Intrigue, betrayal, unrequited love – enter the world of Elizabeth I as she struggles to lead a turbulent kingdom riven by the ambitions of power-hungry nobles and under constant threat of foreign invasion.

Carole Levine’s play provides a glimpse into the Virgin Queen’s innermost thoughts and fears as the text skilfully interweaves Elizabeth’s own letters with the words of Shakespeare. Robert Dudley, the Spanish Ambassador, Mary I, and of course, Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots, figure prominently as significant influences in Elizabeth’s life. 

Ascending the English throne at one of the most vibrant and stormy periods in the country’s history, Elizabeth was a remarkable woman.  A canny stateswoman and inspirational leader, she was tasked with holding together a small Protestant nation surrounded by hostile, mostly Catholic, powers and doing so as a single woman in an overwhelmingly male and misogynistic culture.

Elizabeth I in Her Own Words is a unique portrait of the last of the Tudor dynasty – one of history’s most compelling and enigmatic figures, created by a writer deeply immersed in the period. 

Levine is the Willa Cather Professor of History and Director of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program at the University of Nebraska. Furthermore, she’s the author or editor of 16 books including The Heart and Stomach of a King: Elizabeth I and the Politics of Sex and PowerThe Reign of Elizabeth I, and the edited collection, Scholars and Poets Talk About Queens

Her play draws back the veil on a monarch who was revered by many as Gloriana, but whose personal life and political realities were always complex and often dark.

Direction is by Lynn Nichols who has who has worked extensively with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival.

Elizabeth is played by Tammy Meneghini, an accomplished actress with a deep love of Shakespeare.

The show is produced by award-winning director, and stalwart of the Edinburgh Fringe, Penny Cole whose company, Flying Solo! Presents specialises in fostering new work by American artists on the international stage.  

They provide an ideal team to bring the story of the woman who faced down the Spanish Armada, overcame rebellions, struggled to reconcile religious divisions and endured deep personal heartache to the Edinburgh stage.


Notes for editors

  • Interviews available – just get in touch.

Listings Details

  • Venue: theSpace@Surgeons’ Hall – The Haldane Theatre (Venue 53)
  • Time: 13:55
  • Dates: (Previews 2 & 3 Aug) 5-17 Aug (except 11)
  • Duration: 55 minutes 
  • Ticket prices: Previews £8 and £6 concessions. Shows £10 and £8 concessions   
  • Tickets:

Cast and creatives

  • Company: Flying Solo! Presents
  • Performer: Tammy Meneghini
  • Director: Lynn Nichols
  • Playwright: Carole Levin
  • Producer: Penny Cole

About the creative team

Tammy Meneghini’s recent acting credits include Heroes of the Fourth Turning and Admissions (with Curious Theatre Company, Denver), To Kill a Mockingbird, Hamlet, Measure for Measure, and The Fantasticks (with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival) as well as Gidion’s Knot, Master Class, Reason, The Visit, Company, and Fiddler on the Roof.  Her award-winning solo performance piece The Great Goddess Bazaar, has toured extensively around the country and world, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Solo show, Elizabeth I: In Her Own Words, will be seen in Denver, New York City and Edinburgh in the summer of 2024.  

Carole Levin, the Willa Cather Professor of History and Director of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program at the University of Nebraska, is the author or editor of 16 books, including The Heart and Stomach of a King: Elizabeth I and the Politics of Sex and Power, The Reign of Elizabeth IDreaming the English Renaissance, and, most recently, the edited collection, Scholars and Poets Talk About Queens. She was senior historical consultant on the Newberry Library exhibit, Elizabeth I: Ruler and Legend, and in 2015 was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of York in England.

Lynn Nichols is a Colorado based director who has worked extensively with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival serving as general manager, casting director and director.  He also was on faculty at University of Colorado, Boulder teaching Acting Shakespeare, coaching voice and speech, and directing.  Productions include, Othello, The Winter’s Tale, Tartuffe, As You Like It, Cloud 9, Mother Courage and Her Children, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Twelfth Night. 

Penny Cole is a lifelong theatre maker, educator, and award-winning director, with 20 years of experience in the development of new work. In 2018, she founded Flying Solo! Presents with the expressed purpose of fostering new work by American artists on the international stage. Since the premiere season in Edinburgh in 2019, Flying Solo! Presents has supported more than 45 artists in 27 productions in Edinburgh, Denver, and New York City. Productions, live and online, include four concerts by American based musicians, a dance production, multiple solo shows, new musicals, and audio plays in collaboration with This is Not a Theatre Company. At the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2022 and 2023, Flying Solo! Presents produced a showcase of new American work and emerging American artists featuring 25+ artists. Follies, A Showcase of Bits and Bobs.

For media information contact Matthew Shelley at SFPR on 07786 704299 or at [email protected].