Shakespeare pays a visit to the Queen of England in Timothy Findley’s award-winning and Gemini-nominated play Elizabeth Rex. Produced in association with Bravo! and Rhombus Media, this visually stunning adaptation of Findley’s imaginative play stars Gemini nominee for Best Lead Actress Diane D’Aquila, Gemini nominee for Best Lead Actor Brent Carver (currently starring in the CanStage production of Vigil in Toronto), Peter Hutt, Scott Wentworth and Bernard Hopkins.
“I am honoured to have Elizabeth Rex presented during prime time on Bravo!, a television network that attracts the most refined and cultured viewers,” says Rhombus Media founding partner and Elizabeth Rex director Barbara Willis Sweete. “Elizabeth Rex is written with great passion, and carries a strong emotional punch. It is filled with quotes and references from Shakespeare’s writings, and private delights that relate to Elizabethan society. Intense and multi-layered, Elizabeth Rex offers up some deep philosophical questions, it merits being seen again and again – so thank you Bravo!.”
Originally staged at the Stratford Festival in 2000, this drama recounts the historic night in 1601 when the Earl of Essex is imprisoned in the Tower of London for treason. The Earl, not just a political traitor, is Queen Elizabeth’s former lover. Seeking distraction on the eve of his execution, the Queen summons Shakespeare’s theatre troupe to perform a play. Inspired by an actual royal scandal, Findley cleverly mixes fact with fiction. Characters joust fiercely in a battle of wits, pegging man against woman, and exploring topics such as sex, love and death.
Elizabeth Rex is nominated for six Gemini Awards in the categories of: Best TV Movie or Dramatic Mini-Series; Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series; Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series; Best Production Design or Art Direction in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series; Best Original Score for a Program or Mini-Series; and Best Achievement in Make-Up.
Born in Toronto on October 30, 1930, Timothy Findley, one of Canada’s most respected authors, was employed as a theatrical actor for many years before writing full-time. He won numerous awards, and was recognized for his screenplays, novels, short fiction, and radio and television dramas and documentaries. With the much-anticipated stage play Elizabeth Rex, winner of the 2000 Governor General’s Award, Findley made a triumphant return to the stage. Findley died in France in 2002.
Barbara Willis Sweete has produced and directed more than 30 films with Rhombus since the company’s inception in 1979. Her films have earned dozens of Gemini Awards; three Genie nominations and one Genie win for her first feature film Perfect Pie; three International Emmys for Concerto!, Pictures on the Edge and Yo-Yo Ma: Inspired by Bach; as well as three Grammy nominations for Don Giovanni Unmasked, Pictures on the Edge and The Planets. In addition to Elizabeth Rex, Barbara’s Don Giovanni Unmasked and Perfect Pie were produced in association with Bravo!.