Marie

With the aid of a tea towel, a glass, and a stool, Sarah MacGillivray skilfully portrays a wide variety of characters in a modern re-telling of the story of Mary, Queen of Scots – sort of. Although this is initially a fairly straightforward reinvention of Mary’s story, with Elizabeth I as a pub landlady Liz, and Mary as a naive aspiring actress, Marie, who is new to London, it soon takes a darker turn. We first meet Liz, who has been trying to revitalise the pub she and her husband Barry have been running for thirty years with various themed evenings, from darts to their most popular offering, historical figure tribute nights. This is not only a clever way of incorporating the historical story the play echoes, but also proves a very entertaining premise, with a flirtatious John Lennon at one moment and Ghandi unable to perform due to a hip replacement the next.

An incredible one-woman performance.

Into this world steps Marie, newly arrived in London, who is mugged and ends up at the pub through sheer luck. After Liz jokingly suggests she work there and Marie takes her up on the offer, Marie also becomes involved in the pub’s history nights, all the while trying to pursue her acting destiny. She chooses to portray Mary, Queen of Scots, and as she becomes more invested in her character, and the history of her life and times, the events of the play take a darker turn. That isn’t to say the piece is without comedy, on the contrary, I found myself laughing throughout, even as things took a turn for the worse. This is not simply due to the clever nature of the script, or its comedy, but it is also due to MacGillivray’s delivery. This is an incredible one-woman performance, as MacGillivray portrays not only Liz and Marie, but the gruff Barry, unruly pub customers and a variety of other roles with ease, seamlessly switching between them with a change of accent or pose. Through her engaging portrayals we are able to see both sides of the story, Liz’s stresses and Marie’s frustrations, feeling sympathy for them both while also laughing at the situations they find themselves in, making the final twist all the more shocking.

This is a very clever reworking of a familiar story, though you don’t need to know your history to appreciate MacGillivray’s talent. A brilliant one-woman show in an intimate setting that I would highly recommend.

Reviews by Catriona Scott

Laughing Horse @ Espionage

Shakespeare Catalysts

★★★
Greenside @ Nicolson Square

1984

★★★★★
Paradise in The Vault

Holy Sh*t

★★★★
Assembly Rooms

Marie

★★★★★
Palmerston Place Church

Legacy: The Story of Martin Luther

★★★★★
theSpace on the Mile

Grace

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

It's Thursday night in the Prince Arthur and their latest theme night is in full swing. Landlady Liz is run off her feet, whilst husband Barry struggles to get into his new costume. Elsewhere in London, a young woman from Edinburgh steps off a train, determined to make her dreams a reality. Marie is a darkly comic new play inspired by the life of Mary Queen of Scots, but given a distinctly modern twist. Winner: Scottish Arts Club Bright Spark Award 2017. 'A deliciously twisted story of obsession' **** (List).

Most Popular See More

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Anything Goes

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets