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So Pitifully Slain

By Audrey Evans


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In 1560, Lord Robert Dudley was Queen Elizabeth's favourite and reputed lover. He had, however, a wife, Amy. On 12th September 1560, Amy was found dead at the foot of some stairs, in Cumnar Hall, Oxfordshire. Her death became the scandal of Europe. This drama traces the events of the fatal evening. Amy, pathetic and half-crazed with loneliness, is persuaded by her "friend'', Mary Owen, to consult fortune tellers. Two women are summoned, who claim to predict the future. It is a cruel plot, however, to bring about Amy's death, and the three women watch as Amy collapses, drugged. Things go horribly wrong for the conspirators, and a note of supernatural terror is introduced as young Margaret, one of the so-called fortune tellers, sees what the future actually holds. The women flee, leaving Amy's faithful servant calling and searching for her in vain. There are strong acting roles for six women. The play won the Scott Salver in the 1981 S.C.D.A. One-Act festival.