Saturday, 12 July 2014


Wolf Hall / Bring Up the Bodies

I tend to avoid popular things, and don't read much fiction. So I was probably in the minority in the audience today, having read neither Wolf Hall nor Bring Up the Bodies, Hillary Mantel's blockbuster books on which these two plays are based.

I'm also not exactly a big fan of history. I'd much rather live in the present.

But today's Emma's birthday, and I knew taking her to a double-bill in the West End would be the perfect gift.

It turned out to be the perfect day all round. It's been years since I've been to a West End theatre, and from the moment we entered the auditorium I felt a tingle of expectation and excitement that caught me off guard.

The plays were fantastic! Against a minimal set the actors let props and costume define the boundaries of the many scenes. Sometimes two "camera angles" on one scene are present on stage simultaneously. At other times, a scene in flashback flows around the reminiscing characters. In fact "flow" is probably the best way to describe the motion of the entire experience. The plays felt lyrical, echoing each other and weaving around the storyline effortlessly.

I thoroughly recommend both, but if you've only the stamina for one three-hour play, make it the first. I suspect you'll be back for the second anyway.

It's almost enough to make me want to read the books.

Posted by pab at 23:58 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!