365 Days of Shakespeare

That's right – the Bard in a year.

213. I am Henry the Eighth, I am…

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I won’t sing it, I promise. Well, maybe just in my head.

Anyway, I was just thinking the other day, Why isn’t Henry VIII produced more often? I think that especially now, with the popularity of the television show The Tudors, it could be quite well-received and get a whole new set interested in Shakespeare – especially if it is in period dress, because frankly, pretty dresses sell tickets to at least me. And Alex Wiles.

I have wanted to play Anne Boleyn (“Bullen” in the text) for ages, just because I find her an interesting historical figure apart from all the ways that Hollywood, historical fiction, and television have presented her. She is interesting on her own without all that hoopla. But Shakespeare’s Anne has some great things to say…and I really want to say them.

The problem, however, is that it is not a popular play. I have never seen it. I was pondering this when I came across this article. One major reason why it is not produced? It is considered possibly jinxed, the way Macbeth is. Though it doesn’t enjoy the reputation of Macbeth, there was a special-effects cannon that caught the Globe on fire during a production…razing the theatre to the ground. I can sympathize with nervous theatre owners perhaps not wanting to risk it.

The genre is another tricky one. It is a history play, but without the battles and sweeping speeches about bands of brothers that we are more accustomed to from Shakespeare’s histories. There is an element of romance, but the story of Catherine of Aragon of course ends close to tragedy.

Yet another difficult thing about Henry VIII is that it was not necessarily all written by Shakespeare. It is believed that a lot of it was written by John Fletcher.

But even with all this, I am still dying to get this play produced. Who wants to direct? Anyone have a bunch of Tudor-style dresses lying around?


Written by Caroline Mincks

May 2, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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