18 Sep 2014

Playing Truant… Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall, The Aldwych Theatre, London, Vicki Archer, French Essence

Have you read Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel?

I hope so… and if not, I believe you are in for a treat.

Let me digress…

Yesterday I played hookie… it felt like that.

I went to a matinee performance of Wolf Hall in Covent Garden.

Lunch first and then three hours of gripping theatre from the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The best girl’s day out of all.

I felt like a naughty schoolgirl playing truant.

I should have been working on French Essence.

Yet how could I refuse such an invitation… and besides, what is the point of being in this amazing city if you don’t take advantage.

The play is a standout, especially if you are an English history fan and a Henry VIII one at that.

Even though the outcome of the play is a given, the facts have spoken for themselves for hundreds of years… the story is as fresh as its origin and the execution of the screenplay by Hilary Mantel… in a word, brilliant.

“England in 1527. Henry VIII has been King for almost 20 years and is desperate for a male heir. Intent on divorce he demands that Cardinal Wolsey 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.”

Sitting, listening and watching this powerful performance had me in awe of these actors and their trade.

How grateful I was to escape into their world, to be entertained by their characters.

Apart from the gripping plot and the austere yet quite perfect set I couldn’t help but feel drawn to the costumes.

I need no excuse for fashion inspiration.

Velvet and ruffles… a richness of costume that left me wanting to embellish my own wardrobe.

If you chance to be in London in the next few weeks… try and secure a ticket… the run has been extended.

You won’t be sorry… xv

Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies

49 Aldwych

London WC2B 4DF

+44 (0) 844 200 7981

Where To Eat

The Delaunay

55 Aldwych


+44 (0) 20 7499 8558

**Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies both by Hilary Mantel

VA In Your Inbox

subscribe for updates from vickiarcher.com


Jeanne McKay Hartmann

Oh wow, Vicki. You are so fortunate! I would LOVE to see these amazing books brought to the stage. Sounds like the best kind of afternoon and so worthy of playing hooky. So glad you got to do this ! XO


A must read and what a joy to be able to see the performance Vicki! Do not feel guilty for a moment,this is the stuff of life!

The Arts by Karena

Anita Rivera

Oh, I missed you this morning; I had to leave quite early to school. I would have LOVED to be truant or like we say out here, “PLAY HOOKEY!”

I would so love for once in my life, to see a live performance on the London stage. This sounds like an outstanding performance, and the subject matter…you could ask my husband. I am crazy about anything involving royalty from the past!

I am glad you played hookey, Vicki!

French Heart

Would LOVE that, Vicki. Thanks for posting! Understand how perfect an austere set can be. Saw Faye Dunaway in “Master Class” and there was virtually nothing but a piano on stage with her for most of the play. It was riveting.

This reminded me that Carly Simon was great friends with Jacqueline Onassis. They lived near each other on Martha’s Vineyard and she wrote after Jackie died that if she really wanted to see something, it had to be right away.

Once a performance was sold out and Jackie insisted to the ticket seller that she was find sitting on the floor she HAD to see it and see it right now! And they sat on the floor.

Carly wrote, “She was really a 16 year old girl her entire life.”

All best,


Esther George

Hi Vicki, please don’t feel guilty you have just shared your day with us…thank you. They have had a documentary called The British what a rich and amazing history, there is no point trying to get my attention when it’s on, said I to husband and son. Till next time have a wonderful weekend. Regards Esther from Sydney.


Sounds wonderful. The Royal Shakespeare Company is always superb. Also the National Theatre. Years ago when we lived in London we used to be on the mailing list for National Theatre productions – you could then buy tickets before they hit the box office – and could always get fantastic seats. Once we saw Maggie Smith in a Restoration comedy – her timing and delivery were superb. But seated right next to us in the front stalls were Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn. So exciting. Last year attended a National Theatre production with the script re-written (translated?) from the Russian by Cate Blanchett’s husband. The English had a very slight Aussie flavour. Very interesting.


Yes incredibly lucky! Also lucky again on our recent holiday in France this year. During the Cannes festival we were waiting just outside one of the hotels for our car when Sophia Loren and her son and small entourage emerged to wait for their car. Just a couple of feet away and the cars were a long time coming because of the festival traffic jam. Also saw Sofia Coppola scuttling around the media pack who were concentrating on SL and didn’t notice her.
In Paris, Cecile’s brother introduced us to Catherine Deneuve. So charming and still gorgeous looking – she even agreed to being photographed together. Best wishes, Pamela


You are lucky!
I have been in London for 15 years nearly and I never see anyone! Evry time friends come they say… I saw… this one and that… Me … Never!!

Karen in VA

What a great opportunity you seized … I can only imagine. And I do hope a movie is coming.

I liked a Wolf Hall and have to move on to Bringing Up The Bodies.

Have a great weekend.

Karen in VA


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

powered by chloédigital