The James Plays

The James Plays by The National Theatre of Scotland come to the Theatre Royal Plymouth in May 2016

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The National Theatre of Scotland, the Edinburgh International Festival and the National Theatre of Great Britain present The James Plays – three plays about James I, II and III of Scotland by Rona Munro, directed by Laurie Sansom:

  • James I: The Key Will Keep The Lock
  • James II: Day of the Innocents
  • James III: The True Mirror

Design by Jon Bausor, Lighting Design by Philip Gladwell; Sound Design by Christopher Shutt; Movement Director Neil Bettles and Associate Director Amanda Gaughan. Cast to be confirmed.

Coming to the Theatre Royal Plymouth on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 May 2016 – two trilogy days

Following critical acclaim and box office success in 2014, The James Plays by Rona Munro, and directed by Laurie Sansom are going out on a major UK tour in 2016, visiting 13 venues across England and Scotland. The productions originally co-produced with the Edinburgh International Festival and the National Theatre of Great Britain opened at the Festival Theatre Edinburgh during the Edinburgh International Festival on 10 August, and then subsequently played at the Olivier Theatre, National Theatre, London, selling out both runs and playing to over 88,000 people. The plays went on to win the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best New Play and the Writers Guild Award for Best New Play (James I).

Described by The Telegraph as “better than Shakespeare” and ‘Rona Munro’s thrilling trilogy could be the finest history plays ever penned ’ The James Plays , exhilarating and vividly imagined, bring to life three generations of Stewart kings who ruled Scotland from 1406 -1488.

Each play stands alone as a unique vision of a country tussling with its past and future, with its own distinct theatrical atmosphere. Viewed together they create a complex and compelling narrative on Scottish culture and nationhood.

The James Plays are historical drama for a contemporary audience, served up with a refreshing modern directness. Audiences are invited to view the performances from the actual stage and share the performer’s perspective of the space. These seats, built into the set, are at heart of the action, as an ensemble of actors takes the audience through a rarely-explored period of history with playful wit and boisterous theatricality.

Audiences responded enthusiastically to the opportunity of viewing the plays as a complete trilogy, seen over the course of a day. This production will pioneer a new bespoke touring pattern with English venues offering audiences the chance to see all three plays together, on a Saturday or Sunday. The Scottish venues performance schedules vary with individual James Plays performances as well as a triple bill of plays on offer.

Tickets for The James Plays will be available later this year. Please keep an eye on our website and social media channels for on sale information.

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