New large-scale production of James IV – Queen of the Fight by Rona Munro, directed by Laurie Sansom announced today


25 Jun 2021

News Story

Raw Material and Capital Theatres today announced a bold new production James IV – Queen of the Fight in association with National Theatre of Scotland, touring to stages across Scotland in autumn 2022. This large-scale production sees award-winning playwright Rona Munro return to Scottish stages with director Laurie Sansom, the formidable duo who brought audiences James I, II, and III.

Scotland, 1504, 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 vividly imagined trilogy 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.

The original trilogy was a co-production between National Theatre of Scotland, Edinburgh International Festival and the National Theatre of Great Britain. The three plays opened at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2014 before touring Scotland and internationally, winning several awards. They were acknowledged as a landmark event in Scottish and UK theatre.

Co-produced by Raw Material, the award-winning, independent, producing company based in Glasgow, and Capital Theatres, Scotland’s largest theatre charity based in Edinburgh, James IV – Queen of the Fight will open at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh in the autumn of 2022 before touring Scotland. 

Rona 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.”

Laurie Sansom said: “It’s a great privilege to be returning to the world created by Rona in the first trilogy of James Plays. It was probably the most challenging and rewarding creative project I have worked on, and it’s now thrilling to be realising a long-held ambition to continue the story with the support of Raw Material, Capital Theatres and the National Theatre of Scotland.”

Jackie Wylie, Artistic Director of National Theatre of Scotland said: “We are hugely excited to be supporting the next stage in Rona Munro’s ambitious and thrilling historical theatrical saga. We know that audiences will be delighted to have the opportunity to return to the Scottish court and to find out what happens next to Rona’s vividly imagined Scots Royals.  It’s brilliant to have Laurie Sansom at the helm and to welcome him back to Scottish theatre. We are also proud to be supporting an exciting new producing partnership between Capital Theatres and Raw Material which promises to bring much to audiences, artists and the sector”