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Stages and Pages: The Virgin Trial

The Virgin Trial

Stages and Pages is an ongoing partnership created between the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) and the Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC).  Visit Stages and Pages for details of the partnership and scroll down to link to a list of Titles to Explore for each play in the 2018-2019 season.  These titles are gathered by a team of OPL Librarians for you, the playgoer.  Borrow these titles and further explore the thought-provoking themes of the plays. 


The Virgin Trial is the first play in the GCTC’s 2018-19 season.  This sequel to Kate Hennig’s The Last Wife is a modern crime drama portraying the rumoured conspiracy involving young Elizabeth Tudor (Bess) and Thomas Seymour (Thom). 


The interrogations Bess endures are interspersed with flash backs to scenes when the treasonous allegations supposedly took place.  This play explores themes of political scandal, consent, victim shaming, and female empowerment. 


See it at the GCTC from September 11 to 30, 2018.


Check out these novels, biographies, and films to whet your appetite for the play – or to explore its themes and historic characters further!




GCTC 2018-2019: The Virgin Trialby Emily_Biblio

As part of the Ottawa Public Library's “Stages and Pages” partnership with the Great Canadian Theatre Company, we have compiled this list to accompany the production of, The Virgin Trial, which opens at the GCTC on September 11, 2018.

  • Image: A Column of Fire
    This is the third installment of Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth series. Ned Willard joins Elizabeth I’s secret service and he and his beloved, Margery Fitzgerald, find themselves on opposite sides of England’s religious divide. A French translation is also available: Une colonne de feu.
  • Image: Vinegar Girl

    Vinegar Girl

    The Taming of the Shrew Retold
    By Tyler, Anne
    Part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, this is a modern retelling of The Taming of the Shrew. When her father’s lab assistant, Pyotr, is facing deportation, outspoken Kate Battista is asked to marry him so he can stay in the country.
  • Image: Elizabeth I

    Elizabeth I

    By George, Margaret
    A historical novel exploring the later reign of Elizabeth I as she tries to protect her throne, heart, and country. One of the threats is her own cousin, Lettice Knollys, who is conspiring to restore her family’s power and influence.
  • Image: Much Ado About Nothing
    Joss Whedon's modern interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic story of sparring lovers, misunderstanding, and love conquering all. Filmed in a contemporary location and dress but with the original text.
  • Image: Elizabeth
    A ballet company and chamber orchestra explore the life and loves of Elizabeth I through dance and music. It was recorded at the Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, 18 January 2016.
  • Image: The Hidden Lives of Tudor Women

    The Hidden Lives of Tudor Women

    A Social History
    By Norton, Elizabeth
    The Tudor period is brought to life in this social history through a series of profiles of women from various levels and corners of society: queens, widows, servants, nuns, prostitutes, wet nurses, and witches.
  • Image: The Temptation of Elizabeth Tudor

    The Temptation of Elizabeth Tudor

    Elizabeth I, Thomas Seymour, and the Making of A Virgin Queen
    By Norton, Elizabeth
    Norton explores the tumultuous world of the Tudor court and the rumours of the scandal involving Thomas Seymour and the young Elizabeth Tudor.
  • Image: Elizabeth


    The Forgotten Years
    By Guy, J. A.
    A new biography of Elizabeth I that reveals the woman behind the crown as she navigates religious conflict, conspiracies, revolts, and political rivalries.
  • Image: Elizabeth I and Her Circle
    Susan Doran draws on a variety of primary sources to illustrate the political and personal relationships that influenced Elizabeth I during her reign.
  • Image: Queen Elizabeth's Secret Agents
    This documentary reveals how the world’s first secret service was formed. William and Robert Cecil had a duty to keep their queen and country safe during a time of political and religious upheaval.