There’s a double bill of Hilary Mantel’s great work at the Aldwych Theatre with Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies.
Focused on King Henry VIII’s Tudor Court, the two works tell a story of intrigue, power and death through the eyes and ears of Thomas Cromwell. With Henry having been king for two decades, he is desperate for a male heir to the throne. Attempting to manipulate the powers that be into granting him a divorce, his anger grows in his volatile court until the devious Cromwell appears on the scene. Cromwell takes measures to grant the king his wishes, with terrible actions taken as he ruthlessly chases his own agenda. Bring up the Bodies follows, with Anne Boleyn taking the position of queen after Cromwell has cleared the path for her.
Her position in put in mortal peril when the king, still without the heir, falls for the seemingly plain Jane Seymour. Can Cromwell manipulate his way through the dangerous court to advance his ambitions and keep the king on side?
- Jeremy Herrin