The actor, the rebel and the wrinkled queen by Queen of England Elizabeth I; Deary, Terry

By Queen of England Elizabeth I; Deary, Terry

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A cannon fired and I jumped – it was only the signal for our play to begin. The play went well … but when our King Richard was murdered, the gentlemen in the shadows laughed and nodded happily. When we danced a jig at the end of the play, I leapt higher than anyone. Miranda cheered and clapped. I was happy. Next day, the rebellion came. One day that will go down as ‘history’. At the time it was a shock and a wonder … and I was there! ” someone cried in the hallway of The Black Bull the next morning.

Ooooh! ” My fists went tight and I jumped to my feet. I kept my temper. “I do not need to change your head into a donkey’s. ” I felt pleased with that. She raised one red-brown eyebrow. “I could act better than you,” she said. “In fact, there’s a cat in the back alley that could act better than you! You try to skip around like a girl,” she laughed, dancing around the room clumpily. ” The landlord appeared in the doorway. “That’s enough, Miranda,” he said to her. “Yes, Father,” she sighed. She walked to the door, turned for one last look at me and poked out her tongue.

A monster who had hands like claws; a red frizzy wig like a lion’s mane; a wrinkled white face, caked with a mask of makeup, like a corpse in a coffin; little black, rotting teeth and breath like a sick old dog. I met her just before she died and she was the most scary thing I’d ever seen in my life. Her dress was crusted with jewels and shone red, green, blue, orange and white, like a dragon’s scaly skin. Her short, fat fingers pinched my ear and she dragged me forward so my button nose was a hand’s breadth away from her hooked beak of a nose.

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