- Written & performed by Rebecca Vaughan
- Premiered - August 5th 2010, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh 2010
- Adapted from the speeches, letters, poems and prayers of Elizabeth I.
- Toured UK Spring 2011 to present
- CIT Adelaide Festival 2011
- British Invasion, Kansas City, 2012
At a vital crossroads in time, a young queen steps from the shadows to unburden herself of her many troubles, revealing her innermost thoughts on marriage, succession, religion, war, and the many challenges to her throne.
Defying the establishment by choosing to lead her country alone, she forsakes her own dreams and desires to steer England towards national and spiritual security. But time is against her...
Queen at 25, the most educated woman of her Age, political phoenix, and famously unmarried, but who was the woman beneath the crown? Using only Elizabeth's own letters, speeches and writings, I, Elizabeth explores her struggle to reconcile her womanhood with sovereignty.
Traitor, bastard, heretic, prisoner... You may call her Queen.
From the same company that made last year's hugely acclaimed Austen's Women and the multi award winning Morecambe - which have since toured the U.K., London's West End and Australia, writer/performer Rebecca Vaughan now dons a different type of corset, moving back a further 200 years from Georgian to Elizabethan.
THE CARRICK 18/08/10
Any actress portraying Elizabeth I would have to have a strong presence with bold red hair. Rebecca Vaughan delivers.
The great queen reigned from 1558 until her death in 1603. This production is based on the time when she was at her peak.
The simple but effective set consists only of a chair, desk, a few small props, Nothing else was needed.
The costume worn by Rebecca Vaughan is extremely beautiful. Designed and made by Kate Flanaghan, a graduate from the Central School of Speech and Drama in 2007. The red in the costume is bold, vivid and extremely delightful.
Rebecca, delivers a strong, powerful, charismatic performance, she scripted herself. Her facial expressions add to her delivery in scenes of anger, rage, prudent, careful, decisive, curious, mistrusting, as well as scenes of her being soft and thoughtful!
Her piercing eyes captivated the audience, engaging them with her strong presence/ They were acknowledged by the great queen and drawn into her dry, subtle and starkly humorous banter. I enjoyed watching the audience glaring at Elizabeth I, in return the queen glaring back to her audience,. It was very captivating.
Director Guy Masterson, Director, has done well delivering a production which within 70 minutes, takes you through tales of Huguenots; Protestantism spread France; Mary Queen of Scots; Henry VIII; Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester; François, Duke of Anjou; William Cecil, Nicholas Throckmorton; Philip II of Spain; Archduke Charles of Austria; Henri, Duke of Anjou.
One explosive, heated scene gripped the audience. Everone in the room shook with fear as the queen read a document from the House of Commons which threatened to withhold funds until she agreed to provide for the succession, marry and provide an heir. Elizabeth I explodes with raged and anger!
This fine production has been created from adaptations of historical speeches, letters, poems and prayers from Elizabeth I. The well-written script is true to the original story. Rebecca Vaughan, in role as Elizabeth I has delivered a performance worthy of an Academy Award Oscar. (Jacqueline Sharp - The Carrick Newspaper 19/08/10)
THREE WEEKS 12/08/10
It is rare for a play delivered by single performer to enrapture an audience successfully for a full hour. Yet 'I, Elizabeth' does, presenting a wholly fresh and dynamic interpretation of a well-known character. Using a script based on Elizabeth's own words, Rebecca Vaughn leads the audience through the queen's struggle between her womanhood and duty to her kingdom. The performance feels meticulously researched and well polished and Vaughn depicts a complex character who is unexpectedly easy to relate to. The range of emotions expressed is impressive, from wry irony that elicits the occasional chuckle from the audience, to deep despair. Occasionally the queen's anger verges on the incredible, but overall, Vaughn succeeds in a performance that gathers momentum and enraptures her audience. (Three Weeks 12/08/10)
WHAT'S ON STAGE 07/08/10
For someone who claims to be answerable to no one, Rebecca Vaughan's Elizabeth I is intensely conscious of what others may think of her. Written and performed by Vaughan, the audience are taken right inside the mind of a monarch whose insecurities only serve to strengthen her resolve. Using sources directly quoting the queen, Vaughan breaks Elizabeth's silence: a silence that has not just lasted the past 400 years, but one that she was forced to adopt during her lifetime both as head of state and as a woman in early modern England.
Vaughan's script creates an exquisite patchwork of an intellectually passionate woman married to her country and mother to its citizens. On its own, the text sheds a poignant light on a remarkable woman. As a spectacle, it becomes a remarkable piece of historical ventriloquism. This spellbinding performance is evidently a true labour of love, created with delicacy and portrayed with startling conviction. (What's On Stage 07/08/10)
- ONE4REVIEW 02/08/10
In her bearing and manner, Rebecca Vaughan's portrayal of the young Elizabeth I is immediately convincing. She successfully brings a dramatic realism to a unique woman who must be one of history's greatest survivors. Having your mother put to death by your father and imprisoned by your sister under threat of execution, bears testament to a turbulent early life.
The starting point of the play is her reaction to a petition from Parliament earnestly encouraging her to consider marriage and thus the prospect of children to ensure the succession. She argues persuasively for remaining unmarried and celibate. Her attitude is governed not simply by her instinct of self preservation but the well being of the country, fearing the prospect of civil war if she gives in.
She is at her most intimate and passionate in her relationship with her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, whose headstrong behaviour could engulf the country in warfare.
Portraits of Elizabeth I give little away showing a mask like countenance. As writer and performer, Rebecca Vaughan reveals Elizabeth to be an intelligent, emotional and remarkable young woman. This is an outstanding achievement, aided by Guy Masterson as director. (One4Review 12/08/10)