Henry VIII will reign in the West End for an additional four weeks with the news that the Royal Shakespeare Company’s hit productions of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies have extended their run at the Aldwych Theatre until 4 October.
Mike Poulton’s acclaimed adaptations of the prize-winning novels, which transferred to the West End last month following their success at the RSC’s home in Stratford-upon-Avon, were originally booking until 6 September.
The productions see Ben Miles take to the stage as Henry VIII’s chief minister Thomas Cromwell, with Nathaniel Parker as the infamous Tudor monarch. They are joined in the tales spanning Cromwell’s rise from blacksmith’s boy to deliverer of the king’s chosen bedfellows by Lucy Briers and Lydia Leonard as the royal’s first two wives and Paul Jesson as Cardinal Wolsey.
The productions, which are directed by Jeremy Herrin, received rave reviews when they opened both in Stratford and London. Official London Theatre’s Charlotte Marshall described the shows as an “atmospheric and compelling triumph” that see “1,082 pages of prize-winning fiction elegantly transformed into six hours of thrilling theatre”.
Based on the books that have sold more than 1.8 million copies in the UK and 1.2 million copies in the US, the productions are soon to be followed by a BBC screen adaptation in 2015, which will see 2014 Tony Award winner Mark Rylance take on the role of Cromwell.
Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies will be followed into the Aldwych Theatre by dance extravaganza Dance ‘Til Dawn, which will see Strictly Come Dancing’s Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace return to the venue from 23 October.