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About the Production
Is the Musical based on any particular book or play about Henry VIII?
No. The musical is an entirely original script and not based on any other production.
What aspect of Henry VIII’s life does the musical focus on?
The musical covers the entire period of Henry VIII’s reign, but mainly focuses on the trials and tribulations of his life with his six wives. Read more about the storyline here.
Is the Musical historically accurate?
Within the boundaries of artistic licence, yes. The life of Henry VIII continues to be debated by historians, and not all agree on every aspect. The writers sourced their materials from numerous different historical books and documents on Henry VIII.
What genre is the musical? Serious? Comedy?
The life of Henry VIII is a gift for the stage – it covers every emotion imaginable from anger to despair, happiness to humour. While the musical contains serious drama, it also has numerous passages which have proven to leave audiences laughing. In particular, the character of the Jester is designed to provide some comedic light relief when it’s most needed!
Can I listen to the songs from the musical before I buy?
Yes! You can listen to all the tracks right now on our Songs page.
Who wrote the production?
The production was written by experienced composer Paul Harris (alumnus of the Royal College of Music) and writer Eddie Copeland. You can find out more about Paul and Eddie here.
Where has the musical been performed to date?
The production was first performed by 35 students from six schools in Essex in November 2011 and received rave reviews from audience members and critics alike. The show was subsequently selected by the Royal Shakespeare Company to appear at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, before going on to headline the RSC’s Open Stages National Showcase of Talent at the Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon. The production made its London debut at the Royal College of Music’s Britten Theatre in December 2012. The Junior Version of the show was later performed by The Perse Prep School, Cambridge, in May 2019.
About performing the show
How many people are needed in the cast?
The ideal number is around 35 people, but the production can be performed with 25-50. The show has a large number of distinct and important roles (Henry VIII, the six wives, Wolsey, Cromwell, the Jester) as well as chorus parts (townsfolk, soldiers, school children) so there are plenty of opportunities for performers to shine. Read more about all the different roles and pick up some costume suggestions on our Characters page.
What age groups is the musical designed for?
The musical comes in two versions. The Full Version has a slightly more linguistically sophisticated script, two extra songs, longer versions of some songs, and tenor and bass vocal parts. It would ideally be performed by a mixed cast aged 14 up to adult. The Junior Version can be performed by a cast with members aged 10-13 – i.e. the final year of junior or prep school. We’ve thoroughly tested and performed both versions to ensure they work and are age-appropriate.
What scenery is required?
Very little is required, but you can be as ambitious as you like. The scenes are conveyed through the fast-paced script and songs. The original cast production used a simple black backdrop with a large Tudor rose. Simple stage furniture – six black boxes, a table, and a mattress to act as a bed – are all that is required.
What props are required?
Read the full prop list here.
Do we need a full band to play the music?
No. The musical comes with scores to be played by a simple three-piece band, consisting of keyboard, bass guitar and drums. However, we also provide professional, studio-quality backing tracks, featuring a full range of instruments should you wish to use those instead.
About the materials
How do I purchase the musical?
You can purchase the musical and pay by card or PayPal directly on this site.
What do I get when I buy the musical?
When you complete your purchase, you will receive an email with links to the following files to download. (You’ll also be able to access them anytime thereafter from your My Account page.)
1) Studio-quality recordings of all songs featuring the full vocals as they’re meant to sound (MP3)
2) Studio-quality backing tracks for all songs AND all incidental (i.e. scene change) music (MP3)
3) Musical Director’s score – featuring vocals, piano, bass and drums (PDF)
4) Vocal and piano score (PDF)
5) Instrumental score for drums and bass guitar (PDF)
6) Scripts with libretto and lyrics (PDF)
7) Director’s Guide – featuring handy tips, lists and resources (PDF)
8) A performance licence to perform the musical 3 times (PDF). (A top-up licence can be purchased for additional performances).
Why do you sell digital versions?
The creators of Henry VIII The Musical have long experience of licensing other productions and have decided to do things differently. We don’t believe you should have to wait for weeks to hire hard copies of the script. We don’t think it’s helpful that you have to write all your notes in pencil and rub them out afterwards. And we don’t think it’s fair that you have to pay a fine if the copies are damaged or lost. Instead, we offer all our materials as digital downloads in PDF and MP3 format. This means you get instant access, you can print as many copies as you wish, and write as many notes as you want.
Can I see a sample of the scripts and music before I download?
Of course. Perusal scripts and scores are available from 1st February. Sign up to receive you copy here.
What do I do if I have any problems downloading material?
Please email us directly at email@example.com and we will aim to resolve any issues within 24hrs.
Do I need a licence to perform the show?
Yes. Henry VIII The Musical is the projected copyright of the writers, Paul Harris and Eddie Copeland. To use the material you must purchase a performance licence. When you buy the Full or Junior version of the musical, the school or youth theatre you represent will be sent a licence to perform the musical up to 3 times. Should you wish to have more performances, you can buy a top-up licence. Licences may not be transferred between organisations.
What’s your refund policy?
Before making your purchase, we encourage you to throughly explore this site to check that Henry VIII The Musical is right for your needs. However, if you’re not entirely happy with the product, you can claim a refund for the full value minus admin costs, by writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org within 7 calendar days of the date of purchase. Refunds cannot be offered after this time. When you claim a refund, please note your access to all files and permission to use them is rescinded. Any downloaded copies should be deleted.