Shakespeare's Globe

The Captive Queen

  • 2017/Winter/CaptiveQueen2018_1

Music from
The Captive Queen

'The music I have created for The Captive Queen is influenced heavily by the sounds of Mughal India. In particular Sufism has been an important inspiration and many of the time cycles and scales I have gone with come from this ancient devotional form.

To contrast with this, some of the other sounds are more militant. The ideas of war and industry feature heavily in the play and the score reflects this with militant percussion, mechanical like repetition and rhythmic syncopation.'

Niraj Chag, Composer

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Friday 2 February – Sunday 4 March 2018

Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Tickets Running time
TicketsFixed Position Standing: £10 | Seated: £20 – £48 | Premium Tickets: £62 Running timeApprox. 2 hours 25 minutes including an interval

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John Dryden

Barrie Rutter

Jessica Worrall

Niraj Chag


Silas Carson

Karan Gill

Angela Griffin

Naeem Hayat 

Safiyya Ingar

Neerja Naik

Dharmesh Patel

Sarah Quist

Selva Rasalingam

Sarah Ridgeway

Barrie Rutter
The Emperor 


A Shakespeare’s Globe and Northern Broadsides co-production

Northern Broadsides

Please note: this production has now closed.

‘....she shall know this hour,
What is a husband’s and a monarch  s powr    


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.

The Observer - 4 Stars
‘Neerja Naik makes an exquisite Captive Queen. Naeem Hayat’s Aureng-zebe convinces as her most suitable suitor. And, as the Empress, Angela Griffin is show-stealingly good with a sauntering sensuality and colossal chignon.’

In Rehearsal

Introducing Nourmahal