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Monday, 12 September 2011 23:14

Shakespeare's Rarely Seen Henry VIII in Movie Houses Nationwide This Thursday Sep 15



the acclaimed production of the rarely seen




“If the Globe had a roof, this production would surely have blown it off.  ‘Henry VIII’ represents the theatre at its very best and makes for a joyous spectacle.  Dominic Rowan plays the title role with charisma and vitality and Miranda Raison makes a beguiling Anne Boleyn.  Shakespeare has seldom been performed with more verve.”

-Sunday Telegraph 

The London Globe Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of William Shakespeare’s Henry VIII , a play that has not been seen on Broadway in more than half a century, is the final production of this year’s Shakespeare’s Globe London Cinema Series.  The production will be shown in select movie theaters across the U.S. at 6:30 p.m. local time on Thursday, September 15 – a rare opportunity to see this classic play in a definitive production.

Shakespeare’s Globe London Cinema Series, a stage-to-cinema presentation by NCM Fathom, Globe Theatre and Arts Alliance Media, is an exclusive four-part in-theater series of the most classic of Shakespeare titles in U.S. movie theaters nationwide this summer and fall. 

Tickets for Shakespeare’s Globe London Cinema Series are available at participating theater box offices and online at .  For a complete list of theater locations, prices and additional information, visit the Fathom website(theaters and participants are subject to change).  Watch the official event trailer here.

In Henry VIII,the Tudor Court is locked in a power struggle between its nobles and the Machiavellian Cardinal Wolsey, the King's first minister and the most conspicuous symbol of Catholic power in the land. Wolsey's ambition knows no bounds and when his chief ally, Queen Katherine, interferes in the King's romance with Ann Boleyn, he brings gigantic ruin upon himself, the Queen and centuries of English obedience to Rome. Famous in its own day as Shakespeare's most sumptuous and spectacular play, Henry VIII is a gor­geous pageant of masques and royal ceremony; a blaze of fireworks, cannonfire, red satin and cloth-of-gold. But within the passages of grandeur works the mind of the mature Shakespeare: psychological and political insight, language of great depth and power and, in the figures of Wolsey and Katherine, two of his most vivid and memorable characters.

Henry VIII stars Dominic Rowan as Henry VIII, Ian McNeice as Cardinal Wolsey, Kate Duchêne as Queen Katherine and Miranda Raison as Anne Boleyn.  The creative team includes Mark Rosenblatt (Director), Angela Davies (Designer), Nigel Hess (Composer) and Siân Williams (Choreographer).

The four plays in the series, which also included the previously broadcast The Merry Wives of WindsorHenry IV Part 1 and Henry IV Part 2were captured in 2010 from the prestigious and internationally renowned Globe Theatre in London— Shakespeare’s theatrical London home.  Each performance also includes a special 20-minute behind-the-scenes feature, providing insights into the working of the Globe today and a study of each production.  Featuring interviews with the actors and creative team involved, these extra features bring the world of Shakespeare’s Globe and the plays in the series to life for audiences.

Shakespeare’s Globe London Cinema Series is broadcast in more than 275 movie theaters across the country through NCM’s exclusive Digital Broadcast Network.

The Globe Theatre is known as Shakespeare’s theatrical London home. The original open-roof theater, made of wood-and-thatch was built in 1599 by Shakespeare's playing company and was destroyed by fire in 1613. American actor and director, Sam Wanamaker, worked tirelessly to raise funds for the theater’s reconstruction. His efforts paid off and a modern reconstruction of The Globe opened in 1997 approximately 200 yards from the site of the original theater.

For more information about this NCM Fathom Shakespeare’s Globe London Cinema Series event, go here. For artwork/photos, click here.


Henry VIII was the production playing when the original Globe Theatre was destroyed by fire in 1613.  During the performance, a cannon used for special effects misfired and ignited the structure.

The 1947 Broadway production of Henry VIII won the Tony Award for Best Scenic Design!  The cast included the well-known theatrical couple Anne Jackson and Eli Wallach.

The wives of Henry VIII were the six queens consort married to Henry VIII of England between 1509 and 1547.

The six women to hold the title 'queens consort' of King Henry VIII were, in order:

  • Catherine of Aragon (Annulled),
  • Anne Boleyn (Annulled then beheaded),
  • Jane Seymour (Died days after giving birth, widely believed to be following birth complications )
  • Anne of Cleves (Annulled),
  • Catherine Howard (Beheaded),
  • Catherine Parr (Survived).

A common device to remember the fates of his consorts is "annulled, beheaded, died, annulled, beheaded, survived." It is often noted that Catherine Parr "survived him"; in fact Anne of Cleves also survived the king and was the last of his queens to die. Of the six queens, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour each gave Henry one child who survived infancy—two daughters and one son, all three of whom would eventually ascend to the throne. They were Queen Mary I, Queen Elizabeth I, and King Edward VI, respectively.

Catherine Howard and Anne Boleyn, Henry's two queens who were beheaded, were first cousins. Several of his wives worked in at least one of his other wives' service. Anne Boleyn worked in Catherine of Aragon's service; Jane Seymour worked in Catherine of Aragon's and Anne Boleyn's service; and Catherine Howard worked in Anne of Cleves's.

Legally speaking, two of these marriages never occurred as they were annulled, so under one interpretation, Henry VIII actually had only four wives despite having six weddings.

Henry was distantly related to all six of his wives through their common ancestor, King Edward I of England.

Henry and at least four of his wives (Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour and Catherine Parr) have been characters in opera.

As a child, Henry was spoilt by his doting grandmother and mother together with the attendants in his retinue.  He was considered a handsome and precocious toddler who was noted for his energy and his temper.  He was born to take a secular role in the Catholic church.  On April 2, 1502, Arthur, Prince of Wales, died at Ludlow Castle of the ‘sweating sickness.’  Henry’s position as the second son of King Henry VII ended and he became heir to the throne of England just a few months before his 11th birthday.  He was no longer expected to take religious vows – he was going to be King of England.

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What the US critics have said about Shakespeare’s Globe London Cinema Series

* * * * *


-Scott Brown, New York Magazine


-David Finkle, Huffington Post


-Sylvia Morris, The Shakespeare Blog

"…thoroughly irresistible, immensely entertaining."


What the critics said about the London Globe’s production of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII:

“The Tudor costumes are sumptuous, while the big scenes prove genuinely spectacular.  Dominic Rowan plays Henry VIII with wit, energy and sudden enlivening moments of menace; Kate Duchêne proves genuinely touching as the unhappy rejected Katherine, and Miranda Raison brings a welcome dash of sex appeal as Anne Boleyn. Best of all is Ian McNeice’s grotesque Cardinal Wolsey.”

-Daily Telegraph

“Mark Rosenblatt’s production is sprightly and intelligent.”

- The Financial Times

“The production pulls all the stops out in a blaze of mitres, ivory silk, boy choristers in the gallery, and trumpet acclaim for the culminating baptism.  Amanda Lawrence gives a triple whammy of splendid cameos.  A trim, darkly handsome and enigmatic Dominic Rowan valuably keeps you guessing about the extent to which Henry is a conscious hypocrite.  As Katherine of Aragon, Kate Duchêne is awesomely fiery and confrontational.”

-The Independent