Manitoba·★★★★ Review

Til Death: The Six Wives of Henry VIII

FOUR STARS Tara Travis gives a tour-de-force performance as all six of Henry VIII's wives.

FOUR STARS | Tara Travis gives a tour-de-force performance as all six of Henry VIII's wives

Tara Travis takes on all the roles in her solo show Til Death: The Six Wives of Henry VIII at the 2016 Winnipeg Fringe Festival. (Monster Theatre)

Rating: ★★★★

(Reviewed at the 2013 Winnipeg Fringe Festival)

Company: Monster Theatre, Vancouver

Genre: Play — Comedy

Venue: 17 — PTE Colin Jackson Studio

Purchase Tickets

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.

Travis plays them all with razor-sharp characterizations — from an understandably bitter Anne Boleyn to a flighty and flirty Catherine Howard.- Joff Schmidt

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.

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