Ladies in Waiting: The Judgement of Henry VIII

Critics

LemonMeter

100 %

Reviews: 9

Audience

LemonMeter

92 %

Reviews: 6

What's a Tudor monarch to do when he has to face all six of his wives in the afterlife? After a critically acclaimed and sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2016, Tier 5 Theatre Project is excited to bring award-winning playwright James Cougar Canfield's new play, LADIES IN WAITING: THE JUDGEMENT OF HENRY VIII stateside for its national premiere at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. LADIES IN WAITING is a sexy, heartbreaking, humorous, and dark exploration of Henry VIII and his relationships with the women in his life… with a feminist twist.  Originally workshopped, performed, and produced by graduates of England's East 15 Acting School's MA Acting and MFA Acting International programs, LADIES IN WAITING finds King Henry VIII in a purgatory-like situation, where one by one he must face off with each of his wives. Through dark humour, devastating truths, sexy seductions, and powerful revelations, Henry comes face to face with what his legacy has become: one entirely defined by women.

Reviews

Avatar

Canfield flawlessly executes an emotional floor routine worthy of the Olympics, packed with saltos and double saltos expressing his remorse, defiance, passion and distain in facing each of them. The show is blessed with acting as sharp as the stagecraft is superior. Director Mitchell Glass overcomes the limitations of a small stage and the hazards associated with placing a sizable cast on it with the precision and concentration of a master sculptor working on white marble. His stage flows with a vigorous energy and elegant motion that guards and guides his cast from colliding in either chaos or clutter.

sweet - Ernest Kearney - ...read full review


Avatar

Absolutely stunning and compelling performances by actresses Hilary Kelman, Wendy Skuse, Laryssa Schoeck, Jennifr Haining, Elli Brown, and Claiborne Tomlinson with James Canfield as The Lion himself.

A spectacular triumph!

Very Highly Recommended

sweet - Tracey Paleo - ...read full review


Patrick Chavis

If you're going to learn about the relationships of King Henry the 8th, this is one of the more entertaining ways to do it. It's cleverly written and strays from getting too heavily historical.

sweet - Patrick Chavis - LA Theatre Bites - Podcast - ...read full review


Avatar

Excellent performances from James & the outstanding cast of Ladies in Waiting. I love the way they clearly delineate the different relationships and personalities of each of Henry's wives: every Queen is presented with beauty, grace and the drama needed to give you a multi-dimensional understanding of the challenges facing a lusty English monarch! Speaking as a native Englishman, I was particularly impressed with the quality of the English accents performed by American actors in the cast - their delivery was flawless & it leads you deeply into the Tudor court. 'Ladies in Waiting' is thought-provoking, enticing & dramatic, a kind of purgatory fantasy where the lust-filled King has to face his demons, and his beautiful ex-wives are there to present him with the opportunity to correct his ways. Bravo!

sweet - Marcus J Freed


Avatar

Brilliantly written, directed and acted, Ladies in Waiting kept me on the edge of my seat with anticipation of which wife would speak and what she would say to her "beloved" Henry. I know the history very well and completely believed each character. The staging and pacing helped bring this story to life as Henry is confronted with the truth of his misogynistic and narcissistic behaviors. Henry fought hard against these truths and I was completely drawn into his struggle and stunningly powerful performance. I loved that they saved Katherine of Aragon for last. All of the actresses were powerful and brilliant and, I must say that Katherine was absolutely superb! The haunting chant: Divorced, Beheaded, Dead, is the music to which you will be transported through time and space and leave you feeling completely wanting more. Bravo! One of my favorite shows at HFF this year!

sweet - Naomi Collins-Beltz


Avatar

The show is extremely well-researched and will sit well with anyone who is well-versed in the history and many idiosyncrasies of Henry VIII. However, someone with even a casual understanding of the great king and his six unfortunate wives will be drawn in immediately. The performances are effortless and engaging. The skill of the performers and training is obvious and the message is powerful! I loved it and if I wasn't already booked up, I'd go back for a second helping.

sweet - Terra Taylor Knudson


Avatar

This is an exceptional play. A bold, original piece of new writing by James Canfield that deserves serious attention. Canfield masterfully blends history and feminist critique in this exploration of Henry VIII's legacy whilst never losing hold of the drama that makes this play so unique and engaging. The cast embody Henry and his wives with such nuanced, specific performances you will be hard pressed to ever see this historical figures again without remembering Ladies in Waiting. Standout performances by Catherine of Aragon and Catherine Howard! Do not miss this show.

