actor, debate, Earl of Essex, Elizabeth, Elizabeth I of England, Elizabeth Rex, Elizabethan, fierce, gay man, gender, historical drama, lively, love, Queen Elizabeth I, Renaissance, Shakespeare, Timothy Findley, William Shakespeare
The Chicago Shakespeare Theater‘s Elizabeth Rex is strong, witty and thought-provoking. Written by Timothy Findley, Elizabeth Rex is a hypothetical look at what might have transpired the night before the Earl of Essex‘s execution. Findley plays with the fact that Elizabeth went to see a Shakespearean play the night before the Earl of Essex, who plotted to overthrow the queen, was executed. Findley’s what if’s are:
- What if the queen and Essex had an affair? According to the Windy City Times review, they didn’t.
- What if Elizabeth at age 70 had insecurities about her femininity since she had to wield power as a woman in a man’s age?
- What if she spent the night in the company of Shakespeare’s actor’s who’re cooped up in a barn near the theater due to curfew restrictions? (Couldn’t the queen waive them or get everyone to a more commodious venue?)
- What if one of the actors was a gay man dying of pox with insight into gender?
- “Elizabeth I” by Margaret George (goddessbnl.com)
- “Anonymous” Suspends Belief (thehistorylady.wordpress.com)
- Anonymous: tragedy or farce? (guardian.co.uk)
- Joely Richardson: I loved playing Queen Elizabeth I in Anonymous (mirror.co.uk)
- John Orloff: The Shakespeare Authorship Question (huffingtonpost.com)
- The Earl of Essex (elizabethan-era.org.uk/earl-of-essex.htm)
- Tribune Review of Elizabeth Rex (chicagotribune.com)
- Windy City Review of Elizabeth Rex (windycitytimes.com)