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Auditions by appointment only. contact Anthony at firstname.lastname@example.org
Auditions on 10th April
The action of the play takes place in the royal palace between 6th January 1540 the wedding night of Henry VIII and his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves; and 13th February 1542, the execution of his fifth wife, Katherine Howard.
Menservants/Guards/Courtiers/Maidservants/Ladies of the court -
These roles are available to anyone who may be interested in being part of this production. No audition necessary but you may not necessarily have a speaking role. Your attendance to rehearsals will be minimal but required.
Henry VIII: This is the leading role. Aged 50, overweight. Moves with difficulty due to a bandaged leg. Powerful man and when he speaks he sparks terror in the hearts of all who hear him.
A large role with strong performance qualities required and an understanding of the Tudor period. Married the young Katherine Howard (Anne Boleyn's first cousin and lady-in-waiting of Anne's). He was absolutely delighted with his new queen.
Katherine Howard: This is a leading role. She is aged 18 and niece of the Duke of Norfolk. Charmingly lovely and is in deep love with Thomas Culpeper. A demanding role that requires strong emotional qualities and an understanding of the Tudor period. She was the niece of Elizabeth Howard, who was the mother of Anne Boleyn and Mary Boleyn. Consequently, Katherine was not as well educated as Henry's other wives, though her mere ability to read and write was impressive enough for her time. Her character is often described as vivacious, but never scholarly or devout.
Thomas Culpeper: Katherine Howard's lover, 20's. Thomas is one of Henry's young favorites. Again, an understanding of the Tudor period is essential and also this role requires strong emotional qualities. Culpeper was reportedly exceedingly attractive. He was described as "a beautiful youth" and he was a great favorite of the King's. Henry eventually made Culpeper gentleman to the King's Privy Chamber, giving him intimate access to the king, as the role involved dressing and undressing Henry and often sleeping in his bedchamber.
Anne of Cleves: Henry's fourth wife. German accent essential, aged about 25. Anne needs to come across as docile, and in constant fear of her life. Totally innocent in understanding the sexual needs of men. While Henry valued education and cultural sophistication in women, Anne lacked these as she had received no formal education but was skilled in needlework, and liked playing card games. She could read and write, but only in German. Nevertheless, Anne was considered gentle, virtuous, and docile, qualities that made her a suitable candidate for Henry. Anne was described by the French ambassador, as tall and slim "of middling beauty, and of very assured and resolute countenance". She was dark haired, with a rather swarthy complexion, appeared solemn by English standards, and she looked old for her age.
Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk: Leader of the Catholic faction and aged in his 50-60's. He is Katherine Howard's uncle and ruthless in life; he would sell his grandmothers life at a drop of a hat and feel no remorse. An aristocrat of the old style. He was the 3rd Duke of Norfolk and was a prominent Tudor politician. He was also uncle to Anne Boleyn and played a major role in the machinations behind Henry's relationships with both Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard.
Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury: Leader of the Reformist faction and aged in his late 40's to early 50's. Mostly wore black clothes. He helped build a favorable case for Henry's divorce from Katherine of Aragon which resulted in the separation of the English Church from union with the Holy See. Along with Thomas Cromwell, he supported the principle of Royal Supremacy, in which the king was considered sovereign over the Church within his realm. Cranmer's greatest concerns were the maintenance of the royal supremacy and the diffusion of reformed theology and practice. But he is best remembered for his contribution to the realm of language and of cultural identity.
Lady Jane Rochford: Queen's lady-in-waiting; aged in her 40's plus. Once a beauty, no longer young. Lady Rochford kept her post as lady-in-waiting to the new queen Katherine and exerted considerable influence over her, eventually becoming one of her favorites. When the teenage queen grew bored with her aged and obese husband, it was Lady Rochford who helped secret meetings between Katherine and the handsome Culpepper.
Sir Thomas Wriothesley: Privy Councilor, Reformist faction; aged in his late 40's to late 50's. Having been on errands abroad, he was made one of the king's principal secretaries in 1540 and was knighted in the same year, in spite of the fall of his patron, Thomas Cromwell, he rose higher and higher in the royal favor and in 1542 it was said that he governed almost everything in England. He sought to bring about the alliance between England and Spain in 1543, and was created Baron of Titchfield in 1544. Having been Lord Privy Seal for a few months, he became Lord Chancellor in 1544, in which capacity he became notorious for his persecution of Anne Askew, some say that he operated the rack on which Askew was tortured.
Mrs Mary hall: A chatterer aged 20 to 30 years. She should be plump. Comical character that is out to get whatever she can with knowledge of Katherine Howard and her original lodgings. Fast talking and not very bright would be a plus. Not a large role but a fun/good role to be had.
William: Cranmer's private secretary. Not a large role but it would benefit the person auditioning for this role to know as much as possible about Thomas Cranmer.
Sir Anthony Wingfield-Captain: Captain of the king's guard and also a member of the Privy Council aged about 55 years. Not a large role. As Captain of the King's Guard he was at the entrance of Anne of Cleves into the country at Deal, Kent and journeying to court via Blackheath. Thomas Wingfield, eldest son of Sir Henry Wingfield, Governor of Orford Castle, was then the 1st Governor of Deal Castle. In 1540 he was one of those who arrested Thomas Cromwell at the council board. On 23rd April 1541, at 2nd Vespers at the Palace of Westminister he was, with the Duke of Norfolk and others, honored with a badge of the Garter, and installed as a Knight of the Garter at Windsor Castle, why the Earl of Surrey on 22 May. He also arrested Earl of Surrey and conducted him to the Tower on December 12th 1546.
Will Sommers: King Henry VIII's court jester. A non speaking role but will need to have physical abilities.