Photos by Pieter Lawman

By Beth Flintoff

Commissioned by Reading Between the Lines Theatre Company

St James' Church, Reading, 2nd - 18th November 2017.

'I am not a woman. I am a lion, roaring with the injustice that has been done to me and my kin.'

Readers' Favourite Theatre of 2017 - The Guardian 'Everything about the show was exceptional' 

***** 'This is a story that needs to be told.' Get Reading

****  'A dynamic, engaging and ambitious epic' The Stage

***** 'An impressive and commanding play.' Explore Reading

As King Henry I approaches the end of his life, he appoints his daughter Matilda as his successor to the throne. Fierce, determined, and clever, Matilda knows she is fit to be England's first female ruler, but in the ruthless world of medieval politics, the nobles would prefer a man. When her cousin Stephen grabs the crown, Matilda is forced to choose: accept the injustice, or start a war. Her actions will have a life-changing impact on the inhabitants of Reading, who have been quietly prospering in the shadow of their new Abbey, only to find themselves at the frontier of a battle between two hardened enemies.

The sequel to RBL's2016 award-winning King Henry I of England, Matilda the Empress weaves an epic story of politics, love and intrigue, amidst a backdrop of terror, anarchy and a desperate bid for survival by the ordinary people of Reading.

The Guardian on Henry I: 'The next staging post in the mission to give the town a cultural identity.'

Directed by Hal Chambers

Supported by Arts Council England