The Edinburgh International Festival officially began last Friday August 8, however it wasn’t until Sunday that Sofie Gråbøl was able to make her English language theatre debut as the wife of James III; Margaret of Denmark. She portrays the monarch in James III: The True Mirror the third in a trilogy of plays about the James Kings of Scotland. The first reviews have started to be published and they all agree on one thing, Sofie Gråbøl is astonishing!
Michael Billington of The Guardian was particularly taken with Gråbøl’s performance. “Not that one ever doubted it but Sofie Gråbøl, who appears in the third play, is every bit as compelling a stage actor as her TV appearance in The Killing suggested. And she gets the biggest laugh of the evening when, looking directly at the audience, she adds “You know the problem with you lot? You’ve got f***-all except attitude.” Even Alistair Darling wouldn’t dare go that far.”
Charlotte Runcie of The Telegraph proclaimed, “The Killing’s Sofie Gråbøl is magnificent as his self-possessed Danish queen, Margaret, holding the still-fragile Scotland together despite her husband’s recklessness.”
Veronica Lee of the Arts Desk was impressed with Gråbøl’s on-stage chemistry with Jamie Sives (the actor portraying James III). “They have a sparky, passionate relationship and the onstage chemistry between Gråbøl and Sives has real fizz.”
Anna Burnside of The Independent even got political in her review. “As Scotland’s Yes campaign looks to Scandinavia for political and cultural inspiration, Sophie Grabol, Danish star of The Killing is in Edinburgh, holding the stage like a 15th century Angela Merkel, illuminating the issues via six centuries of history.”
The James Plays continue in Edinburgh until August 22 and will be in London at the Olivier Theatre from September 10.