Saved events

Digital Programme: Mary Said What She Said

A performer dressed as Mary Stuart in an old-fashioned gown. They look to their left-hand side towards a white shoe.

Find out more about the production and the creative team behind it in our digital programme.


We are thrilled to share this remarkable reunion with you, as we welcome back to our main stage the iconic French actress Isabelle Huppert and visionary American director Robert Wilson.

Individually, they have each been a significant part of the Barbican Theatre’s history, including Wilson’s five-hour seminal opera Einstein on the Beach (2012) and Huppert embodying multiple incarnations of the complex mythological figure in Phaedra(s) (2016). They are joined once again by the commanding playwright Darryl Pinckney, who also wrote the text for Huppert and Wilson’s first great collaboration 30 years ago, Orlando.

In Mary Said What She Said, the evocative text, Ludovico Einaudi’s atmospheric classical score, and Wilson’s trademark theatrical spell cast over every element of the environment onstage, all accompany Huppert’s breathtaking solo performance. Together they explore triumphs, sacrifices and betrayals and the treacherous relationship with power, throughout the life of Mary Queen of Scots and her closest companions (four ladies in waiting, all called Mary).

Celebrating such masterful and daring international artists on our epic stage, and partnering again with Théâtre de la Ville-Paris to do so, is exactly what we hope makes our programme so special for our audiences.

Thank you for joining us for this production.

Toni Racklin, Barbican Head of Theatre & Dance

Following Rhinoceros by Ionesco in 2013 and Six Characters in Search of an Author by Pirandello in 2015, the Théâtre de la Ville-Paris is delighted to return to the Barbican, a magnificent European arts centre with which there has been continued dialogue and a bond of friendship throughout the years.

Returning here with Mary Said What She Said, in a year which marks the historic reopening of our theatre on the Place du Châtelet after seven years of work is, in our eyes, doubly symbolic and thrilling. Firstly because this show is one of four productions that the Théâtre de la Ville has imagined over the years with Robert Wilson, an artist as incredible as he is unique, and an essential collaborator in the history of our organisation. And secondly, because this production is performed by Isabelle Huppert, an acclaimed actress of our time on stage and screen, and also one of our faithful friends, who played the title role in Romeo Castellucci’s Bérénice, which we co-produced and presented this season with incredible impact.

Thus, the links which unite our two houses of art and culture, those which unite London and Paris, endure and develop through artists and their visions, in friendly exchanges and collaborations, for the enjoyment of audiences here and beyond. 

On behalf of the entire Théâtre de la Ville-Paris team, I hope you all enjoy the production.

With friendship,

Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota, Director of Théâtre de la Ville

Après Rhinoceros de Ionesco en 2013 et Six personnages en quête d’auteur de Pirandello en 2015, le Théâtre de la Ville-Paris est heureux de revenir au Barbican, magnifique maison de théâtre européen et international avec lequel le dialogue et les liens d’amitié ont toujours perduré au long de ces années.

Revenir avec Mary Said What She Said, en cette année qui est celle de la réouverture historique de notre théâtre place du Châtelet, après 7 ans de travaux, est à nos yeux doublement emblématique et réjouissant. D’abord parce que ce spectacle fait partie des 4 productions que le Théâtre de la Ville a imaginé au fil des ans avec Robert Wilson, artiste aussi inouï qu’unique et compagnon de route incontournable de notre histoire. Ensuite parce qu’Isabelle Huppert, immense actrice de notre temps, à la scène comme à l’écran, est également de nos amies fidèles, à l’image du Bérénice de Romeo Castellucci qu’elle interprète et que nous avons coproduit et présenté cette saison avec un retentissement incroyable.

Ainsi, les liens qui unissent nos deux maisons d’art et de culture, ceux qui unissent Londres et Paris, perdurent et se développent, par le biais des artistes et de leurs visions, dans des échanges fraternels et partagés, pour le plus grand plaisir des spectateurs, ici comme ailleurs.

Au nom de toute l’équipe du Théâtre de la Ville-Paris, je vous souhaite un bon voyage à toutes et à tous. Avec amitié.

Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota, Directeur du Théâtre de la Ville-Paris

Mary Said What She Said

The life of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland

Mary Said What She Said

The Company

The Watermill Center

The Watermill Center

The Byrd Hoffman Watermill Foundation wishes to thank:

From the Barbican

With thanks