Wolf Hall is the Tudor version of Doctor Who: you never forget your first Doctor, or your first Cromwell. Ben Miles isn't my first Cromwell, but he is my Cromwell.
Wolf Hall Photos from Jeffery Richards Press Associates
This morning I got an email for discounted Wolf Hall on Broadway tickets, because the last day to see parts one and two is July 5, 2015. My first thought was that I wish I could see it again, for any price and in any seat, because it was just that good.
Ben Miles is the Thomas Cromwell that Hans Holbein painted and Hilary Mantel wrote into being. He is a cross between the history and the fiction, and every moment of the six hour plays stayed true to the books. Even when the play veers from the book, it is true to the sense of the story.
Some of the visuals of the play, such as Cromwell's hats steadily increasing in elegance (because someday, he'll want a crown) and the nice scene of handing a scroll to Mary Shelton, are in the books but I didn't really notice them until I saw them on stage.
It is no secret that I was disappointed with the BBC/PBS adaptation of Wolf Hall, because that Thomas Cromwell isn't my Thomas Cromwell. James Frain was my Thomas Cromwell, until Ben Miles.
The Cromwell Ben Miles gives us is funny and warm, threatening and and menacing, the center of attention and the outsider who is watching Anne and Henry with us.
In the Youtube clips of the Wolf Hall, the dialouge is there, but not the audience. The laughter of people who have been sipping the Wolf Hall themed drinkings - The Cromwell and the Tudor Rose - makes these scenes seem different in person.
The stark staging becomes Tudor England, and the commitment to the book, right down to Mary Tudor and her skirts, makes me feel like the book love was being acted in front of me.'
If you are able to see the show at the Winter Garden Theater, go. The Wolf Hall on Broadway coupon code is WHBNL615 for "Single tickets as low as $59.50". The six hours went quickly, and of course the intermission at dinner helped. If you can't see the play, you can read the Wolf Hall script, but the play changed things for me. Claire Foy is my Anne (from the BBC "Wolf Hall"), Jeremy Northam is my Thomas More (from The Tudors"), and Nathaniel Parker is my Henry and Ben Miles is my Cromwell, both from Wolf Hall on Broadway.
Ally Sharp is a teacher, writer and editor, and technology trainer.