Shakespeare's Henry the 8th selectively charts events in the life of the iconic monarch from The Field of the Cloth of Gold through the birth of his daughter, Elizabeth I. King Henry is a man who turned against nearly all those close to him--he had six wives, two of whom he had beheaded. Shakespeare's version of the illustrious sovereign, is an ode to the grandeur of Renaissance England. Henry the 8th is one of Shakespeare's final plays; it is--at the same time--a masque, a history, a romance and a tragedy. The downfall of three great individuals (Buckingham, Cardinal Wolsey and Queen Katherine of Aragon) are a pretext for the birth of Elizabeth; her reign represents England in one of its finest hours--its Golden Age.
Amidst the political intrigue, passion, machinations and betrayal of 16th century court, we witness an arrest, a trial, a beheading, a divorce, a masque, a vision, a coronation, death and a baptism. In Shakespeare's most visually audacious and pageant-like work, fate spells catastrophe for even the best of us. Whether Reformation era Britain or America in the 21st century, the forces of destiny shape our lives, from greatness to death to regeneration: that which rises must inevitably fall. In Henry the 8th, we see the drama that is history, the power and the hand of Providence--shattering lives, weaving fortunes and reaching all the way into the present--to encompass even our own modern society in its cold and merciless embrace.
Directed by Taurie Kinoshita and starring Nicolas Logus as King Henry, Lala Buzzell as Queen Katherine, Jason Kanda as Norfolk and Jordan Savusa as Buckingham.
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