Divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived. School kids learn the fate of Henry VIII's six wives in this chant. At the end of the daylong Wolf Hall Broadway premiere on Thursday, at the restaurants in Rockefeller Center where a lively celebration for the epic holding court at the Winter Garden Theater was underway, my hands were clasped in those of Nathaniel Parker, the actor who so winningly portrays Henry VIII in Wolf Hall, and we were singing it in unison. Wolf Hall, based upon historic fiction by Hilary Mantel, focuses on the period in his reign when the king, smitten with the sexy Anne Boleyn, concocts a strategy for ridding himself of his wife of 18 years, Catherine of Aragon, and then tiring of Anne in favor of Jane Seymour, finds Anne guilty of treason in the form of adultery. That costs the new queen her head. As to kings having their way, it doesn't get juicier.
I say to Nathaniel Parker, Aren't there better ways to get rid of women?