It's nearly midnight, around the year 1600, on the terrace of the Palace of Whitehall. A beefeater is standing guard outside Queen Elizabeth's quarters. Shakespeare slinks onto the terrace for a rendezvous with his Dark Lady. Instead he encounters the pensive queen, who hides her identity. Shakespeare feels romantic sparks when the mysterious woman shows a flair for poetic speech. A word thief, he is quick to jot down usable phrases. Intrigue and worse break out when the Dark Lady arrives. But at the end, the queen suggests a secret collaboration with Shakespeare on a play for which she has a working title, Twelfth Night.