Queen of the East @ St Mary’s Church (Wandsworth Fringe Festival 2023) Review

Driven by corruption, competition, jealousy and greed, the Ptolemaic Dynasty (305-30BC) would see its fair share of power play, Ptolemy XII Auletes – the ruler of Egypt from 80-58BC, accompanied by daughter Cleopatra VII who we’ve come to know exiled – only to return years later and dethrone rival and family member Berenice IV. Cleopatra the successor of her father after his death from 51BC to 30BC who would go on to become the last Ptolemaic Egyptian ruler. Inspired by her ascent to the throne, and the tumultuous life she lead in her pursuit to retain power, DoDo Dramatics present Queen of the East – a family friendly look back at one of history’s most talked about figures.

Melina Bryant’s Cleopatra smugly powers through her dramatic legacy – Rhodri Mayer and Trudi Licence a charismatic ensemble who energise the small, confined, antiquated dimensions of The Arches by St Mary’s Church with the daring of figures such as Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony and the masses of men who formed the militaries that helped to bring down empires. The trio igniting the show with a might and strength that epitomises this part of history well.

Trudi Licence crafts a short, easy to follow, interactive historical experience suitable for all ages – a fusion between the knowledge and humour of Horrible Histories and the grit and confidence of Six the Musical with its catchy musical numbers,  there’s something for everyone – whether you’re familiar with Cleopatra’s story or not. The trio are captivating, there’s never a dull moment and they utilise their humorous instincts well. The production a wacky, witty, entertaining encounter – with a sustainable ethos at heart with its characteristic zero waste set design, not to be missed!

Written by Lucy Basaba.

Queen of the East was shown on Sunday 11th and Sunday 18th June at The Arches/St Mary’s Church as part of this year’s Wandsworth Fringe Festival. It’ll also show on Sunday 2nd July at Fuse International Festival, Sat July 8th: Tunbridge Wells Fringe and Saturday 15th July at the Buxton Fringe Festival. To find out more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop