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MARY STUART BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: April 19, 2009
Synopsis: For a Queen to stand, a Queen must fall. Janet McTeer and Harriet Walter recreate their acclaimed performances in Friedrich Schiller's account of the relationship between Elizabeth I and her rival and cousin, Mary Queen of Scots.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"You can argue all you like about which of them has the greater claim to the English throne. But after seeing the terrifically exciting new production of Friedrich Schiller's "Mary Stuart," you won't doubt that both the queens it portrays are born to rule. So, I might add, are the actresses who play them. That would be Janet McTeer, as Mary Queen of Scots, and Harriet Walter, as Elizabeth I."
"Whether you agree with it or not, there's a lesson in Peter Oswald's breathtaking new translation of Friedrich Schiller's 200-year-old Mary Stuart, about the jailing of Mary Queen of Scots by her cousin Elizabeth I: Women can be petty, vindictive, and when it comes to competition (especially with each other), downright ruthless."
""Mary Stuart" superbly explores the link between Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots, royal relatives locked in a grim battle that only one can win. But what elevates this adaptation of Friedrich Schiller's venerable play to even greater heights are the thrilling performances of the actresses who portray these formidable ladies: Janet McTeer as Mary and Harriet Walter as Elizabeth."
"Politics and power, in any age, are a dirty business. If the first Broadway transfer from the Donmar Warehouse, "Frost/Nixon," was a keen reminder of that point, the London company's second transatlantic traveler, "Mary Stuart," imparts the lesson even more trenchantly. The setting is late 16th-century England, and the writing dates back to 1800, but the spin, chicanery and ruthless self-preservation of a government that both abides by and manipulates public perception are timeless. Phyllida Lloyd's steely revival of the Friedrich Schiller play simmers and scalds as it should, but it's the deft balance of the parallel tragedies of two imprisoned queens that makes the production so enthralling."
"Though the first few rounds are a trifle sluggish, the Donmar Warehouse production of Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart builds into a thrilling bout between battling royalty. As adapted by Peter Oswald and directed with a contemporary angle by Phyllida Lloyd, this 18th-century chestnut set in the 16th century has the look and feel of the 21st. The male characters are decked out in drab modern business suits, and the religious conflicts between England and Scotland come across as remarkably similar to tensions between Israel and the Arab countries or between Sunnis and Shiites. Oswald's use of words such as negotiations and terror give the play a relevant sting."
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