s writing gleams with the wit of John Donne and is delivered in the rhythm of Shakespeare.

5/5
The Scotsman

Glyn Maxwell is a superlative writer who has taken the last weeks of Mary Stuart’s imprisonment to cast a modern political drama in the exquisite, metaphor-rich language of her contemporaries.

5/5
The Scotsman

Courtroom drama at its very best.

5/5
The Scotsman

Glyn Maxwell’s script somehow manages to suggest the rhythm and structure of Shakespearian language while keeping it in a modern context… It feels like the history play Shakespeare never wrote.

The Stage

The play grips with its superb, taut language.

Metro

British Theatre Guide’s ‘Best Play’ of the Edinburgh Fringe, 2004.

DON'T FORGET, COMING UP AT THE BARN SOON

Opening 28th May
By John Finnemore
Opening 13th June
By Mary Chase

 

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Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Statement

At the Barn we are committed to promoting equality and challenging discrimination in all its forms. We strive to create a safe and inclusive environment for all members of the cast and creative team, regardless of their race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity and will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment.

Part 1, 18th Jan 8pm

Part 2, 19th Jan 8pm

Parts 1+2 20th Jan 2.30pm

Part 1, 23rd Jan 8pm

Part 2, 24th Jan 8pm

Part 1, 25th Jan 8pm

Part 2, 26th Jan 8pm

Part 1, 27th Jan 2.30pm

Part 2,  27th Jan 8pm