Mary’s Hand is a new project about the life and reign of Queen Mary I.

It’s a little-known fact that Mary loved to gamble at dice and cards. Over a game – in which the audience gets to choose the next card to be turned – Mary reflects upon the influences and events in her life: her father Henry VIII, her mother Katherine of Aragon, her Catholic faith, as well as the perceived causes of her troubles; her half-brother Edward VI, half-sister Elizabeth I, the ever-stronger Protestant faith, and her desperate desire for a child.

Above all, Mary was driven by the wish to be a good and just monarch and her deep conviction that she needed to restore England to to the Church of Rome. Her marriage to the Catholic Philip of Spain promised to resolve many of these issues at a stroke, but Mary had played her cards badly and paid a high public and personal price.

With new words by Di Sherlock (The Ubiquitous Woman) and Martin Bussey, (Through a Glass Darkly, The Windhover), Mary’s Hand will be scored for mezzo and chamber ensemble and performed for the first time in 2018.