Forget everything you may know about Bloody Mary; the cocktail, the game, the queen who burned Protestants at the stake. Olivia Miller’s Bloody Mary: Live! is a NSFW re-telling of Mary Tudor’s life.
Miller charms us and plays with our emotions and expectations
Reclaiming the narrative on Mary Tudor, Miller takes on one of England’s most prominent villains, rewriting Queen Mary's story and turning her into a semi-sympathetic character. This one woman show takes us through the life of a teenage Mary Tudor to her coronation, and the unfairness, misogyny and trauma she suffered at the hands of her father, Henry VIII. Despite an initial lukewarm resposns, Miller interacts and goads us to the point where we eventually become primed to interact comfortably with her on an incredibly personal level. Miller mixes modernity with the historical, creating an absorbing show, as we are constantly alert to the changes in pace and style of the story-telling that takes place. There is a stream of consciousness approach to this show, and whilst not the most historically accurate retelling of Mary Tudor's life, Miller charms us and plays with our emotions and expectations.
This is an incredibly intense show, not only because there is a reliance on audience participation, but it is also relatively emotional to watch at times. Because Miller digs down deep and gives a vividly authentic performance, to the point where it is clear that she has gotten as close to Mary Tudor’s very essence as she possibly can. There are multiple layers to her performance that are stripped back as the show progresses, fully appreciating the complexity of a well-known historical figure that has been hemmed in by the nickname given to her by historians. Becoming more sinister as the show progresses, Miller really leads us to question what we know about the fine line between heroes and villains.
Never judge a book by its cover, and that might as well be applied to Bloody Mary: Live!, because Miller has created something completely unexpected. Challenging male narratives about one of history’s bloodiest figures, in this show, Miller gives Mary Tudor a second life and second chance.