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Mary Stuart

May 3rd - October 11thTom Patterson TheatreTicket Info
Generally Positive Reviews based on 19 Critics
19 Reviews

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This is a listing for the 2013 season. For the current 2023 shows click here.

The Toronto Star - Richard Ouzounian

Electrifyingly entertaining and...

“Wyn Davies, who already earned his Most Valuable Player award this week… tackles the Earl of Leicester and gives us every element of that vain, tortured man…Has Lucy Peacock ever given a better performance…Seana McKenna delivers all the mercurial moods the part requires”.

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The London Free Press - John Coulbourn

Cimolino and team bring script back...

Coulbourn explains how Cimolino “collaborates with an impressive design team led with understated elegance by Eo Sharp and a truly magnificent cast, led by Lucy Peacock as Mary and Seana McKenna as Elizabeth, to bring the script to riveting life”.

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The Record - Robert Reid

Seana McKenna and Lucy Peacock at...

“Watching the rival queens of Elizabeth and Mary, played respectively by McKenna and Peacock, is a breath-taking marvel…To see such actors on stage together in their artistic prime is a privilege…the festival has been brought back on course by an artistic compass that runs true and strong.”

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The National Post - Robert Cushman

Wyn Davies serves as third major actor

“…this is the Earl of Leicester presented, not too historically, as Mary’s admirer as well as Elizabeth’s and emerging…Was a master of realpolitik and of playing one side against another, almost – but not quite – as ruthlessly successful as the Tudor monarch herself; there’s something shabby about his manoeuvres as there isn’t about hers.”

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The Globe and Mail - J. Kelly Nestruck

Ian Lake a convincing Catholic

“One of the best speeches comes from the mercurial Ian Lake as Mortimer, his condemnation of a Protestant church that “hates the senses, bans the image, worships nothing but the abstract word” was so convincing, I nearly converted on the spot….It’s amazing that Mary Stuart is so edge-of-your-seat suspenseful when the outcome is never in doubt”

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The Hamilton Spectator - Gary Smith

Visually triumphant

Smith considers Stratford’s “Mary Stuart” a piece of “real theatre” because of its use of visuals. “…with Eo Sharp’s daring minimalist settings and stunning period costumes. Add Steven Hawkins’ moody atmospheric lighting and you have a perfect terrain across which Cimolino’s production unfolds.”

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Detroit Free Press - John Monaghan

Will be talked about in future decades

“Designer Eo Sharp uses objects sparingly but to great effect…The relatively minimal staging, coupled with elaborate costumes, allows director Antoni Cimilino to focus on his actors, who make the courtly intrigue both epically important and personal.”

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Calgary Herald - Jamie Portman

McKenna succeeds, Musketeers lack...

Portman focuses on “Mary Stuart”, “Blithe Spirit” and “The Three Musketeers”. He praises “Cimolino’s gripping vision and Peter Oswald’s sizzling new translation.” He found very little” enjoyment in The Three Musketeers and “some surprising moments of unnecessary brutality.” Portman gives kudos to McKenna’s roles such as “a performance of dotty perfection as Madame Arcati”.

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Buffalo News - Ted Hadley

Two hits and a miss

Hadley reviews “Romeo and Juliet”, “Blithe Spirit”, and “Mary Stuart”. He enjoyed the “original practices” method in “Romeo and Juliet”, but thought Briere “is not effective”. Hardley praises the “superb” cast of “Blithe Spirit” and states director “Cimolino has assembled one of Stratford’s best casts in years” for “Mary Stuart”.

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Robyn's Reviews - RL Godfrey

Intense and strong production that...

Godfrey discovers “There is much in the text relative to current events in a post 9/11 society”, especially the conflicts faced by Elizabeth [Seana McKenna], and Mary [Lucy Peacock]. However, she concludes “this production of Mary Stuart comes across as slightly more historical than political.”

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Broadway World - Lauren Gienow

A very memorable piece of art

“The different sets designed by Eo Sharp can quickly transport the audience from a prison cell, to a palace, to a courtyard with great effect…Eerie chorales echo throughout the Tom Patterson Theatre, setting the mood and the era.”

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Mike Fischer

Thematic unity no accident

Fischer finds common themes in the various productions he saw, including “Tommy”, “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Waiting For Godot” and a preview of “Taking Shakespeare”. He notes “Cimolino has succeeded, spectacularly — allowing plays written and set centuries apart to speak to each other and to us in new ways.”

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Chicago Tribune - Chris Jones

Mary Stuart a juicy treat, Taking...

Jones states “Taking Shakespeare” “feels like one of those contrived dramas written expressly to fill a slot”. He regards “Mary Stuart”, “Waiting for Godot” and “Blithe Spirit”. He gives kudos to Stewart, French and Hutton in “Fiddler on the Roof” and Kushnier and Nolan in “Tommy”.

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The Charlebois Post-Canada - Stuart Munro

Cimolino makes production move with...

“Under the watchful eye of Antoni Cimolino, this entire production moves with grace and fluidity – the pace never seems rushed, but the momentum of it carries you from the very first moment to the heart-rending conclusion.”

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Press+1 - James Karas

Intelligent, judicious, and indeed...

Karas states director Cimolino “has inserted a several coups de théâtre such as putting the intermission in the middle of Act III just as Mary and Elizabeth meet. But that is the least of his intelligent, judicious and indeed outstanding direction.”

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Stage Door - Christopher Hoile

Most successful play of the opening week

“The play is fascinating enough for in its portrayal of the famed rival queens in the Elizabethan age. But Schiller’s examination of a political problem in which there can be no good outcome gives the play a surprising ring of modernity.”

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Stratford Beacon Herald - Donal O'Connor

Brilliant Production

“This exciting production of Mary Stuart with its neat touches of stagecraft and remarkable character portrayals comes complete with a powerful emotional pull that arises largely from Mary’s self-created doom. She is very much the tragic heroine as she finally appeals to heaven.”

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Stratford Gazette - Chet Greason

Should've been called Mary vs. Elizabeth

“McKenna’s Queen is, for the most part, made of brass; but she lacks the confidence to make and stand by tough decisions, torn between the expectations of her station and her own vain concerns over her reputation. Peacock walks that fine line between manipulation and genuine sympathy, spiked with a fierce underlying pride.”

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The Beat Magazine - Geoff Dale

Peacock and McKenna succeed admirably

“Peacock is at the top of her game, delivering to the audience a conflicted soul,a misunderstood figure and clearly seen by the author as the personification of tragedy. Yet McKenna is equally successful capturing Elizabeth’s different sides, as a strong-minded woman who is nonetheless trapped in her own metaphysical dilemma”

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