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 Bullen, 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. 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.

Dominic Rowan returns to the Globe to play Henry VIII. In addition to his previous work for the Globe, which includes As You Like It and A New World in last year’s season, Rowan has been seen on stage in The Misanthrope, Happy Now? After Dido and Under The Blue Sky.

For moer about Henry VIII at Shakespeare’s Globe, read the First Night Feature.

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