It’s a cosmopolitan place, the court of James IV of Scotland. In the earthy crucible of Jon Bausor’s set, you hear Spanish, French, Scots, Gaelic – even English.
With so much international traffic around him, the 16th-century king, played with relaxed authority by Daniel Cahill, knows he has the eyes of Europe on him. “This is a place of peace,” he spits out, making it sound like a threat.
Peaceful though it may be, with its tournaments and deer hunting, this is a court on edge. In Rona Munro’s expansive history play, the fourth in a series that began with James I, everyone is insecure. “I’ve climbed up from dirt and now I cling,” says Blythe Duff as Dame Phemy, the queen’s attendant who, beneath the politeness, is a coarse and hard-bitten survivor. [READ MORE]