The drama focuses on the story of Thomas Cromwell, played by Ben Miles, and the court of Henry VIII, played by Nathaniel Parker. Wolf Hall covers a longer period (1527-1535) and charts Cromwell's rise from Putney blacksmith's son to high office, while Bring Up the Bodies is set in a single year (1535) and focuses on Anne Boleyn's demise. The narrative is told largely through the eyes of Cromwell.
The novels have been adapted by Tony Award-winning Mike Poulton, in close collaboration with Mantel herself. Jeremy Herrin, artistic director of Headlong Theatre company, stays at the helm in the Aldwych shows, along with his Stratford cast.
The vacancy at the Aldwych - the RSC’s historic London home - has arisen as a result of the truncated run of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Profumo Affair-based musical Stephen Ward , which is closing after just four months due to disappointing sales and tepid reviews.
The West End run of the Mantel adaptation, which ends on 6 September, coincides with the filming of the Wolf Hall TV series, in which Mark Rylance will play Cromwell. Screenwriter Peter Straughan, who won a BAFTA award for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy , is behind this six-parter for BBC2.
Lastly, there's the final instalment of the Cromwell trilogy to look forward to. We'll have to wait a while for Mantel to finish the third novel, which will complete the saga, but this exciting West End transfer means there's plenty of Mantelmania to keep us going 'til then.
|Wolf Hall & Bring up the Bodies, Aldwych Theatre
|Aldwych Theatre, 49 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4DF | MAP
|Charing Cross (underground)
01 May 14 – 04 Oct 14, 7:30 PM – 11:30 PM
|Click here to book via the Aldwych Theatre