sweet - Philip Alexander


Avatar

The women in this show do a terrific job, all with strong intentions and clear, distinct points-of-view. The director clearly knows how to get his performers to pursue strong objectives. Unfortunately, the only weak link is the character you have to follow through the whole show. The actor playing Henry VIII, James Cougar Canfield, shouts his way through every scene, never really taking in new information or listening to his fellow actors. There is no doubt that Henry VIII is a despicable character, but he could still be a dynamic one. The repetitiveness of Canfield's performance isn't helped by the script, which could use some serious trimming. I appreciated how much research clearly went into the script, but the debates between Henry and the women in his life would often grow redundant, making it unclear what the women were actually trying to accomplish by confronting Henry. The show is still worth seeing for the excellent performances of the women in the cast, and for some strong direction.

sweet-sour - Kerry Kaz


Avatar

Strong cast, solid writing, well staged. All in all this is a wonderful production tightly presented about a subject matter I was excited to learn more about. Hilary Kelman, who plays Cathrine of Aragon, puts in a fantastic performance. Her dialect and commanding stillness prove that Fringe shows don't need flashy sets or two hours to put on an impressive display. If you find yourself only able to check out one more Fringe show - put this at the top of your list!

sweet - Lara Thomas Ducey


Avatar

A great show

sweet - James Kelley - ...read full review


Avatar

A compelling historical thriller from @LadiesInW8ting w/cracking script & superb cast. 4/5

sweet - Aisha Josiah - ...read full review


Avatar

The performers all do a great job of defining women who can often get grouped into one homogenous mass as “Henry's Wives,” delivering Canfield's pacey dialogue with strength and poise, wittily highlighting the contradictions of a man who would behead women for having affairs while behaving the same way himself.

sweet - Sally Stott - ...read full review


Avatar

If you have read any of the numerous biographies on Henry or his wives, then this show will not offer you much in the way of new facts about his reign. But it's well presented and performed – and provides an insight into how the wives might see themselves, in relation to Henry and, more importantly, as women.

sweet - Caroline Cawley - ...read full review


Avatar

Ladies in Waiting is a well written play on an interesting theme with a strong cast.

sweet - Rhiannon Evans - ...read full review


Avatar

For an evening of Tudor intrigue with all the intensity and sexiness of a show like The Tudors, and for a vivid retelling of history, Ladies in Waiting is an excellent show, depicting events of history from the long silent female point of view.

sweet - Fiona Russell - ...read full review


Avatar

Canfield flawlessly executes an emotional floor routine worthy of the Olympics, packed with saltos and double saltos expressing his remorse, defiance, passion and distain in facing each of them. The show is blessed with acting as sharp as the stagecraft is superior. Director Mitchell Glass overcomes the limitations of a small stage and the hazards associated with placing a sizable cast on it with the precision and concentration of a master sculptor working on white marble. His stage flows with a vigorous energy and elegant motion that guards and guides his cast from colliding in either chaos or clutter.

sweet - Ernest Kearney - ...read full review


Avatar

Absolutely stunning and compelling performances by actresses Hilary Kelman, Wendy Skuse, Laryssa Schoeck, Jennifr Haining, Elli Brown, and Claiborne Tomlinson with James Canfield as The Lion himself.

A spectacular triumph!

Very Highly Recommended

sweet - Tracey Paleo - ...read full review


Patrick Chavis

If you're going to learn about the relationships of King Henry the 8th, this is one of the more entertaining ways to do it. It's cleverly written and strays from getting too heavily historical.

sweet - Patrick Chavis - LA Theatre Bites - Podcast - ...read full review


Avatar

A great show

sweet - James Kelley - ...read full review


Avatar

A compelling historical thriller from @LadiesInW8ting w/cracking script & superb cast. 4/5

sweet - Aisha Josiah - ...read full review


Avatar

The performers all do a great job of defining women who can often get grouped into one homogenous mass as “Henry's Wives,” delivering Canfield's pacey dialogue with strength and poise, wittily highlighting the contradictions of a man who would behead women for having affairs while behaving the same way himself.

