Company: Til Death Productions, Vancouver, BC
Venue: 13 - Asper Centre for Theatre and Film (UofW)
Travis plays them all with razor-sharp characterizations - from an understandably bitter Anne Boleyn to a flighty and flirty Catherine Howard.
If hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, then you'd expect six women
in heaven's anteroom, waiting for the arrival of their mutual husband,
to have a few things to say.
And so they do in Ryan Gladstone's comedy, given a tour de force solo performance by Tara Travis.
She plays all six of Henry VIII's wives, waiting in limbo for the
arrival of the king - and the chance to join him in "royalty heaven"
(like regular heaven, but fancier).
The trouble is, only one can join him - and so the competition to see who is most deserving begins.
Travis plays them all with razor-sharp characterizations - from an
understandably bitter Anne Boleyn, who arrives sans body, to the
imperious Catherine of Aragon, to a flighty and flirty Catherine Howard.
As they vie over who was most loved - and most wronged - by the
corpulent serial-marrying king, Travis flies from character to character
with lightning-quick precision.
It does, by the end of 75 minutes, get a bit tiring just keeping up with
her. And the show takes a while to start up, as each character needs to
be introduced and defined.
But once it gets going, Gladstone and Travis deliver plenty of laughs, a
fresh take on history, and a "you go girl" ending that feels like it
finally gives a proper voice to Henry's wives.
Travis' outstanding performance makes it worth hearing what they have to say.