Welcome! This is your first free article. Get more free articles when you sign up with your email.


“Strong piece but with more potential than substance”

Nicely turned as comedy, Sarah MacGillivray and Phil Bartlett’s story of a Scottish actress straight out of drama school who goes down to London to make it big has much to recommend it.

MacGillivray creates a pleasing suite of characters in the pub where Marie ends up, pulling pints in return for her keep. She helps out with the popular history night by taking on the persona of Mary Queen of Scots, which allows for many entertaining thumbnail sketches of the various regulars who take on their own characters for the nights, while drawing a focus on the publican and his hard-working wife, Liz.

The gentle humour here, and the skill with which MacGillivray creates many distinct characters who are clear enough to return in later scenes, make it stand out. Less substantial is the main thrust of the piece, which sees Marie get a part at the RSC and take on the persona of Mary, while seeing Liz as Mary’s nemesis, Queen Elizabeth I.

The denouement, satisfying though it is, feels too obvious and easily won to be the macabre and chilling spectacle it could be. MacGillivray and director Bartlett have developed a strong piece, but it still has more potential than substance.

Related to this Review

An Evening with Miss WongAn Evening with Miss Wong

Production Details
Production nameMarie
VenueAssembly Rooms
StartsAugust 2, 2018
EndsAugust 25, 2018
Running time1hr
AuthorPhil Bartlett, Sarah Macgillivray
DirectorPhil Bartlett
Set designerPhil Bartlett, Sarah Macgillivray
CastSarah Macgillivray
ProducerHouse of Mirth
VerdictTale of obsession with Mary Queen of Scots carries a quiet malevolence but lacks punch
Add New Comment
You must be logged in to comment.
Thom Dibdin

Thom Dibdin

Thom Dibdin

Thom Dibdin

Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue

Invest in The Stage today with a subscription starting at just £3.98
The Stage
© Copyright The Stage Media Company Limited 2020
Linked In