sweet - Sally Stott - ...read full review


Avatar

If you have read any of the numerous biographies on Henry or his wives, then this show will not offer you much in the way of new facts about his reign. But it's well presented and performed – and provides an insight into how the wives might see themselves, in relation to Henry and, more importantly, as women.

sweet - Caroline Cawley - ...read full review


Avatar

Ladies in Waiting is a well written play on an interesting theme with a strong cast.

sweet - Rhiannon Evans - ...read full review


Avatar

For an evening of Tudor intrigue with all the intensity and sexiness of a show like The Tudors, and for a vivid retelling of history, Ladies in Waiting is an excellent show, depicting events of history from the long silent female point of view.

sweet - Fiona Russell - ...read full review


Avatar

Excellent performances from James & the outstanding cast of Ladies in Waiting. I love the way they clearly delineate the different relationships and personalities of each of Henry's wives: every Queen is presented with beauty, grace and the drama needed to give you a multi-dimensional understanding of the challenges facing a lusty English monarch! Speaking as a native Englishman, I was particularly impressed with the quality of the English accents performed by American actors in the cast - their delivery was flawless & it leads you deeply into the Tudor court. 'Ladies in Waiting' is thought-provoking, enticing & dramatic, a kind of purgatory fantasy where the lust-filled King has to face his demons, and his beautiful ex-wives are there to present him with the opportunity to correct his ways. Bravo!

sweet - Marcus J Freed


Avatar

Brilliantly written, directed and acted, Ladies in Waiting kept me on the edge of my seat with anticipation of which wife would speak and what she would say to her "beloved" Henry. I know the history very well and completely believed each character. The staging and pacing helped bring this story to life as Henry is confronted with the truth of his misogynistic and narcissistic behaviors. Henry fought hard against these truths and I was completely drawn into his struggle and stunningly powerful performance. I loved that they saved Katherine of Aragon for last. All of the actresses were powerful and brilliant and, I must say that Katherine was absolutely superb! The haunting chant: Divorced, Beheaded, Dead, is the music to which you will be transported through time and space and leave you feeling completely wanting more. Bravo! One of my favorite shows at HFF this year!

sweet - Naomi Collins-Beltz


Avatar

The show is extremely well-researched and will sit well with anyone who is well-versed in the history and many idiosyncrasies of Henry VIII. However, someone with even a casual understanding of the great king and his six unfortunate wives will be drawn in immediately. The performances are effortless and engaging. The skill of the performers and training is obvious and the message is powerful! I loved it and if I wasn't already booked up, I'd go back for a second helping.

sweet - Terra Taylor Knudson


Avatar

This is an exceptional play. A bold, original piece of new writing by James Canfield that deserves serious attention. Canfield masterfully blends history and feminist critique in this exploration of Henry VIII's legacy whilst never losing hold of the drama that makes this play so unique and engaging. The cast embody Henry and his wives with such nuanced, specific performances you will be hard pressed to ever see this historical figures again without remembering Ladies in Waiting. Standout performances by Catherine of Aragon and Catherine Howard! Do not miss this show.

sweet - Philip Alexander


Avatar

The women in this show do a terrific job, all with strong intentions and clear, distinct points-of-view. The director clearly knows how to get his performers to pursue strong objectives. Unfortunately, the only weak link is the character you have to follow through the whole show. The actor playing Henry VIII, James Cougar Canfield, shouts his way through every scene, never really taking in new information or listening to his fellow actors. There is no doubt that Henry VIII is a despicable character, but he could still be a dynamic one. The repetitiveness of Canfield's performance isn't helped by the script, which could use some serious trimming. I appreciated how much research clearly went into the script, but the debates between Henry and the women in his life would often grow redundant, making it unclear what the women were actually trying to accomplish by confronting Henry. The show is still worth seeing for the excellent performances of the women in the cast, and for some strong direction.

sweet-sour - Kerry Kaz


Avatar

Strong cast, solid writing, well staged. All in all this is a wonderful production tightly presented about a subject matter I was excited to learn more about. Hilary Kelman, who plays Cathrine of Aragon, puts in a fantastic performance. Her dialect and commanding stillness prove that Fringe shows don't need flashy sets or two hours to put on an impressive display. If you find yourself only able to check out one more Fringe show - put this at the top of your list!

sweet - Lara Thomas Ducey