Queen Margaret, Historical Bad-Ass
Before there was Game of Thrones and Cersei, there was the War of the Roses and Queen Margaret of Anjou. In fact, many people believe the hit HBO show was based on the War of the Roses, a 30-year war (of which Margaret was a key player) fought between enemy houses — the Yorks and the Lancasters — for control of the English throne.
Margaret was queen of England for 17 nonconsecutive years. She led the Lancaster faction, and owing to her husband’s frequent bouts of mental illness, Margaret is said to have ruled the kingdom in his place. When Team Lancaster lost the war, Margaret was held prisoner for four years by the Yorks, before her cousin, the king of France, paid her ransom. She hung out with him until her death.
This is a story too good to miss — that’s what Shakespeare thought, anyway, when he made her character in Henry VI a ruthless, intelligent woman. Neither could GoT creator George R. R. Martin pass it by, it seems. And now Margaret has enchanted Real Live Theatre with her tale: This season the cooperative theater company is performing The Life and Death of Queen Margaret. The script has been described as a patchwork of Shakespeare’s text as funneled and augmented by Toby Vera Bercovici, who is also the director, and Dan Morbyrne.
The Life and Death of Queen Margaret: $15-$18. Friday, 7:30 p.m., The Drama Studio, 41 Oakland St., Springfield; Saturday, 7:30 p.m., The Shea Theater, 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls. Then the troupe takes their show over to NYC.
— Kristin Palpini