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16–19 May 2018
Barbican Theatre

Guest Artist and former Principal of The Royal Ballet Zenaida Yanowsky illuminates the remarkable life of Queen Elizabeth I in Will Tuckett and Alasdair Middleton’s elegant tapestry of dance, music and theatre.

When to see it


This dynamic exploration of the Tudor monarch for dancers and actors uses texts written by Elizabeth and her contemporaries, and a commissioned score that draws on music of the great Elizabethan composers.


Drawn from letters, diaries, poetry and plays, including material written by her famed suitors, the script for this dance-drama is spoken and sung by female actors and a baritone. Their words are illustrated by the movements of two dancers. Accompanied by an original score – performed on cello, with musical structures and harmonies borrowed from the great Elizabethan composers – the performance is also enriched by sumptuous costumes.

Intrigued as much by her private passions and physicality as her political triumphs, choreographer Will Tuckett and librettist Alasdair Middleton turned to the writings of the monarch and those around her as a starting point for their piece. Covering key moments in the queen’s reign, their work gives us ‘a strikingly visceral sense of the tightrope Elizabeth walked in maintaining her crown’ (Guardian).

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