07 January 2016, The Tablet

Eros and the upper crust

It is risky for a dramatist to write historical bio-dramas for a company with Shakespeare as its middle name. Helen Edmundson, though, survived the gamble with a Royal Shakespeare Company hit four years ago: The Heresy of Love, based on the life of the Spanish nun and writer, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, was so successfully modern-Shakespearean that it received the compliment of a revival last summer at the London replica of the Bard’s Globe Theatre.Edmundson’s new play for the RSC, Queen Anne, would also surely have the blessing of the house dramatist. It deals with the daughter of James II, who succeeded to the throne on the death of her childless brother-in-law, William III, in 1702.Burdened by physical and psychological infirmities, Anne leaned on a courtier, Sarah Je
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