Raw Material and Capital Theatres present James IV – Queen of the Fight in association with National Theatre of Scotland – the further creative team announced and Scottish tour dates go on sale.
As announced earlier this year, in autumn 2022 Rona Munro returns to Scottish stages with a bold new production: James IV – Queen of the Fight, directed by Laurie Sansom - the formidable duo who brought us James I, II and III. They are reunited with Designer Jon Bausor who also worked on the first three plays, and joined by Venus ex Machina as Composer and Jaïrus Obayomi as Associate Director. British Historian Dr Onyeka Nubia has been working as a historical consultant on the project.
“You’re a wonder. You’re a window into a wide world.”
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.
Employing the same wit and theatricality of the first three James Plays (James I, II and III) acclaimed playwright Rona Munro takes you back to a thrilling and uncharted period of Scottish history in this brand new production. Join us on the journey.
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. They were acknowledged as a landmark event in Scottish and UK theatre. Now comes James IV with Laurie Sansom directing once more.
Jon Bausor’s set designs for the James Plays have already stunned audiences and his work for James IV will be just as visionary. Venus Ex Machina will bring her haunting electronic soundscapes to the project. Jaïrus Obayomi will join the creative team as Associate Director supported by a Federation of Scottish Theatre Bursary. Dr Onyeka Nubia is a historical consultant on the project who has been working closely with Rona Munro on depicting the, often underrepresented, diversity of James IV’s court.
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, 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. See full dates below.
Creative Team quotes
Rona Munro, Writer 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, Director said: “It’s so thrilling to be working with Rona Munro and this brilliant creative team on her extraordinary cycle of history plays. They speak to today’s world through the prism of the past with such confidence and wit that they are a gift to any director, telling big stories with insight and irreverence. James IV is no exception, telling an epic story of political bravado and personal betrayal. I’m so looking forward to making work in Scotland once more and sharing this next episode with audiences.”
Jon Bausor, Designer said: "I’m excited to return to the world of the James Plays alongside the prodigious talents of Rona and Laurie and to be working on this new chapter with my friend Venus Ex Machina as well as Jaïrus Obayomi and Dr Onyeka Nubia. Designing the first trilogy was an incredible experience at a momentous time in contemporary Scottish history and Rona has once again written a thrilling play that reveals an untold but important part of the Scottish narrative, as ever brilliantly bringing it to life with wit and contemporary resonance. I’m looking forward to creating a world for this next chapter to sit in, using and building upon the experience of the first three."
Venus ex Machina, Composer said: “There is a long history of Africans in Scotland, going back to Roman Emperor Septimius Severus in AD208. I hope my score can help find the resonances between the story of Moorish courtiers marooned in Scotland in the fifteenth century and the contemporary Scottish experience. It is exciting to be asked to work on such an ambitious and fascinating project, and I am privileged to be working with such an accomplished team."
Jaïrus Obayomi, Associate Director said: “It feels slightly surreal that I should get one of those semi-mythic First Big Jobs Out of Drama School. Even more, so that it is on this show, with the highly skilled creatives who are leading it and with my having so much to learn. I am absolutely looking forward to navigating working on something that is in the highly unusual position of being simultaneously new writing and at the same time as being work with an existing legacy.”
Dr Onyeka Nubia, Historical Consultant 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.”
Friday 30 September to Saturday 8 October 2022
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
www.capitaltheatres.com | 0131 529 6000
Tuesday 11 to Saturday 15 October 2022
Theatre Royal, Glasgow
www.atgtickets.com | 0844 871 7615
Tuesday 18 to Saturday 22 October 2022
www.dundeerep.co.uk | 01382 223530
Wednesday 26 to Saturday 29 October 2022
His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen
www.aberdeenperformingarts.com | 01224 641122
Wednesday 2 to Saturday 5 November 2022
Eden Court Highlands, Inverness
www.eden-court.co.uk | 01463 234 234
Wednesday 9 to Saturday 12 November 2022
Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling
www.macrobertartscentre.org | 01786 466 666