The James Plays

A co-production with the National Theatre of Scotland and Edinburgh International Festival

‘Rona Munro's thrilling trilogy could be the finest history plays ever penned’ Daily Telegraph 

‘A towering achievement. A modern classic’ Evening Standard

‘The most-elating things you'll see all year. Thrillingly’ Independent

‘Astonishing. A feast of theatrical might and blistering emotion’ Daily Telegraph

‘A huge theatrical event. A mighty trilogy’ The Scotsman

‘Unequivocally plays for today. Munro skilfully interweaves the personal and the political
' Guardian

Winner of The Herald Angel Award, August 2014

Exhilarating and vividly imagined, Rona Munro’s The James Plays – James I, James II and James III –  bring to life three generations of Stewart kings who ruled Scotland in the tumultuous fifteenth century. Full of playful wit and boisterous theatricality, they offer a compelling narrative on culture and nationhood. Each play stands alone as a unique vision of a country tussling with its past and future.

Played until 29 October 2014 in the Olivier Theatre.

View frequently asked questions about The James Plays

James I

James I: The Key Will Keep the Lock
Through bold and irreverent storytelling, James I explores the complex character of the colourful Stewart king – poet, lover and law-maker. The ensemble includes James McArdle (The Heart of Robin Hood, Chariots of Fire) more and book

James II

James II: Day of the Innocents
A violent royal playground is depicted in James II: a terrifying arena of sharp teeth and long knives. The ensemble includes Andrew Rothney (Macbeth, The Cherry Orchard, Blackbird ), Stephanie Hyam (That Face, Romeo and Juliet) more and book

James III

James III: The True Mirror
Like the king himself, James III is colourful and unpredictable, turning its attention to the women at the heart of the royal court. The ensemble includes Jamie Sives (Game of Thrones, Edward II, Hedda Gabler), Sofie Gråbøl (The Killing, Fortitude) more and book


National Theatre of Scotland is core funded by the Scottish Government