Vivat! Vivat Regina!

Definition

Theater

  • A chronicle play by Robert Bolt, which explores therelationship between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. It openedat the Chichester Festival Theatre in 1970, later transferring toLondon's Piccadilly Theatre, where it ran for over a year with 442performances. Bolt's wife, Sarah Miles, played Elizabeth and EileenAtkins appeared as Mary.

    The play begins with the young Mary's assumption of the Scottishthrone. Her imprudent political dealings and disastrous marriagessoon alienate the Scottish nobles, who eventually ask Elizabeth todepose her. The English queen replies that she will not act unlessshe has proof that Mary has conspired with English Catholics. Confinedto Sheffield Castle, Mary is almost inadvertently drawn into a Catholicplot, an act that leads to her execution. The play originally concludedwith a long and thrilling speech by Elizabeth but was revised to endwith the execution of Mary.

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