Boudicca returns to St Albans
- Credit: Archant
Warrior Queen Boudicca returns to her roots when a performance of Imogen de la Bere’s much-acclaimed play is re-enacted at the Roman Theatre in St Albans.
The Maltings Arts Theatre’s resident company, OVO, is getting ready to re-stage last year’s hit production, Boudicca at Verulamium, in the open air from next Friday, September 12, to Sunday, September 14.
Local actress, Anna Franklin, will return as the warrior queen, a role that was created for her by Imogen, who also directs the play.
Anna has been performing in and around St Albans for over 15 years, mostly with OVO and the Abbey Theatre’s Company of Ten. She recently played Titania in Marmalade Theatre’s inaugural production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Hogg End.
When asked what historical figure she would like to play, back in 2012, Anna had no hesitation in naming Boudicca. She explained, “The story of this incredible woman, who refused to be suppressed and fought like a tiger for her freedom, never giving up, has always captured my imagination.”
After wowing audiences last September, the highly-regarded local actress was thrilled at the opportunity to reprise the role.
She explained: “Working with Imogen’s script again is an absolute joy; it’s a beautiful play overflowing with wonderful poetic language. We witness the oratorical, vengeful Boudicca leading her army but we also gain an insight into the struggle inside her head as she wrestles with the dilemma of either continuing on the path to inevitable disaster or removing her people’s symbol of freedom and everything she stands for.
- 1 Armed police seize machete from Sandpit Lane in St Albans
- 2 Rapist jailed for 15 years after kidnapping teen in Hemel Hempstead
- 3 Hertfordshire teen bullying victim given royal honour
- 4 Police probe into death of man in 20s at 'Kinky Towers' in Hertfordshire
- 5 Every household in the UK to get £400 to help with rising energy bills
- 6 Explained: What the cost of living support package means for you
- 7 Clarence Park deckchairs banned following council concerns
- 8 Peregrine falcon chick hatches at St Albans Cathedral in a city first
- 9 5 things you might not have known about Herts county council's new chairman
- 10 Council confirms first monkeypox case in Hertfordshire
“It’s a dream role and a real honour to be able to perform Imogen’s work.”
Staging the production outside presents a new challenge for the cast. The large open air amphitheatre is a very different space compared to the intimate in-the-round studio at the Maltings.
But Anna is unphased. “It’s a great privilege to tell the story in the actual place it happened – you can touch those stones in the Roman Theatre and feel the history, the real events that took place there, which adds a whole new dimension and depth to the play.
“There is still a layer of ash under St Albans from where Boudicca sacked it in 60AD, so this is a real piece of living history.”
Boudicca at Verulamium will be performed at the Roman Theatre of Verulamium in Bluehouse Hill at 7.30pm on all three nights. Tickets are £10 from www.ticketsource.co.uk/ovo