Arts & Entertainment

The Last Wife

Nikki Shiels. Photo: Richard Hedger.

Kate Hennig takes a fresh look at the stunning historical drama surrounding the dangerous sparring between King Henry VIII and his last wife Katerine Parr, during a very complex and bloody time in English history.

On one side of this conflict is Henry VIII, who was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547, however, he is perhaps best known for his string of six failed marriages. On the other side is the smart and confident Katerine Parr, who became the restorer of Henry VIII’s court, uniting his children and making sure they were presented to the world as a close-knit family. She was instrumental in his legitimate children’s educations and passed legislation that made his previously illegitimate children, legitimate again.

When speaking about the show Director Mark Kilmurry explained its importance to the feminist movement, “Kate Hennig has fiercely examined this period in history through a contemporary lens with wit and seduction as Henry’s last and most influential wife, Katherine Parr, must navigate the waters of gender politics, patriarchy, sexuality and women’s rights. She must live by her wits if she wants to avoid becoming another statistic on Henry’s growing list of dead wives. This thrilling production comes to life with an outstanding and accomplished cast in this sexually driven and potent play… which I hope encourages the audience to explore this chapter in our feminist past.”

Aug 30-Sep 29. Ensemble Theatre, 78 McDougall St, Kirribilli. $43-$80+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.ensemble.com.au

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