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The Mirror and the Light - History made remarkable

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Booking from
Thursday, 23 September 2021

Booking until
Monday, 29 November 2021

Running time
2 hours 30 minutes (one interval)

Performance Times

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
14:30 14:30 14:30
19:30 19:30 19:30 19:30 19:30

The Mirror and the Light

It's hard to imagine the 16th century; the filth, the violence, the poverty and – at the opposite side of the scale, where royalty and The Establishment is concerned - the sheer opulence of it all. The Mirror and The Light brings the 1500s to sparkling life, complete with scents, sights and textures to match. Welcome to the third play in Dame Hilary Mantel's supremely good trilogy of novels, which has finally been adapted for the stage after an eight year wait. This is the sequel to Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, it's the final part of the story of the relationship between upstart Oliver Cromwell and Henry 8th, and it's billed as spectacularly good!

Let's leave the last word to Matthew Byam Shaw, the Producer for Playful Productions. He is, "delighted that we are able to bring this brilliant visceral play to the stage this autumn. Hilary Mantel and Ben Miles have created a taut and fast-paced final instalment to this epic trilogy. It is wonderful that Jeremy Herrin and Christopher Oram will once again bring the work to life, reuniting with Ben and Nathaniel Parker as Cromwell and Henry VIII. It feels especially good to be presenting this play now as the country re-emerges from a very difficult year. We hope that it brings a palpable feeling of excitement to theatre audiences once again." Don't miss the drama.

