‘Sarah Lund’ star set for Edinburgh festival debut

Sofie  Gr�b�l as Sarah Lund in The Killing. Picture: contributed
Sofie Gr�b�l as Sarah Lund in The Killing. Picture: contributed
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SOFIE Gråbøl, star of Danish crime drama The Killing is to team up with Blythe Duff – Taggart’s DI Jackie Reid – in a new trilogy of plays about the lives of James I, II, and III of Scotland

Entitled James I: The Key Will Keep The Lock, James II: Day of the Innocents, and James III: The True Mirror, the pieces will receive their world premieres at the Festival Theatre in Nicolson Street as part of this year’s Edinburgh Festival, before transferring to London’s Olivier Theatre for a three-month run.

In her first English speaking stage role, Gråbøl, who gained international fame as Detective Inspector Sarah Lund in The Killing, will play Queen Margaret of Denmark, the wife of James III in the last of the cycle. Duff, meanwhile, will headline as Isabella of Lennox in the first two plays.

Gråbøl told the Evening News: “When I first read James III: The True Mirror I was stunned because it’s the kind of play that you want to see, you want to be in the audience of, and you want to be in it. I have never done theatre in English and it will be a great challenge for me, but luckily for me Queen Margaret is Danish. She is such an interesting character.

“Also, the issues around this character are so modern, you wouldn’t imagine that the story takes place so many years ago. As well as being about Scotland and national identity and all of that, the play is also about relationships, about men and women and about love.”

Written by award-winning playwright Rona Munro, the trilogy has been jointly commissioned by the National Theatre of Scotland, Edinburgh International Festival and the National Theatre of Great Britain.

Munro, whose varied career includes plays, screenplays and Radio 4’s Stanley Baxter Playhouse, as well as Survival, the last story of the original Doctor Who run, said: “I wrote these plays because I adore medieval history. We do not have many accessible, popular culture versions of our medieval history in Scotland and most people have very little knowledge of these events.”

The plays will be directed by Laurie Sansom, Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Scotland, who said: “When I first read Rona Munro’s trilogy of plays about James I, II and III of Scotland, I realised that they were something extraordinary to offer to audiences during a year when Scotland’s history and future are under the spotlight.”

Tickets for all three plays will go on sale on 29 March.