I, Elizabeth

Good Queen Bess - up close and personal

Following a well-received Fringe debut last year with Austen's Women, Rebecca Vaughan returns to perform this self-penned show about England's greatest historical icon, delving beneath the virgin queen's powdered, collared surface to expose a turbulent interior life.

Being a compassionate woman in a man's world, surrounded by plotters and traitors, is no walk in the park. Vaughan's Elizabeth rails convincingly against war, religious division and belligerent foreign monarchs as she declares her devotion to England and the security of its people. Special ire is reserved, predictably, for Mary Queen of Scots - forced to flee to England yet continuing to lay claim to Elizabeth's throne.

Under the directorial eye of Fringe veteran Guy Masterson, Vaughan delivers a spirited and suitably agitated solo performance against a simple, spare set. The script - adapted from letters, speeches and other private documents - is zippy, if a little repetitive.

Effective light entertainment, but with a well-worn feel and lacking in twists or revelations.

Assembly @ George Street, 0131 623 3030, until 30 Aug (not 16), times vary, £11- £13 (£10-£11)

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