Following sell-out audiences in Stratford, the RSC’s new versions of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies transfers to the West End’s Aldwych Theatre.
Running from 1 May to 6 September 2014, the new dramatisation of Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies will play in two parts in the West End.
Directed by Jeremy Herrin (This House – National Theatre, Much Ado About Nothing – Shakespeare’s Globe), the dramas are adapted for the stage in two parts by Mike Poulton.
The cast includes Ben Miles as Thomas Cromwell, Lydia Leonard as Anne Boleyn, Lucy Briers as Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, Oscar Pearce as George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, Nathaniel Parker as Henry VIII, Madeleine Hyland as Lady in Waiting, and Leah Brotherhead as Jane Seymour.
Wolf Hall is set in England in 1527. Henry VIII has been King for almost 20 years and is desperate for a male heir. Intent on divorce he demands that Cardinal Wolsey persuade the Pope to grant him an annulment. With every month that passes without progress the King’s anger grows. Into this volatile court enters the commoner Thomas Cromwell – a one-time mercenary, master-politician, lawyer and doting father, who sets out to grant the King his desire whilst methodically and ruthlessly pursuing his own reforming agenda.
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In Bring Up The Bodies, Anne Boleyn is now Queen, her path to Henry’s side cleared by Cromwell. But Henry remains without a male heir, and the conflict with the Catholic Church has left England dangerously isolated as France and the Holy Roman Empire ominously manoeuvre for position. When the King begins to fall in love with the seemingly plain Jane Seymour, Cromwell must negotiate an increasingly dangerous court as he charms, bullies and manipulates nobility, commoners and foreign powers alike to satisfy Henry, keep the nation safe, and advance his own ambitions.
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