thu 18/07/2024

Henry VIII, Shakespeare's Globe | reviews, news & interviews

Henry VIII, Shakespeare's Globe

Henry VIII, Shakespeare's Globe

Pageantry and passion share the stage in rarely performed history play

A history play with heft: Dominic Rowan as Henry VIIIJohn Tramper
After Wolf Hall and The Tudors, Shakespeare's Globe is arriving rather late at this particular historical party, especially given that the Bankside venue brings with it a closer connection to the period than most. Can this theatre animate a rarely performed Shakespeare play - well, make that Shakespeare and John Fletcher, in accordance with scholars' assessments - that is rarely performed, presumably, for a reason? (The last prominent London sighting was Gregory Doran's glittering but soulless staging for the RSC in 1996.) The short answer: and how. Indeed, Henry VIII is so unexpectedly lively an affair that it makes one wonder whether the Globe isn't often at its best the less well known the play at hand actually is.
After Wolf Hall and The Tudors, Shakespeare's Globe is arriving rather late at this particular historical party, especially given that the Bankside venue brings with it a closer connection to the period than most. Can this theatre animate a rarely performed Shakespeare play - well, make that Shakespeare and John Fletcher, in accordance with scholars' assessments - that is rarely performed, presumably, for a reason? (The last prominent London sighting was Gregory Doran's glittering but soulless staging for the RSC in 1996.) The short answer: and how. Indeed, Henry VIII is so unexpectedly lively an affair that it makes one wonder whether the Globe isn't often at its best the less well known the play at hand actually is.

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