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The Virgin Trial

The Virgin Trial
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Kate Hennig
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 136
Pub. Date: 2017
ISBN-10: 1770917705
ISBN-13: 9781770917705

About the Play:

Finalist for the 2017 Governor General's Award for Drama (Canadian equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize)

The Virgin Trial is a full-length drama by Kate Hennig. In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, the young princess Elizabeth navigates a labyrinth of political and sexual intrigue in the Tudor court that threatens her freedom – and even her life. After the death of both her parents, 15-year-old Elizabeth I must defend herself against cutting accusations of plotting to kill her brother, the king, and having an illicit affair with her stepfather. In this riveting sequel to the runaway hit The Last Wife, playwright Kate Hennig continues her Queenmaker Trilogy.

The Virgin Trial reimagines the story of young Elizabeth I as a modern day crime drama, full of political and sexual intrigue in the Tudor court. Fifteen-year-old Bess (the future Queen Elizabeth I) has no idea when she heads to London to see her uncle Ted that she is about to find herself at the heart of a scandal involving sexual impropriety; her stepfather, Thom; and an attempted overthrow of the government. What does all this have to do with her? How adroitly can Bess manoeuvre through a series of interviews to avoid being swept up in the peril that might ensue? And will she be able to spin the facts to create a myth based on her own innocence? Kate Hennig continues what she started on The Last Wife by cleverly exploring feminist themes of victim shaming, sexual consent, and female empowerment as she reimagines the scandalous and little-known story of Elizabeth I before she ascended to the throne.

The Virgin Trial premiered in 2017 at the Studio Theatre and was extended multiple times due to demand during the Stratford Festival. Since then the play had regional premieres at professional theatres across North America, including the US premiere in 2019 at Cygnet Theatre in San Diego.

Cast: 3 women, 4 men

What people say:

"An impressive switch from being one of Canada's most notable actors to being one of our most noteworthy playwrights." — The Globe and Mail

"A bold combination of historical research and creative moxie." — The Toronto Star

"Powerful, taut, moving and often-witty visualization of the young Princess Elizabeth." — Stratford Beacon Herald

About the Playwright:

Kate Hennig is a Canadian actor, writer and teacher. Born in England, and raised in Alberta, she is a diverse, multi-award-winning theatre artist, with over thirty years of professional experience as a performer, including seasons on Broadway, with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and with both the Shaw and Stratford Festivals.

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