New Play James IV – Queen of the Fight from Rona Munro Set for Autumn 2022

The duo who brought us The James Plays, writer Rona Munro and director Laurie Sansom, return with a fourth part: James IV – Queen of the Fight.

Co-produced by Raw Material, award-winning, Glasgow based independent producing company, and Edinburgh’s Capital Theatres, Scotland’s largest theatre charity, in association with National Theatre of Scotland, the production will open at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh in the autumn of 2022 before touring to Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness and Stirling.

Munro and Sansom will be joined again by Designer Jon Bausor, along with Composer Venus ex Machina and Associate Director Jaïrus Obayomi while British Historian Dr Onyeka Nubia has been working as an historical consultant on the project.

Dr Nubia said “Storytelling is history. This play translates the history that I teach into an adventure absorbable by all. What is produced is high entertainment. I’m ecstatic to be involved in this collaborative-artistic exploration that interweaves Scottish and African British history, — to show us another Scotland! It is a Scottish tapestry, in broad Scottish prose, that is filled with anguish, irony, laughter and danger. The court of King James IV has been dead for more than five hundred years — but it has never seemed more alive than in the play James IV! I am honoured that I could help reclaim fifteenth-century Scotland from the Victorian-British myths that have too long obscured it.”

The story runs:  Scotland, 1504, is seen fresh through the eyes of new arrivals Ellen and Anne, two Moorish ​ women who were expected to take their place at a royal court….but not this one. Both women now have to fight to find and keep a place in the dazzling, dangerous world of the Scottish Court of James IV. It’s a world where war is never far away, words of love and promises of peace are not what they seem and where poets might turn out to be more dangerous than any assassin. 

Rona Munro’s trilogy, acknowledged as a landmark event in Scottish and UK theatre, has already brought to life three generations of Stewart kings who ruled Scotland in the tumultuous fifteenth century to the acclaim of audiences and critics from Scotland to Auckland.

Munro said “The first three James Plays – James I – The Key Will Keep the Lock, James II – The Day of the Innocents and James III – The True Mirror, were among the most exciting and the most satisfying theatre productions I’ve ever been part of. To be able to continue this work, with Laurie and with this team is, for me, to continue that excitement. My larger ambition is to extend the Stewart history of Scotland through James V, Mary Queen of Scots and to conclude with James VI who became James I of England. My hope is that I can make this history more accessible, make those invisible in history visible again and provide a representation of the most potent and telling truth of history – it was made by people like us.”

Full details are available from the following venues:  Festival Theatre Edinburgh; King’s Theatre, Glasgow, Dundee Rep, His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen; Eden Court Highlands, Inverness and Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling

Irene Brown

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