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Royal Shakespeare's 'Wolf Hall' Transferring to Broadway Next Spring

By Jon Sobel j.sobel@classicalite.com on Sep 26, 2014 10:09 AM EDT

Wolf Hall: Parts 1 & 2, the hit stage adaptation of Hilary Mantel's best-selling novels about Henry VIII's court, will transfer from London to Broadway in the spring, the producers have announced. Previews will begin March 20, 2015 prior to an April 9, 2015 opening at the Winter Garden Theater, where another kind of carnivore--Cats--once reigned supreme.

Adapted by Mike Poulton, the Royal Shakespeare Company production premiered in January 2014 at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, then moved to London's Aldwych Theatre, where after an extension it continues in repertory through October 4. When it crosses the pond it will bring with it three key London cast members: Nathaniel Parker as King Henry VIII, Ben Miles as Cromwell and Lydia Leonard as Anne Boleyn.

Mantel's historical novel Wolf Hall won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction and the Man Booker Prize in 2009. The sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, again won the Booker Prize in 2012.

Based on the two books, the two-part production takes over five and a half hours of stage time, with about 70 roles played by more than 20 actors. Broadway audiences will be able to see it all in one day, with a dinner break, or see the two parts on different days, in an arrangement similar to (though not as long as) the legendary eight-and-a-half-hour The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, which played both London and New York in the 1980s.

The transfer will mark Royal Court Associate Director Jeremy Herrin's New York directing debut, overseeing a cast of more than 20 actors playing some 70 roles.

Poulton is a Tony Award nominee for his translation of Ivan Turgenev's Fortune's Fool. He has also translated or adapted works by Chekov, Strindberg, Ibsen, Schiller, Chaucer and Dickens.

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TagsWolf Hall, Hilary Mantel, Man Booker Prize, Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, RSC, Royal Shakespeare Company, Nicholas Nickleby, broadway, London, West End, Mike Poulton