In 1601, Queen Elizabeth I sentenced Robert Devereaux, the Earl of Essex, to death for plotting against her. Richmond Shakespeare presents Timothy Findley's version of this event in his play Elizabeth Rex, running from April 11 to May 2 at the Gottwald Playhouse.
Due to a security curfew, the company of William Shakespeare is sequestered in a barn following a court performance of Much Ado About Nothing. The rambunctious actors and Her Royal Highness await the cannon fire announcing Devereaux's execution. Eventually, Shakespeare tries to persuade Elizabeth, played by Cynde Liffick (above), to spare the earl, for whom she has affection.
The lush Elizabethan costumes will be a sight to savor; the company raised funds specifically for the queen's dress.
Tickets for this production, mounted in conjunction with "Minds Wide Open: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts," are $15. For more information, call 232-4000 or visit richmondshakespeare.com.