‘....she shall know this hour,
What is a husband’s and a monarch’ s pow’r’
An ageing Emperor and his Governor rage at the loss of their youth and beauty. Two fratricidal sons are spurred from victory in war to the warfare of love. And all four are besotted with the same Captive Queen.
This timely story of passion, politics and patriarchy is a reimagining of John Dryden’s Restoration drama, Aureng-zebe (1675). The Captive Queen is set in the late 20th century during the last days of the great woollen mills of the north of England, but retains a flavour of Dryden’s original Mughal Indian setting. The original score by Niraj Chag re-creates the rhythms of war, of workmanship, and of India, providing the backdrop for the regular beat of Dryden’s rhyming couplets, which echo the relentless whirring of the machines.
Barrie Rutter, Artistic Director of Northern Broadsides, assembles a cast of actors in this wry exploration of the folly of old age, the allure of power, and the bewildering effects of lust and desire.