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A Man for All Seasons

a Drama
by Robert Bolt

COMPANY : The New American Shakespeare Tavern [WEBSITE]
VENUE : The New American Shakespeare Tavern [WEBSITE]
ID# 5390

SHOWING : November 08, 2018 - November 25, 2018



Meet King Henry VIII who, upon learning that the Pope will not grant him a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, decides to break from the Catholic Church. Enter Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas More, a long-time friend of the King’s and a staunch Catholic. After Henry declares that he will break from the Catholic Church and passes a bill requiring his subjects to agree to Henry’s supremacy over all, Thomas resigns his Chancellorship and refuses to take the oath. This brilliant and gripping story of one man’s courage and convictions will move all who experience it.

If you liked "The Crucible," "St. Joan" or "Galileo," you will love "A Man For All Seasons."

Director Tony Brown
Cardinal Wolsey Tony Brown
Margaret More Kirsten Calvert
The Common Man Nicholas Faircloth
Chapuys, Cranmer Luis Hernandez
Norfolk Doug Kaye
Richard Rich Glenn Lorandeau
Woman Vickie Marlin
Alice More Janet Metzger
Will Roper David Sterritt
Cromwell Charlie T. Thomas
Sir Thomas More Jeff Watkins
Henry VIII Troy Willis
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A Well-Seasoned Man
by playgoer
Sunday, November 18, 2018
Robert Bolt’s "A Man for All Seasons" covers some of the same ground as Shakespeare’s (and John Fletcher’s) "King Henry VIII" and the banned collaborative play "Sir Thomas More," to which Shakespeare contributed. But this is a modern play that allows use of Anné Carole Butler’s costumes, which include a fabulous costume for King Henry (Troy Willis) and more modest and somber costumes for Sir Thomas More (Jeff Watkins). It’s performed primarily with general lighting across the auditorium, although Greg Hanthorn, Jr.’s lighting design does use some dimming and spotlighting for effect.

The set uses the standard stage set-up for the Shakespeare Tavern, with a table stage right present for most of the running time, its tablecloth changed to indicate various locations. The balcony is used for other locations, and the lower downstage platform fills in for waterside scenes. It all works well and, aside from the lack of Elizabethan verse, certainly gives the feel of a Shakespeare Tavern production of a Shakespeare play.

J. Tony Brown has directed the play ably, and also performs as Cardinal Wolsey. Nicholas Faircloth starts the show off as The Common Man, taking on various roles as the play progresses, and his easy charm provides a pleasant welcome to the world of the play. Jeff Watkins invests Sir Thomas More with great sincerity, contrasting with the devious slyness evinced by Glenn Lorandeau as Richard Rich. Janet Metzger and Kirstin Calvert perform convincingly as More’s wife and daughter, and David Sterritt shows the growth of More’s son-in-law from a tentative young man to a member of the family. Charlie T. Thomas and Luis Hernandez do sterling work as shifty men of power who complicate More’s life. Mr. Willis is terrific as King Henry VIII. The acting is fine all around.

"A Man for All Seasons" was an acclaimed hit in its time. The play still maintains its power, but the Shakespeare Tavern production is a generally low-key affair. It’s an interesting change from pure Shakespeare, but lacks the poetic power of the genuine Shakespearean article. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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