Disguised Queen Elizabeth Sneaks Into Play About Her Life, Calls It "Riveting"

News   Disguised Queen Elizabeth Sneaks Into Play About Her Life, Calls It "Riveting"
Today in 1596, Queen Elizabeth I attended a performance of It's Only A Plague at Theatre Royal Nathan Lane. Featuring a cast of Renaissance celebrities (including legends Thomas No More and Catherine Duh Medici), It's Only A Plague was a comedic, fictional peek backstage at the Queen's 1559 coronation.

Written by Toe Knee® winner Nicolaus Copernicustard, It's Only A Plague told the story of young "Lizzy Beth" (played by the famously enigmatic actress Mona Not Lisa), the newly crowned Queen of England. Joined by her nanny, her personal sketch-artist, her private snake charmer, and her "good luck tall person," Lizzy Beth anxiously waits in the green room of Westminster Abbey for the arrival of her coronation's reviews.


Despite its popularity, the production was nearly shut down by the official censor for "slandering the fine and fabulous name of Her Majesty." When the real Queen Elizabeth caught wind of the play, however, she insisted on seeing it for herself. Disguised as a pauper, she stole a RADA drama student's ID and purchased rush tickets two hours before curtain, taking her partial-view discount seat in the rear mezzanine.

After seeing the show, the disguised and delighted queen raced onstage and kissed every member of the shocked cast. She went on the praise Mona Not Lisa's performance, cheering, "this rivetingly riveting actress truly rivets!" Elizabeth ultimately transferred the production to Buckingham Palace, where the actors performed the show for her majesty's pleasure 12 hours a day for the next 13 years, until a pregnant Mona Not Lisa gave birth during a performance. Elizabeth refused to replace Not Lisa with another star, dismissing stunt casting as "something they do in Spain – not Britain."

Read: Why London Authorities Shut Down the Immersive Hit Rats, The Musical

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