The last days of Anne Boleyn
Friday 24 May 2013
The room is dominated by a four-poster bed. Its velvet covering glows richly red under the light. In a few moments a young man will be interrupted by his sister, 19-year-old Anne Boleyn.
I am watching a play that, in a gruesome twist on site-specific drama, is performed in the Tower of London – the site of her execution. The short two-hander, written and directed by Joanne Carrick, tells the story of Boleyn's doomed dalliance with royal and religious power via a series of conversations with her beloved brother George.
Does Carrick worry she might be reducing a real-life tragedy to a part of the Tower of London heritage experience? "For me," counters Carrick, "it's about creating something that just feels real – then people can empathise..." And they do. The audience was visibly moved on emerging from the auditorium directly onto Tower Green, where the actual execution took place.
Fallen in Love: The Secret Heart of Anne Boleyn' Tower of London, London EC3 (hrp.org.uk/tower oflondon) to 16 June (redrosechain.com)
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