Brought to you by our friends at Austin Shakespeare and their production of WOLF HALL, September 22 – 25 in Rollins Studio Theatre.
The play WOLF HALL is based on Hilary Mantel’s novel that sold more than 3 million copies, and sold out Michael Poulton’s stage version in both London and New York last year. Sex and violence are the hallmarks of the Henry VIII story, but this one focuses on how the world was changed by his highly-contested marriage to Anne Boleyn.
The tale is seen through the eyes of Thomas Cromwell in a very original portrayal. Mantel’s version of Cromwell is mysterious—described as “astute in reading people…a consummate politician, hardened by his personal losses, implacable in his ambition.” Erik Parillo will be coming from New York to do the role.
The rising politician is contrasted with powerful mentor and friend, Cardinal Wolsey, played by Austin favorite, Marc Pouhe. But perhaps WOLF HALL‘s most surprising character reinvention is Thomas More, played by Tom Green, who is a much darker character than the typical “Man for All Seasons.”
Ben Wolf plays Henry VIII, who is “volatile: one day tender, one day murderous.” This is a world on the brink of transformation with Anne Boleyn, played by Helen Merino, as its catalyst.
In our fully-costumed staged reading, 19 actors will play 29 roles. Here are some thoughts from the actors in rehearsal:
It is thoroughly compelling to imagine being in this period of history in England. This script opens up a myriad of doors and windows to the era while managing to keep the characters completely human. There is no distance between us and them, the story is that clear, immediate, modern and visceral . . . and pure joy to play with this level of talent–ah! the acting, the designs . . . When I saw King Henry enter at rehearsal last night in full costume, it took my breath away.”
—Johanna Whitmore (Queen Katherine of Aragon, Henry’s first wife)
Wolf Hall is an amazing play! I am entertained every day at rehearsal by the playwright’s witticism, the clever reveal of the characters. I am seeing this part of history and these iconic people in a very accessible and real way.”
—Nancy Eyermann (Liz Cromwell)
Reading and working on this play brings to mind my favorite high school teacher: he was a wonderful storyteller who brought history to life from the dates and events in our textbooks.
—Erik Parillo (Thomas Cromwell
Rehearsal with Austin Shakespeare was, as usual, a great delight! Knowing they are such an integral part of the cultural fabric in Austin makes me proud to be an Austinite!! Buy tickets, you will love the experience!!!
—Toni Bravo (Choreographer)
In the intimate Rollins Studio Theatre, Austin Shakespeare has done plays by Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Williams, and coming the fall: Noel Coward, once again.
This spring, we will present Harold Pinter for the first time in our 33-year history!