Kate Hennig's

The Virgin Trial

June 7th - September 23rd Studio Theatre Ticket Info
Generally Positive Reviews based on 3 Critics
3 Reviews

The Toronto Star - Karen Fricker


“Hennig explores, with a bold combination of historical research and creative moxie, the teenage years of Elizabeth I, with particular attention to the epithet so often associated with her, the Virgin Queen…

In this complex whodunit, the biggest mystery that Hennig explores is Bess herself, as played by Watson with an extraordinary combination of vulnerability and steel. Who can this young woman trust? Can we trust her?

As Bess matures before our eyes, the bond between her and Catholic, tightly strung Mary is tested. The scenes between Watson and Farb are the production’s strongest, full of ironic humour as well as a very moving current of compassion.”

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The Stratford Beacon Herald - Geoff Dale


“Each member of the strong cast of seven revels in their moments of scene-stealing. Yanna McIntosh’s mesmerizing Eleanor, Ted’s co-inquisitor, is an unnerving mix of authoritative and seemingly emotionless dedication to the task at hand.

Laura Condlin and Andre Morin shine as Bess’ governess and secretary Ashley and Perry, loyal to their royal mistress yet no less free from the horrific indignities of torture at the hands of both Ted and Eleanor.

Hodder vividly captures Thom’s personal torment, the consequence of his inability to choose rational thought over irrational behaviour. Sara Farb, as Bess’ Catholic sister Mary, cleverly demonstrates the perils one has to confront when caught in the middle of such nefarious behaviour.”

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The Globe and Mail - J. Kelly Nestruck


“Whereas The Last Wife suffered a little by having a protagonist who was too much of a revisionist-history heroine, The Virgin Trial has a great, complex central character in Bess – a real break-out role for the underrated and totally original actress Watson. She has a girlish voice, but brings tremendous nuance to it – and, like the inquisitors, you may find yourself wondering whether her Bess is innocent or just skilled at playing innocent. (Though Hennig’s play is, in a way, an interrogation of adjectives like “innocent” and “virginal,” which become loaded when applied to girls.)

In Dilworth’s production, the scenes snap from one to the other – and we get to watch Watson’s wily queen-to-be quickly shift tactics depending on who she has to perform her act for and wonder what’s really at her centre.”

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Reviews Breakdown

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