Henry VIII's life in music as never heard before at West Molesey

Henry VIII's life in music as never heard before

Historic tale: Henry VIII is one of Britain's most famous monarchs

Historic tale: Henry VIII is one of Britain's most famous monarchs

Historic tale: Henry VIII is one of Britain's most famous monarchs

First published in News Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter - Richmond and Twickenham

The story of Henry VIII and his succession of wives is one of the best known in British history.

With his historic and riverside palace so close, it seems fitting his troubles and triumphs are brought alive on stage once again.

The Stringer Production Company, formed by three writers and composers, premiere a new musical focusing on the life of one of Britain’s most famous monarchs and best-loved periods of British history at the Barn Theatre Club.

Exploring Henry VIII’s life from his own perspective, the musical gives a rare insight into his battles with church, country and conscience.

Performing a number of solos, which producer Tess Townsend says are so well put together the king could have written the words himself, Henry will sing about his emotional turmoil, disappointment and confusion as he tried to leave England a healthy male heir to follow his rule.

As the musical covers his six marriages, some of which ended in tragedy, three births, political undercurrent, numerous disposals and other diversities, the king’s fool is on hand as narrator to guide the audience.

The monarch's six wives are something he is always remembered for and this is a prominent feature of the musical.

The courtship, marriage and eventual replacement of each of his six wives are played out in overlapping scenes, with the king and five of his wives all performing solos.

Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII, provides a strong character role within the music, despite a less powerful singing role.

The second act opens with a powerful male ensemble number and throughout the performance male characters enjoy crafted dialogue and melodies.

After an action-packed show, the story comes to a close with the entire cast back on stage in a typically rousing Tudor style; a fitting way to end the story of Henry VIII’s fascinating life.

Henry: The life and loves of a king; The Barn Theatre Club, High Street, West Molesey; June 18 to 28 (excluding 22 and 23), doors open 30 minutes before curtains up, evening shows 7.30pm, Saturday matinee 2.30pm; £13; call 020 8398 1332 or visit thebarntheatre.co.uk/boxoffice.

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