One woman’s love story during a time that changed Scotland forever Five-star winning theatre for Melrose

A celebrated Borders based writer will see her newest play performed in Melrose on the final nights of a Scotland wide tour.

Rona Munro, who now lives in Selkirk, has written extensively for stage, radio, film, and television including the recent adaptations of My Name Is Lucy Barton for the Bridge Theatre London and Manhattan Theatre Company on Broadway, New York.

She is widely known for her renowned ‘James Plays’, with the latest James V: Katherine being based on real historical figures early in the reign of King James V. The performance at Melrose Corn exchange in May will be an up-close-and intimate theatre experience, with the play having toured Scotland following the world premiere at Capital Theatres’ The Studio in Edinburgh.

The production has already gained four and five star reviews with The Scotsman calling it a “beautifully-shaped production” delivered with “pace, clarity and energy.” The Financial Times said “Munro’s James Plays are one of the defining achievements of the last decade in Scottish theatre. This is the best yet.”

Employing the same vivid historical storytelling of the previous instalments, set during the reigns of Scotland’s generations of Stewart kings. James V: Katherine places a lesser-known female historical figure front and centre in the story, with focussed, raw and beautiful storytelling, directed by Orla O’Loughlin (Enough of Him, What Girls Are Made Of, Mouthpiece).

Katherine Hamilton is nineteen. She‘s a respectable young married woman, but she also has a secret love she’s trying to forget. When her brother, Patrick, is executed for preaching ideas forbidden by the church, Katherine is also put on trial for her life. In a packed courtroom, watched by most of Edinburgh and the cynical, young King James V, Katherine fights for survival, using her intelligence and wit.

This play is based on real historical figures and is a dramatic interpretation of key events at the very start of the Scottish Reformation, events that did happen and did change Scotland forever. It is also a love story.

The role of Katherine will be played by Catriona Faint, whose recent stage credits have included the UK-wide tour of Dracula: Mina’s Reckoning and the award-winning Enough of Him, both with the National Theatre of Scotland. The production’s ensemble cast will also include Sean Conor (River City, Moorcroft), Benjamin Osugo (A Christmas Carol, The Bookies – Dundee Rep), and Alyth Ross who will make her professional stage debut in the production.

Melrose Corn Exchange / Friday 31 May and Saturday 1 June / 19.00 / Tickets £8