A Brief Deferral

Well, so concludes ‘Murder Deferred’,another satisfying production to add to the extensive Matchbox repertoire. Photos and a review to follow shortly but, while I am gathering that together, I hope you will not find it rude of me to draw your attention to another production with which I am currently involved at Bromley Little Theatre. As you saw in one of my posts last week I have had the pleasure of playing King Henry VIII twice now, once in the re-visitation of ‘A Man for All Seasons’ during the ‘Three Decades of Dazzling Drama’ and in the specially commissioned play, ‘Disillusion’, written by Tom Masters and directed by Tim Pearce back in 2003. This week sees a return to the role in Howard Brenton’s ‘Anne Boleyn’ which runs from 12th to 20th July. I will let the blurb from the website give you a taste but wholly recommend it as a great night of theatre and hope that maybe one or two of you might  come along to watch. If you want more details then please check out http://bromleylittletheatre.org/?page_id=1670 and, as said, I’ll be back with updates on ‘Murder Deferred’ in the very near future. M

“Every year on May 19th flowers are delivered to the Tower of London, where Queen Anne Boleyn, was executed on that day in 1536. The flowers have been arriving for forty years and no-one knows who sends them. Today there is a fast-growing Anne Boleyn cult. She appeals to both adolescents and to ageing romantics. Her story is a heady mixture of intense love, death and betrayal combined with a sense of reckless fun and daring sexiness.

There have been many interpretations of Anne Boleyn with different historians and writers of popular culture presenting her as ‘the bright sexy girl manoeuvred by an ambitious family into the King’s bed’; ‘a brutal and effective politician’; ‘ a schemer and poseur’; ‘calculating, instinctive, almost feral – a very dangerous woman’.

However Howard Brenton in this portrayal of Anne Boleyn reveals a whole other dimension. Anne was religious, she was a protestant, a reformer and an admirer of William Tyndale. Anne was in love with Henry but also with the most dangerous ideas of her day. She conspired to make England protestant for ever. Brenton states that he wrote this play to celebrate Anne’s life and her legacy as a great English woman who helped to change the course of our history.

Brenton’s ‘Anne Boleyn’ sold out at Shakespeare’s Globe two seasons on the run.  I was one of the lucky ones to see it and was determined to bring it to BLT as soon as the performing rights became available. Although the play takes on grand ideas that have had serious consequences it is extremely funny and reveals the Tudor pack at their most snarling, scheming, ribald, pleasure-seeking and gaily entertaining. History lessons are not really supposed to be such fun but Brenton’s vision of the life and afterlife of Queen Anne Boleyn is a bawdy ,raucous romp packed with ripe, modern language that still manages to address some serious issues . It has drama, sex, intrigue, hilarity – in short – as much entertainment value as a Tudor execution!!”

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