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Characters

Henry VIII

Henry VIII from Henry VIII The Musical
The man himself – Henry VIII, King of England 1509-1547.

Act One of the musical sees Henry as a young and energetic monarch, enjoying all the power and trappings of royalty. In Act Two, worn down by three marriages and the tragic death of his third wife, Jane Seymour, he is transformed into an older, larger and more irritable man. Those who cross him regret it!

The role of Henry includes the following songs:
>Life Is So Sweet (Duet)
>Where Is My Boy (Solo)
>Let’s Agree To Disagree (Duet)
>Now That You’re Gone (Solo)
>I Don’t Like What I See (Duet)
>Henry’s Nightmare (optional – with his six wives – Senior Version only)
>God Bless King Henry
>DBDDBS

The Jester

The Joker from Henry VIII The Musical
Thank goodness for the Jester, the King’s official entertainer!

The role is designed to provide comedic light relief when it’s most needed. Able to interact with all the other characters no matter what their position in society, the Jester sees everything and acts as a guide for the audience, bringing them up to speed with what’s really going on.

The Jester has no solos but plays an enthusiastic role in the full cast numbers.

Catherine of Aragon

Catherine of Aragon from Henry VIII The Musical
Henry’s first wife. Catherine is serious and devout – the very epitome of the good Christian Queen.

The daughter of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, Catherine was just three years old when she was betrothed to Henry’s brother Arthur, Prince of Wales. That betrothal is used by Henry as his main get-out clause when he decides he wants to marry Anne Boleyn. In this role, we see Catherine fighting with determination to prove to Henry that she’s his rightful wife and queen.

The role of Catherine of Aragon includes the following songs:
>Life Is So Sweet (Duet)
>Leave Him Be (Duet – Senior Version only)
>Henry’s Nightmare (with Henry and the other wives – Senior Version only)
>DBDDBS

Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn from Henry VIII The Musical
Henry’s second wife. Confident, proud and… argumentative!

Henry is transfixed by Anne, one of Catherine of Aragon’s ladies in waiting, who beguiles him with her confidence and charm. In this role we see her fight for her chance to be queen. She is left wondering if that day will ever come and finds herself battling with the determined Catherine for the role of Henry’s wife.

The role of Anne Boleyn includes the following songs:
>God Save The King
>Leave Him Be (Duet)
>Wait And See (Solo)
>Let’s Agree To Disagree (Duet)
>Henry’s Nightmare (with Henry and the other wives – Senior Version only)
>DBDDBS

Jane Seymour

Jane Seymour from Henry VIII The Musical
Henry’s third wife, Jane is gentle and kind.

Involved from the start of the production as one of Catherine of Aragon’s ladies in waiting, Jane provides a complete contrast to Anne Boleyn, with her calm and caring presence.

Jane’s time as Henry’s wife is all too short, but she provides him with Edward, the son he has craved, before she tragically dies, leaving the king distraught and alone. Some say she was the only one he ever truly loved.

The role of Jane Seymour includes the following songs:
>God Save The King
>Henry’s Nightmare (with Henry and the other wives – Senior Version only)
>DBDDBS

Anne of Cleves

Anne of Cleves from Henry VIII The Musical
Henry’s fourth wife.

At the start of Act Two, Henry is persuaded against his better judgement to marry Anne of Cleves.

Poor Anne never stands a chance. When her looks do not match the portrait provided by master painter, Hans Holbein, Henry quickly looks for any route out of his new marriage. Rest assured Anne gives as good as she gets. With flare and comedy, she is happy to point out to the King his many flaws and hypocrisies before being forced to depart.

The character can be made up with exaggerated ugly features (we can recommend applying a monobrow…) to add to the effect.

Since this role does not feature before Act Two, the actress playing Anne could play another role, such as being one of the Townfolk, in Act One.

The role of Anne of Cleves includes the following songs:
>Henry’s Nightmare (with Henry and the other wives – Senior Version only)
>DBDDBS

Catherine Howard

Catherine Howard from Henry VIII The Musical
Henry’s fifth wife, Catherine is very young and very naive!

That naivety leads her to miss the gravity of her situation, first when Henry courts her while still being married to Anne of Cleves, and later when she gets too close to Culpeper, one of the King’s closest friends.

Catherine’s ladies in waiting try to save her from herself, but things are not destined to work out well when she provokes the King’s rage.

Since this role does not feature before Act Two, the actress playing Catherine could play another role, such as being one of the Townfolk, in Act One.

The role of Catherine Howard includes the following songs:
>I’m Still Young (solo)
>Henry’s Nightmare (with Henry and the other wives – Senior Version only)
>DBDDBS

Katherine Parr

Katherine Parr from Henry VIII The Musical
Henry’s sixth and last wife, Katherine is more a nurse than a wife to Henry.

