Written in collaboration with John Fletcher, Henry VIII is quite possibly Shakespeare’s final play – but, despite this country’s continued obsession with all things Tudor, it remains a rarely performed piece. Imagine the delight of Shakespeare completists everywhere when it was announced as part of the Globe’s 2022 summer season, this time in a slightly updated version that sees Hannah Khalil (resident writer) become the third collaborator; the original has a heavy male focus, thanks in part to the two (male) playwrights having to work around the expectations of the establishment to avoid censorship and arrest – but now 400 years have passed, it’s about time the female voices in this story were heard as well.
It seems like we’ve been made to wait an inordinately long time for this announcement, but it was definitely worth it as far as I’m concerned.
The Two Noble Kinsmen is a fun-filled boisterous romp that’s worth sticking with. It might not make much sense but there are some outstanding performances and flashes of Barrie Rutter’s famously fresh, unstuffy, unorthodox direction.
Barrie Rutter directs this rare revival of the William Shakespeare and John Fletcher play The Two Noble Kinsmen. But what have critics made of it?
A welcome performance of a lesser-known play, providing as much entertainment as food for thought – the music and dance are real highlights.
Olivier Award winner for musical Kinky Boots, Matt Henry will make his Shakespeare’s Globe debut in Barrie Rutter’s The Two Noble Kinsmen, by John Fletcher and William Shakespeare, opening in The Globe on 25 May (press night is 30 May).