Life of Elizabeth I examined in RADS’ latest production

Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society’s latest show Swive [Elizabeth] looks at the history of Elizabeth I that audiences probably know from angles they might not.

Swive, which an archaic word for sex, [Elizabeth] follows the life of Elizabeth I from a 15-year-old princess through to the adult queen.

It focuses on those around her who had an impact on her life, from Thomas Seymour to Queen Mary Tudor, William Cecil to Robert Dudley.

“When we think of Queen Elizabeth, we think of major key events in her life,” said Gregan Davis, director of the play.

“We think of the Spanish Armada, the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, and probably most famously we remember her as the Virgin Queen.

“But what we don’t remember is her turbulent life whilst she was a princess, the influence this had on her as she grew into the strong-willed queen history has remembered her to be, and the personal sacrifices she made, putting her country first above all else.”

The Stage called the original London production in 2019 ‘a potent study of women, power and patriarchy’ and Swive [Elizabeth] aims to cover all of that in less than two hours.

Rather than focusing on the events of her life, the play focuses on who Elizabeth was as a person underneath the strong exterior, ruling the country against the odds, and everything she gave up personally to become the ruler she needed to be for her people.

“The play has certainly had its challenges,” said Gregan.

“With nearly 20 scenes and covering 39 years of her life in less than two hours, we’ve had to find a way to move smoothly through time and that is in no doubt thanks to our wonderful cast.

“The role of Elizabeth is played by 2 actresses who have worked incredibly hard to create a seamless performance of the role.

“We are also incredibly lucky to have Trouvere Medieval Minstrels joining us throughout the show to provide us with Tudor music throughout the performances”

Swive [Elizabeth] performs at the Georgian Theatre Royal from the March 23 to 25.

Tickets are available from the Box Office on 01748 825252 or online at

Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society performs 3 plays a year, and is open to new members for both on stage and backstage roles. Monthly club nights open to members and non-members are held at 6-8 Castle Hill, Richmond on the second Monday of the month.

For further info about joining RADS please contact Gregan on