Earlier this year, I was commissioned by Historic Royal Palaces - in production with Rusty Quill - to write a short play for them as part of their new series Outliers: stories from the edges of history. The result, The King's Sister, has now been released on iTunes! It concerns the divorced queen Anne of Cleves and her visit to Hampton Court Palace in January 1541 to dine with her ex-husband Henry VIII and her successor Katherine Howard.
My play takes the received wisdom as its starting point and attempts to unravel it, by examining the difficult circumstances under which Anne arrived in England and her actions both during and following the divorce from Henry. It hopefully reveals a shrewd woman with great strength of character, who negotiated a comfortable existence away from a notoriously ill-tempered monarch and retained a great deal of popularity throughout the country. Through my research, I've come to regard Anne as quietly extraordinary, and deserving of far greater interest than she's usually afforded.
The King's Sister was recorded at Hampton Court Palace itself with the superb Debbie Chazen (The Smoking Room, Mine All Mine, Doctor Who) as our wry narrator. You can listen to this and the other plays in this series on iTunes or online at Rusty Quill's website.