This post is slightly unrelated to our actual final project but it is still about Anne Boleyn so I feel as though it’s relevant!
Today mum and I went to see the English Touring Theatre’s production of the play Anne Boleyn, which was on at The Theatre Royal in Brighton. The production was originally on at the Globe Theatre in London and is now touring the country. I wanted to go when it was on in London but it was so popular that we couldn’t get tickets. When we saw that it was back on, I just couldn’t resist and the timing was brilliant!
This is the video on the Shakespeare Globe website:
The play is about the newly crowned James I of England, who becomes intrigued by the legend of Anne Boleyn when he finds William Tyndale’s bible in an old chest with her coronation gown. Time jumps back 70 years, when the witty and flirtatious Anne was in love with Henry, but also with the most dangerous ideas of her day. Conspiring with the exiled William Tyndale, she plots to make England Protestant – forever. The play continues to leap between Anne and James, showing how Anne’s efforts influenced James to create the King James Bible.
The play was written by William Brenton and the intelligent storyline means you have to be paying attention to keep up with the plot! Anne’s depiction is unlike any portrayal found in the 2000 hits of The Other Boleyn Girl and The Tudors television series. She is motivated solely by religion, her only desire being to convert England to Protestantism, and she was executed in the same year that William Tyndale was burnt at the stake. The blonde haired Jo Herbert brought Anne’s strong-willed determination to life but she also had an undercurrent of innocence and real love for Henry.
James Garnon’s portrayal of James I was genius. A mixture of a physical tourettes with lightening intelligence, the audience was never sure where Garnon would run, dance, skip to next. The pair made an electric combination with Anne’s sure footed assurance and James’s nervous jitters juxtaposing to give the best reflection of the unpredictability of sixteenth century religion.
The production is a must see and it will tour to 8 venues across the UK from the 15th March to the 5th May so all Anne fans should go and see it!