MATRIARCHS: A Play in Two Acts By ANNE CHAMBERS
The meeting of Grace O’Malley and Queen Elizabeth 1 of England is part of legend. Writing Grace O’Malley’s biography, the evidence I unearthed surrounding the meeting of these two ’birds of a feather’ was even more riveting. The fact that they met as older women, experienced in the ways of the world, I feel, gave them the right, within this dramatic setting, to evaluate and reflect on their lives, their relationships, including their relationship with one another.
MATRIARCHS addresses woman’s relationship with fathers, husbands and sons: the boundaries placed on women by custom, society, law, marriage and motherhood; gender inequality, sex, love, loss, loneliness and death; the juggling of a career with family; competing in a perceived male world. These modern-day issues confronted Grace O’Malley and Queen Elizabeth four hundred years ago as they do their sisters today.
As Grace and Elizabeth emerge from the mists of time to speak, the resounding resonance of what they have to say may explain why these extraordinary women remain as relevant today as they did all those centuries ago.