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)