Starting out as a lady in waiting to her predecessor, Catherine Howard, she has the seriousness of Catherine of Aragon and the caring nature of Jane Seymour. She is there to make life more bearable for the King as his life and health start to crumble.

Since this role does not feature before Act Two, the actress playing Katherine could play another role, such as being one of the Townfolk, in Act One.

The role of Katherine Parr includes the following songs:
>I’m Still Young (ladies in waiting chorus part)
>More Bearable (solo)
>Henry’s Nightmare (with Henry and the other wives – Senior Version only)
>DBDDBS

Cardinal Wolsey

Thomas Wolsey and the Privy Councillors from Henry VIII The Musical
Cardinal, Lord Chancellor and the King’s Chief Advisor.

It is to Wolsey the King turns when he requires help to escape his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.

Wolsey presides over the great trial to undo their marriage and becomes the victim of Henry’s rath when he fails to secure an annulment.

The actor playing Wolsey can also play the part of Thomas Cromwell – see below.

The role of Cardinal Wolsey includes the following songs:
>God Save The King
>DBDDBS

Thomas Cromwell

Thomas Cromwell from Henry VIII The Musical
Thomas Cromwell is Wolsey’s replacement as Chief Advisor following the former’s fall from grace. Cromwell completes the job of ending Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon. However, his lowly status as the son of a drunkard blacksmith leads to the Privy Councillors trying to undermine him at every turn. Cromwell rides high in the King’s estimation until his idea for Henry to marry Anne of Cleves comes back to bite him.

The actor playing Cromwell can also play the part of Cardinal Wolsey – see above.

The role of Cromwell includes the following songs:
>King Henry’s In A Mess (solo during full-cast number)
>I Don’t Like What I See (duet)
>DBDDBS

The Privy Councillors

Privy Councillors from Henry VIII The Musical
Serious learned gentlemen who run the government for the King.

Led by the cunning Paget, the three including Cecil and Walsingham guard their power jealously and resent Cromwell’s rise to prominence. Act Two witnesses them seizing the opportunity to bring Cromwell down after his blunder over the King’s marriage to Anne of Cleves.

The Privy Councillors form part of the chorus in the followings songs:
>God Save The King
>King Henry’s In A Mess
>God Bless King Henry
>DBDDBS

The Minions

The Minions from Henry VIII The Musical
Lifelong friends of Henry, the Minions are responsible for looking after the King’s personal needs. Among the only characters who can be playful with the King, the Minions – Culpepper, Crompton, Brandon, Rushton, Blackmore and Essex – feature in Act One and help the King enjoy himself.

Culpepper plays a central role in Act Two during his ill-advised courtship of the King’s fifth wife, Catherine Howard.

The Minions can form part of the chorus in the followings songs:
>Taxed (optional appearance alongside Townsfolk)
>Fight For King And Crown (optional appearance alongside Townsfolk)
>King Henry’s In A Mess
>DBDDBS

Ladies in Waiting

Ladies in Waiting from Henry VIII The Musical
The dedicated women who attend to the personal needs of each queen.

The ladies in waiting are there to help, comfort and protect the queens from the trials and tribulations that afflict their lives. In Act One, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour join the ladies in waiting to Catherine of Aragon. In Act Two, Katherine Parr is a lady in waiting to Catherine Howard.

The ladies in waiting can form part of the chorus in the followings songs:
>God Save The King
>King Henry’s In A Mess
>I’m Still Young (chorus part alongside Catherine Howard)
>God Bless King Henry
>DBDDBS

Townsfolk

Townsfolk from Henry VIII The Musical
The common people who live under Henry’s reign.

The long-suffering Townsfolk bore the brunt of the heavy taxes raised by Henry’s cruel father, Henry VII. Understandably, not all are convinced that the new King will be much different, as we hear in the song ‘Taxed’. The Townsfolk make up a significant part of the Chorus, featuring as a group and with individual lines for up to eight speaking roles (including the town barman).

The Townsfolk form part of the chorus in the followings songs:
>Taxed
>Fight For King And Crown
>King Henry’s In A Mess
>God Bless King Henry
>DBDDBS

Soliders

Soldiers from Henry VIII The Musical
Henry’s soldiers, who fight with him in the war against France.

The soldiers make a dramatic appearance in Act One to sing ‘Fight For King And Crown’ on their way to battle.

Given their appearance in this one scene, those playing the role of the soldiers can double up as other characters, such as townfolk or Minions.

The soldiers feature in the song:
>Fight For King And Crown

Teacher and School Children

Teacher and School Children from Henry VIII The Musical
Set in a modern-day classroom, a scene in Act One sees a teacher patiently trying to explain to their class how Henry’s relationship with Anne Boleyn dramatically deteriorates.

Given their appearance in this one scene, those playing the roles of the teacher and school children can double up as other characters, such as townfolk or soliders.

There are no specific songs for the teacher and school children. However, they are likely to double up as other chorus parts listed above.