Raw Material and Capital Theatres announce the latest instalment in Rona Munro’s renowned James Plays.
James V: KATHERINE
‘Any human soul has only two real choices. How we live, and how we die.’
One woman’s love story during a time that changed Scotland forever.
James V: KATHERINE will be directed by Orla O’Loughlin, and is based on real historical figures early in the reign of King James V. In Spring 2024 James V: Katherine will surprise and delight audiences touring Scotland from the Highlands to the Borders, following the world premiere at Capital Theatres’ The Studio in Edinburgh.
A Raw Material and Capital Theatres co-production, James V: Katherine continues the theatrical series with the vivid historical storytelling of the previous instalments, set during the reigns of Scotland’s generations of Stewart kings. James V: Katherine places a lesser-known female historical figure front and centre in the story, with an intimate and up-close performance with focussed, raw and beautiful storytelling, directed by Orla O’Loughlin (What Girls Are Made Of / Mouthpiece).
Katherine Hamilton is nineteen. She‘s a respectable young married woman, but she also has a secret love she’s trying to forget. When her brother, Patrick, is executed for preaching ideas forbidden by the church, Katherine is also put on trial for her life.
In a packed courtroom, watched by most of Edinburgh and the cynical, young King James V, Katherine fights for survival, using her intelligence and wit.
This play is based on real historical figures and is a dramatic interpretation of key events at the very start of the Scottish Reformation, events that did happen and did change Scotland forever. It is also a love story.
The production will premiere in Capital Theatres’ The Studio in Edinburgh, before embarking on a tour of smaller-scale Scottish venues with stops in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Tobermory, Inverness, Dunoon, Dunkeld, St Andrews, Stirling, Peebles and Hawick.
Writer Rona Munro said:
“When I first imagined writing this series of Scottish history plays it seemed very unlikely I would have one produced in Scotland, let alone five, however I’ve always known the stories I want to tell with each play- so this moment, when ‘Katherine’ is going into production, is the realisation of a long held ambition. In continuing the cycle I want to surprise audiences with fresh narratives. This play was always intended to be very different in tone and style to the first four but will continue their larger story and, hopefully, my ambition to make invisible histories visible.”
Fiona Gibson, Chief Executive of Capital Theatres said:
“We’re delighted to be co-producing the next instalment of the James Plays alongside Raw Material. With the combined talents of Rona and Orla James V: Katherine promises to be a deeply engaging experience that sheds light on the life of a little-known, yet hugely intriguing historical figure. As Scotland’s largest theatre charity, it is our goal to support independent producers like Raw Material, and to play our part in creating a resilient artistic environment in which their work can thrive. We’re delighted the rehearsals and the world premiere will take place in the intimate surroundings of The Studio, which will enhance the impact of this extraordinary story. We’re also really excited about the regional tour of James V: Katherine, giving audiences across Scotland the opportunity to enjoy what will undoubtably be a very special production.”
Raw Material said:
“We are thrilled to be co-producing again with Capital Theatres and to be returning to Rona’s famous James cycle with this new play, hot on the heels of the success of James IV: Queen of the Fight, which toured across large-scale venues in Autumn 2022. We're led by Rona’s writing, and our instinct with “Katherine” was to lean into the intimacy of the play and to perform in smaller scale venues that enhance and support this, while also producing epic, high quality story-telling, with director Orla O’Loughlin at the helm. We want to bring this tale of love and death, at a time of great change in Scotland’s history, to audiences across the country, from the Highlands to the Borders, engaging with people who have seen the previous James Plays, and those who have not.”
Supported by Chris Grace Hartness.
Funded by the Creative Scotland Touring Fund.
James V: Katherine - 2024 Tour Dates
Capital Theatres’ The Studio, Edinburgh
Previews – 5, 6, 9 April
10 – 20 April 2024
Tron Theatre, Glasgow
25 – 27 April
Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
30 April – 4 May
Mull Theatre, Tobermory
7 & 8 May
Eden Court, Inverness
10 & 11 May
Dunoon Burgh Hall
13 & 14 May
Birnam Arts Centre
17 & 18 May
Byre Theatre, St Andrews
21 & 22 May
Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling
24 & 25 May
Eastgate Theatre, Peebles
28 & 29 May
Heart of Hawick
31 May & 1 June