A dramatisation of Hilary Mantel's Man Booker Prize winning novel Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies plays in two parts in the winter season of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Swan Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

England in 1527. Henry VIII (Nathaniel Parker) has been King for almost 20 years and is desperate for a male heir. Intent on divorce he demands that Cardinal Wolsey (Paul Jesson) persuade the Pope to grant him an annulment. With every month that passes without progress the King's anger grows. Into this volatile court enters the commoner Thomas Cromwell (Ben Miles).

A one-time mercenary, master-politician, lawyer and doting father, he sets out to grant the King his desire whilst methodically and ruthlessly pursuing his own reforming agenda.

Hilary Mantel is the first author to win two Man Booker Prizes with consecutive novels. They are now adapted for the stage in two parts by Mike Poulton (for the RSC St Erkenwald, Morte D'Arthur, The Canterbury Tales).

Directed by Royal Court Associate Director Jeremy Herrin. Recent credits include This House (National Theatre) and Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare's Globe).

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