Bess 

The Commoner Queen

a new play by kevin fegan - commissioned by first art

Bess takes centre stage in this one-woman show, mixing theatre with film

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First Art is proud to present a new play from Kevin Fegan.

Surprisingly, this is the first drama to capture this extraordinary woman and her extraordinary times.

During a life of over 80 years, Bess rose from being a Derbyshire farmer’s daughter with 400 acres to become Elizabeth Countess of Shrewsbury with 400,000 acres. The life and times of Bess of Hardwick is in every way an epic life-telling.

Midst all this she would marry four times, become a Lady-in-Waiting and confidante of Queen Elizabeth 1st – “jailor” to Mary Queen of Scots, even spend time herself in The Tower of London and become the founding mother of the Cavendish dynasty, the Dukes of Devonshire.

Three of the most iconic women of the age: Elizabeth Tudor Queen of England, Mary Stuart Queen of Scots and Bess Hardwick – The Commoner Queen embroidered into the same tapestry - when all about them were men.

Over 400 years later the Bess legacy lives on today through the country’s most titled and wealthiest families notably via the Cavendish-Bentinck line to Queen Elizabeth II.

Read our in-depth interview with playwright Kevin Fegan here.


In the First Art Area:

Script read and Q&A, Mansfield Library (Four Seasons Shopping Centre, 38A W Gate, NG18 1NH)

Tuesday 18th July - 2pm - 4pm FREE but booking is advised - click here


Full preview performance: Creswell Social Centre

Friday 22nd

September


At The Guildhall Theatre, Derby

September:

Thursday 28th and Friday 29th – 7:30pm

Saturday 30th – 1pm and 6pm

October:

Sunday 1st – 2:30pm

(BSL signed performance followed by post-show discussion in the bar after the show)


Tickets £13.75 (concessions, online, group and school rates available)

Age guidance 12 +

Box office 01332 255800

Tickets are available online, via Derby Live. Just click here

Please note - there will also be performances in the First Art area - between 21st and 26th September - details TBC

Commissioned by First Art

Funded by Arts Council England

In association with Derby Live


Playwright Kevin Fegan

Director Rikki Tarascas

Filmmaker Will Simpson

Bess Michelle Todd


A return for Playwright Kevin Fegan whose last work at The Guildhall Theatre, Slave, won the Pete Postlethwaite Best New Play, Manchester Theatre Awards

‘Britain’s most innovative playwright’ Plays International


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