What an absolute delight it is to have the Globe Theatre and English touring theatre come to Blackpool with the delightful Anne Boleyn. A rare treat indeed, but one I hope to have again in the future.
This is a beautifully written piece of theatre that instantly draws you
in into the life and times of both Anne Boleyn and King James I, as well
as making you historically aware of the religious backlash that was
happening inside of the royal court in the 1500s.
The evening is full of first class acting with truly dazzling costumes and music that instantly transports you back in time. The entire cast are strong and well suited and it is a real pleasure to watch such a powerful ensemble. Jo Herbert’s performance as Anne Boleyn is outstanding, as she has a connection with the audience which is mesmerising. So good is she, that you forget you are watching a play. Due to James Dove's brilliant and pacy direction, you feel like a fly on the wall watching this young woman’s life unfold before your very eyes.
King James I played by James Garnon is breathtaking. You could easily could watch him all night, as he gives a fearless turn, and for me that is the most exciting thing to see in an actor. He is unpredictable and nuanced and again, the connection to the material is real, yet raw.
The staging is lovely and simple, perfect for the era. There is no need for endless set changes and expensive lighting designs. Fine props, evocative live music, a gripping tale and finely tuned performances all add up to a stunning production of Anne Boleyn.