Producers Playful Productions and the Royal Shakespeare Company have announced that the third and final novel in the Wolf Hall trilogy, The Mirror and the Light has been adapted for the West End stage. The world premiere will run at London’s Gielgud Theatre from 23 September for a strictly limited season until 28 November, with an opening night on 6 October.
The play will be the concluding chapter of Hilary Mantel’s multi award-winning novels about the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell, all commissioned and developed for the stage by Playful Productions. The Olivier and Tony Award-winning Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies were hailed as landmark and must-see theatrical events and sold out their London runs in 2014.
The Mirror and the Light has been adapted for stage by Mantel herself alongside Ben Miles, who will return to his role as Cromwell to complete the trilogy. Nathaniel Parker joins him, resuming his Olivier Award-winning and Tony Award nominated role as Henry VIII. Jeremy Herrin, who was nominated for an Olivier Award for the first two productions, returns to direct.
Wolf Hall won the prestigious Man Booker Prize in 2009, and Bring Up the Bodies won in 2012, making Mantel the first woman ever to have received the award twice. Bring Up the Bodies also won the Costa Novel Award, the first time the same novel has won both this and the Man Booker. The trilogy charts the riveting rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell in the ruthless court of Henry VIII.
The production will feature scenic and costume design by Christopher Oram who won both Olivier and Tony Awards for his work on Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies and music by Stephen Warbeck.
Matthew Byam Shaw, producer for Playful Productions, said:
“I am delighted that we are able to bring this brilliant visceral play to the stage this autumn. Hilary Mantel and Ben Miles have created a taut and fast-paced final instalment to this epic trilogy. It is wonderful that Jeremy Herrin and Christopher Oram will once again bring the work to life, reuniting with Ben and Nathaniel Parker as Cromwell and Henry VIII. It feels especially good to be presenting this play now as the country re-emerges from a very difficult year. We hope that it brings a palpable feeling of excitement to theatre audiences once again.”
Gregory Doran, RSC artistic director added: “We are thrilled to be opening the final part in the Wolf Hall trilogy this autumn working alongside Playful Productions, and with Hilary Mantel and Ben Miles on the fantastic adaptation. Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies were welcomed with extraordinary enthusiasm and excitement back in 2014 and audiences have waited patiently to see the third and final part. It’s a much anticipated theatrical climax to an epic and ambitious work, and we can’t wait to open and share it with audiences in the West End this year.”