In this stunning third part to Kate Hennig’s powerful Queenmaker series, England’s first queen regnant finds herself fighting xenophobia, religious nationalism, and strained familial bonds in the power struggle that dubs her Bloody Mary.
Upon the death of King Edward VI, the thirty-eight-year-old princess Mary—daughter of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon—wrests the throne from Edward’s deemed heir. But Mary’s mother appears from the vaults of memory, and adamantly questions the motives of Mary’s cousin Jane and her half-sister Bess, despite Mary’s affection for them both. As the kingdom splits along Roman Catholic and Protestant lines, Mary walks a gauntlet of squabbling ethics and politics, and is forced to make some tough decisions. Should she execute her opponents before it’s too late, the way her father did? Should she scramble to find a husband who can give her a rightful heir? And can she trust her mother, her sister, or even herself?
Kate Hennig is a playwright, actor, teacher, and director. Her play The Last Wife premiered at the Stratford Festival in 2015 and has since had more than ten productions across Canada and the United States, and will premiere in Sydney, Australia, in September 2019. The Virgin Trial won the 2017 Carol Bolt Award for Best New Play, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, and has had several subsequent regional productions. For the Shaw Festival, Kate has translated and adapted Cyrano de Bergerac and Oscar Wilde’s stories for children, Wilde Tales. Kate is Associate Artistic Director at the Shaw Festival and resides in Stratford, Ontario.
“Hennig upends the usual narrative of patriarchal bloodlines by giving voice to some of the era’s intrepid women.”- Debbie Fein-Goldbach, NOW Magazine
“Hennig’s genius lies in taking us on a historical journey with the added bliss of some sharp right—and left—turns of her own devising.”- Laurie Fyffe, Capital Critics’ Circle
“It’s thrilling to observe Hennig’s writerly voice develop in real time through this series.”- Toronto Star
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