Mary Stuart //
A death sentence lies on the table. The jury has passed its verdict on the Catholic Mary Stuart, Queen of the Scots: Guilty! That is, guilty of seeking to usurp the throne from Elizabeth I, Queen of England and violently overthrow her regime. Elizabeth must now sign the death sentence as the final instance, yet she wavers. After all, Mary fled to England seeking asylum. Persecuted in her own country by the Protestant nobility, she sought refuge with her cousin Elizabeth. Despite her dire situation, Mary shows no humility and doesn’t hesitate to assert her rightful claim to the English throne, which not only puts a strain on Elizabeth’s nerves, but causes the balance of power throughout Europe to teeter.
However, Mary not only poses a threat to Elizabeth’s reign, she also challenges her as a woman. Numerous men have fallen in love with her. They were even prepared to die for her and betray their house and family for the beautiful Scotswoman. The Queen of England must now take action. She is keenly aware that her powerful constituents are afraid. Violating any semblance of public law, she arrests Mary Stuart and takes her to trial in a dubious process.
»Mary Stuart«, which premiered for the first time in Weimar in 1800, storms the battlefield of politics, religion and eroticism. Two women, one imprisoned and the other dependent on the opinion of her people, both fight for independence. In this highly political conflict, we encounter a combination of privatism, desire, religion, the struggle for recognition and the appetite for power.
Director Markus Bothe opens the 2015/2016 season with this political thriller, a piece that Schiller inscribed with deep scepticism of the possibility of acting ethically.