The all-women production, Six Dead Queens And An Inflatable Henry, takes a look at choice, consent and individuality
The six dead wives of the infamous Henry VIII meet in their afterlives. Trapped for eternity, this group of queens, from the betrayed to the beheaded, are forced to share one husband and one bed. This is the premise of the upcoming production by Bangalore Little Theatre, Six Dead Queens And An Inflatable Henry, that's described as one part cabaret, one part biography and a whole lot of comedy. The production is based on a play by Foursight Theatre Group, UK and premieres in India this weekend.
The Tudor monarch, Henry VIII was notorious for his six marriages, and the annulment of one of these even led to the English Reformation that separated the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church. But history usually only accounts for the king’s story. “The plot deals with these six women and how their lives revolved around one man who never bothered to establish their existence independent of him. Their life and death were all according to the wish of that one soul, for whom, many a time they were not even humans, but mere puppets,” director Shatarupa Bhattacharyya tells us. The three Catherines, two Annes and one Jane sing, dance and fight to assert themselves as the one true queen. As the play unfolds, it questions choice, consent, individuality, identity, legitimacy and justice.
Shatarupa explains further that although the play deals with history and real-life historical characters, what the characters speak does not necessarily pertain to that time only, but rather resonates with women of today. “All this is done through humour and comedy; there is not a single moment in the play where the audience won’t laugh or grin,” she adds. The production boasts an all-female cast and crew as well. The actors are Ruchi Tandon, Ujani Ghosh, Sneha Sridhar, Shraddha Raj, Bhagyashree Kakoti and Sanchitha Poonacha. Shatarupa feels that there is a gender imbalance in the world of theatre and through this play, they want to give women the opportunity to showcase their talent, and create a healthy environment. “The production is the result of innumerable talented women coming together and creating something extraordinary. I am lucky to have such outstanding women in my team,” she signs off.
Rs. 200. Saturday and Sunday, 4 pm and 7.30 pm. At Alliance Francaise, Vasanth Nagar