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.

- Miranda Fay Thomas