Audience Latest Reviews

Reviews Summary based on 59 reviews
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Amazing! so good!
Mariya, 30 Nov 2021
A Good Production, But Not One I Would Have Chosen to See
I attended only because the play was chosen by the two people I was with. It is not a play I would choose to see on my own. Overall, it was an entertaining story, with particularly good acting by the lead Actor playing Thomas Cromwell: a demanding and exhausting role. I found the Duke of Norfolk particularly entertaining. The costumes, lighting and music were of a high standard. The death of Jane Seymour was especially moving, with some beautiful music. The choreography was very good, and I enjoyed the dancing. I would have preferred a Shakespeare or Marlowe history play, with greater complexity of character, but that is a personal choice, and although "The Mirror and Light" was not my preferred type of play, I recognise that it was a very good performance in many ways. I did feel that theatre staff were, unintentionally, appearing to shout and ordering us into a queue outside the theatre in particularly cold weather, but appreciate that they had a difficult job ensuring that people entered the theatre safely. Perhaps a megaphone or some other system for communication could be used. Inside the theatre, we were made to feel very welcome by staff in the theatre and in the bar. Thank you to everyone concerned.
Richard, 29 Nov 2021
Wonderful performance - RSC on top form as ever
Simply superb - the final instalment of Mantel's extraordinary saga of Thomas Cromwell - it's really impossible to ever fault the RSC and they were really on excellent form. A superb, enthralling play - looking forward (I hope) to this appearing on the BBC in future so those unable to have caught the performance can see it recreated as happened with the earlier production of Wolf Hall - which I also saw! A*****
Margaret, 29 Nov 2021
Another amazing production
Have enjoyed the trilogy The acting was superb The cast amazing
SANDRA, 28 Nov 2021
Excellent
chris, 26 Nov 2021
Classic RSC production
Ben Miles and Nathanial Parker were outstanding. Some of the actors in small roles were pretty wooden but overall we enjoyed it a lot. The music and lighting were excellent.
Margaret, 25 Nov 2021
The Mirror & the Light is a fitting finale to Mantel's trilogy.
Familiar and new faces equally rose to the occasion. Excellent acting. Casting superb. Many characters just as you had imagined them. A welcome resistance to creating stereotypes (particularly Henry V111). Not a play for those unfamiliar with the trilogy and or the historical period. One had a sense the audience was sharing an experience with people with whom they were very familiar which name for a very satisfying overall experience.
Shirley, 25 Nov 2021
The Mirror & the Light is a fitting finale to Mantel's trilogy.
Familiar and new faces equally rose to the occasion. Excellent acting. Casting superb. Many characters just as you had imagined them. A welcome resistance to creating stereotypes (particularly Henry V111). Not a play for those unfamiliar with the trilogy and or the historical period. One had a sense the audience was sharing an experience with people with whom they were very familiar which name for a very satisfying overall experience.
Shirley, 25 Nov 2021
The Mirror & the Light is a fitting finale to Mantel's trilogy.
Familiar and new faces equally rose to the occasion. Excellent acting. Casting superb. Many characters just as you had imagined them. A welcome resistance to creating stereotypes (particularly Henry V111). Not a play for those unfamiliar with the trilogy and or the historical period. One had a sense the audience was sharing an experience with people with whom they were very familiar which name for a very satisfying overall experience.
Shirley, 25 Nov 2021
Last chance
…for Cromwell…and to see the show? This should extend!
Pennie, 25 Nov 2021
Classic but no surprises
Robert, 24 Nov 2021
Brilliant transformation of the book
Really powerful performance. I wasn’t sure how the book would work on stage but it was very cleverly done, bringing out the main themes.
Catherine, 21 Nov 2021
Amazing spectacle with real depth
Lynne, 21 Nov 2021
A gem!
Power politics at the court of HenryVIII. Advise you read H Mantel’s trilogy as its a must of historical fiction. The play is a distilled version of the third book. Brilliantly staged and played.
Helena, 21 Nov 2021
Great acting, great play
Charlotte, 19 Nov 2021
a must see for Wolf Hall enthusiasts
Play was excellent - Disappointed that there was not more effort to encourage mask wearing.
Ruth, 19 Nov 2021
The end of the story……..
Averill, 18 Nov 2021
Wonderful Production
It’s a wonderful production. Go whilst you have the chance!!!
Stuart, 17 Nov 2021
The fall from power
Amazing acting, singing was a complete surprise and very atmospheric. Told the story from a less traditional angle which relates to present day rise and fall of those at the top....I loved it
katy, 14 Nov 2021
As good as expected
Excellent
Hilary, 14 Nov 2021
Great evening out!
Excellent play and acting. Faithful to the spirit of the novel - real touches of authenticity. Parallels to modern times!
Sally, 14 Nov 2021
A fascinating historical drama
I liked the show, it was well acted, fast paced and interesting. I had already seen the previous two plays in this series of adaptations of the Hilary Mantel books about the life of Oliver Cromwell and I think that helped in my understanding of the plot. If you have not read the books or seen the previous plays it would be a good idea to read up on the life of Thomas Cromwell and King Henry VIII as this would help you understand and enjoy the play.
Kate, 14 Nov 2021
Well paced and a great historical story
Steve, 11 Nov 2021
Better than the book
