23 June 2014

Tame Wolf Hall at the Aldwych Theatre


It may have been because I was tired, that certainly did not help, but I never got in to Wolf Hall and was struggling to see the point of it. Basically it was the play of the book of the story that we all know of Henry VIII's transition from his first wife to his second.

It did its best to entertain with a good cast and a reasonable set. Ben Miles led the way as Thomas Cromwell and did a fine job. Like many people I first saw Ben in Coupling in the early 2000's and I had also seen him on stage once in Pinter's Betray.

What troubled me were aspects of the script. Which was unexpected given that the play was based on the award winning book of the same name by Hilary Mantel. I can only presume that the quirks were added in the script and were not in the original book.

Firstly there were some uncharacteristic attempts at humour in the Carry on Henry style. These were silly little things like Cardinal Wolsey complaining that he was so busy he even had to work on Sundays.

And secondly the f-bomb was dropped a couple of times. I would not normally call it the f-bomb but when it is used so unexpectedly and so out of context as it was here then it warrants the bomb comparison.

Other than that the play drifted along without much passion, drama.or interest. It just told the story which I already knew. It was not actually bad and it did enough to keep me awake in trying circumstances. I just failed to see what the play thought that it was there to do.

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