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Furiously exciting. A high-stakes political thriller that never lets up *****

- Time Out, UK

In a nutshell:
Uncovering Scottish history/ Blood, sweat and tears you can taste /Sex, lies and royal scrolls

The James Plays are unlike anything Auckland has seen before.
Monumental, rich and utterly riveting The James Plays trilogy bring to life three generations of Stewart kings who ruled Scotland in the tumultuous fifteenth century. Historical drama for a contemporary audience, the plays are more real, more epic, and equally addictive as any on-demand network drama.

Being a part of the monarchy in fifteenth century Scotland was a brutal and tumultuous business, a fight for survival amidst a murderous mix of sibling rivalries, violent  power plays, devastating betrayals and catastrophic threats to the throne. Vividly imagined on an epic scale, The James Plays  brings to life these chaotic times of the land-hungry, axe-chucking big families of Scotland.

Written just before the vote on Scottish independence, each play stands alone as a unique vision of a country tussling with its past and future, together they create a complex and compelling narrative on Scottish culture and nationhood.

When they premiered in autumn 2014, the critical and public impact was extraordinary. Witty, sexy and intense, they sold out at the Edinburgh Festival and the National Theatre in London, thrilling audiences and causing a storm of attention.

Auckland Arts Festival artistic director Carla van Zon says the plays are an incredible dramatic achievement with gripping writing, fantastic staging and live music.
“They’re like a book you can’t put down, or a TV series you can’t miss. You want to see the next episode, to watch the machinations of power, find out who marries, who survives, and which family will finally be ascendant.”

Watch The James Plays Trailer 
RNZ interview with writer Mona Munro

What the press said:

‘Better than Shakespeare...Rona Munro's thrilling trilogy could be the finest history plays ever penned. A feast of blistering emotion and theatrical might.’ ★★★★★– The Telegraph

 ‘…the empathy and ambition of her (Rona Munro) and of Laurie Sansom’s productions…are matched only by their wit, punch and accessibility….this is theatre that mixes the political to fabulous effect.’ ★★★★★– The Times

‘....while telling us a lot about Scottish history from 1421 to 1488, they are also full of topical resonance. These are unequivocally plays for today. Throughout Munro skilfully interweaves the personal and the political… Laurie Sansom's production…constantly propels the action forward…’ ★★★★ – The Guardian

 ‘A huge theatrical event. A mighty trilogy’ ★★★★ The Scotsman

Writing that courses through your veins, royal power battles and an ensemble cast full of British theatre’s rock stars make this event not to be missed!

For schools  - A major SmartsFest event.
James I: The Key Will Keep The Lock

Wednesday 9th March 12pm
Click here for more details and to book

Schools tickets are also available for the following public shows of the trilogy:
James II: The Day of The Innocents
Thursday 10th March 7.30 pm 
Click here for more details and to book

James III: The True Mirror
Friday 11th March  7.30 pm 
Click here for more details and to book

TRILOGY SWAG: You can overdose on The James Plays and follow the action through to the end.
Book all 3 plays as a package for $60 per student.

NOTE: Suitable for ages 14+.
James I and III contain nudity.

IMAGE: David Eustace

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