Henry VIII – August 2006

Experience: 8/10

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Gregory Thompson

Company: AandBC

Venue: Holy Trinity Church

Date: Friday 25th August 2006

Only one snag with this production, otherwise it would have been a 10/10 at least – the performance space was so uncomfortable and made viewing the performance so difficult that I had to leave at the interval (the late interval), as my neck was already stiffening up, my back was complaining, my bum wasn’t too happy, and I’d missed about half of the dialogue! This was the kind of production that makes you wonder why a play isn’t done more often – what I could see and hear of it was mostly clear, brilliantly performed and very entertaining. I hope they bring it to a proper theatre near us soon!

I particularly enjoyed Antony O’Donnell’s performance as Wolsey – a masterpiece of cunning, conniving, and political manipulation – he could give lessons to the current generation of spin doctors. Special mention also to Corinne Jaber as Queen Katherine, superbly regal and passionate. Anne Boleyn was interesting – although it’s assumed the play is flattering Elizabeth I, as it ends with her baptism, her mother is shown here to be only interested in power and wealth – just how flattering would that have been? All the other parts were great, and despite the discomfort, I found the closeness to the action, and inclusion of the audience in a lot of it, was great fun. I gather the old adage was demonstrated again – never work with children… According to Steve, the baby performing this night was adorable, and few people noticed what the actors were doing during the baptism scene as all eyes were on her at the end.

© 2006 Sheila Evans at ilovetheatre.me

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