Henry VIII bore a startling resemblance to actor Keith Michell. This probably didn't bother him a great deal, but was very good news for the latter who, after singing his way into the hearts of the nation as the poet Browning in the 1964 smash-hit musical Robert and Elizabeth, was casting about for something new to do.

The British musical was dead in all but name. And 1965 brought not only Lionel Bart's disastrous Robin Hood musical Twang] to an unsuspecting public, but also the astonishing Passion Flower Hotel, which included formidably early appearances by Michael Cashman and Francesca Annis. The score of this unique work can be sampled on a recently released CD of the original recording (there cannot possibly have been any others). Francesca Annis, meanwhile, is on safer ground these days in Lady Windermere's Fan.

So when the BBC came up with The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Michell must have been a happy man. The series spawned merchandising, exhibitions, and a job opportunity for Glenda Jackson MP (who used to be an actress) in the form of a sequel, Elizabeth R.

In addition to aspiring to the condition of Liz Taylor in the multiple-marriage stakes, Henry was also rumoured to have written the 16th-century smash-hit, 'Greensleeves. For further information, hie thee along to the altogether splendid Under Their Hats at the King's Head. Or try Henry VIII, Portrait of a Serial Killer (above).

'Henry VIII, Portrait of a Serial Killer' runs from tonight to Sat at the Purcell Room (071-928 8800) See Beyond the West End, Central

(Photograph omitted)