Compared to Wolf Hall and Bring up the bodies,I found The Mirror and the Light harder to read. The pace of the play is much better. I loved The actors and the costumes. Time just flew by
Veerle, 11 Nov 2021
The RSC at their very best!
Superb production of The Mirror and the Light, based on the last book in the Wolf Hall trilogy by Hilary Mantel. The language is modern and even if you aren’t familiar with the first 2 books/plays, the characters all call each other by name, and so you will soon pick up who they all are. There’s also some good humour in the play, it isn’t all doom and gloom. I guess you would probably get more from it if you are broadly familiar with your Tudor history, but it’s a superb play, well acted by a very strong cast, fabulous costumes, and the two leads played by Ben Miles and Nathaniel Parker are absolutely amazing.
Judy, 10 Nov 2021
Very good show
Classical and traditional
Margarita, 10 Nov 2021
Must be seen
Though it can be hard sometimes to understand all the lines when you are a foreigner I must say that I did enjoy the play for its scenery, the story it tells and above all the exceptional performance the team on stage gave us tonight
Christophe, 09 Nov 2021
Get up, Thomas Cromwell!
This is so beautifully told with not a word or gesture wasted . The set was simple but amazingly versatile and the performances engaging. I loved it and wept for Cromwell. Recommended.
sebastian, 09 Nov 2021
Worth waiting for
This completed the trilogy of plays. It was coherent and easily followed. It came to a well staged climax
jocelyn, 08 Nov 2021
A slice of the Royal Court in Tudor times
Although the opening scene of the play was not a good introduction to the play, the viewer eventually was introduced to the court of Henry VIII with his daughter, Mary and his wife, Jane along with all the members of Henry's council and the politics within. There were the occasional delightful scenes of Tudor dancing and singing to add variety to the production along with the wonderful period costumes. The main character, Thomas Cromwell did not come across as a bad guy as is often the case, but I put this down to the script. Not sure if Hilary Mantel's novel portrays him as this less cunning character. Perhaps it is the director who is at fault here as the scene where he is stripped of his status should have been powerful, yet it was not.
Christopher, 08 Nov 2021
Must See
An excellent piece of historical drama, well performed and visually stunning, with some memorable touches of humour.
Jeremy, 07 Nov 2021
Glad we went!
Booked this as our first post-lockdown theatre trip and glad we went as the run is ending soon now. Plenty of space, everyone was sensible. Good show, wish we'd seen parts I & II.
Toby, 01 Nov 2021
Good the book is better
alan, 01 Nov 2021
Only for the UK history lover
Boring
Natalja, 29 Oct 2021
complete, easy to understand and funny
It was a whole experience, from acting to the dancing and singing. I didn't read before anything connected to the story but I understood everything and I enjoyed it so much. I would recommend it to any theatre lovers, it's a whole experience :)
Ana-Maria, 29 Oct 2021
Missed it thanks to British red tape
I couldn’t see it Thank to the ridiculous uk rules, according to which if you have had covid and one dose of vaccine you are not vaccinated. I couldn’t enter the il without confinement.
Pierre, 26 Oct 2021
Good show if you like history
I really enjoyed the show today, I went with my mother. It was easy to follow having not read the books myself or having seen the first 2 books as plays. The acting was great
Michelle, 24 Oct 2021
Great performances if our day!
Great story with excellent performance from all the cast! Takes you into the very heart of political intrigues, ambition and manipulation! Same, same today but a little different! Although a long play, the story, interpretation and excellence of actors performance was so engaging -time literally flew byway thanks to all involved !
marlene, 24 Oct 2021
3rd part of trilogy
Great standard maintained.
Sue, 24 Oct 2021
Must see for Tudor fanatics
This is a show based on the third installment of the Wolf Hall series. If you have no prior knowledge of the story then you may struggle with the context around it. However, if you are aware of this story it is a must see. The story is excellent, the casting is on point and the acting is superb. My wife and I had no prior knowledge of this show and booked tickets whilst in London. It was the highlight of our trip.
Dale, 24 Oct 2021
Historical storytelling
I loved the starkness of the set which drew attention to the adroit acting, rich script and beautiful costumes. Helps to know a little history of the run up to this point but not necessary. Powerful, political machinations at its best!
Lisa, 24 Oct 2021
Superb characters and great twisting plot that has the right touch of real life history. I was looking for a play that would pull me in and balance out a modern view with traditional stage craft.
Superb characters and great twisting plot that has the right touch of real life history. I was looking for a play that would pull me in and balance out a modern view with traditional stage craft. The whole production came together and it flys.
Leslie, 07 Oct 2021
Excellent, true to book
I just finished the book yesterday, and lots of the dialogue was just lifted from the pages ;good thing). You don’t need to have read the 3 books to know what’s going on but it probably does give you a better understanding. Acting was so superb & the theatre had aircon . Really recommend
Tina, 03 Oct 2021
Absorbing production
A great story well told. The stark sage setting enhanced the brilliant acting.
Diane, 28 Sep 2021
Brilliant
RSC does it right
Donald, 25 Sep 2021
Room for improvement
No time to develop the characters. With some exceptions, the acting was wooden. Overall we felt it did not do justice to this great story. This was the first night so hopefully it will get better!!
Frances, 24 Sep 2021