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  The Last Wife at TimeLine Theatre Company

The Last Wife

TimeLine Theatre Company
615 W. Wellington Ave Chicago

Katherine Parr is smart and passionate: a rising star in a world of intense competition. She also has just been crowned the sixth wife of King Henry VIII. In the process, she's started an illicit affair, inherited three children, and launched a political career at the head of the country, alongside a husband as well known for his insanity as his brutality. Now's not the time to lose her head.

Thru - Dec 18, 2016

Price: $22-$51

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-281-8463

Running Time: 2hrs, 25mins

Nearby Restaurants

  The Last Wife Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...First seen at the Stratford Festival of Canada, "The Last Wife" is certainly a fresh take on this bloody stretch of English history, and a very smart piece of writing (all the more notable for being Hennig's first play). It meanders toward the end and always walks a fine line - Hennig wants to cast Henry and Katherine as a kind of Beatrice and Benedict, a Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, which is fun and fine, but it doesn't jar easily with the horrors underneath the man, which I think Hennig also wants to expose. That edge is blunt in director Nick Bowling's up-and-down production, which doesn't always flow as it should. This is very much a language-fueled drama and it needed more attention to verbal fluency. And the show sometimes gets trapped in too much on-stage clutter."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...You need look no further than our current electoral situation to understand why Canadian playwright Kate Hennig penned “The Last Wife,” a modern-dress look at the relationship between King Henry VIII and Katherine Parr, the last of his six wives, and the one who escaped the fates of the five earlier women who were divorced, executed or, in one case, died in childbirth."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...The title of Kate Hennig's 2015 play refers to Catherine Parr, who managed not only to survive her marriage to England's King Henry VIII but to make her influence felt in important ways. Among other things, she got Henry to issue the decree that ended up legitimizing the reign of Elizabeth I."
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Tony Adler

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...Henning’s dazzling play, supremely acted under the regal hand of director Nick Bowling, proposes an intimate glimpse of life in the king’s inner sanctum. It is a theatrical experience not to be missed."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...Like her motto "To be useful in all I do," this best of Henry's three Catherines fosters a future that extended to at least 1603: She persuades the girls to sign oaths of allegiance to dad, proclaiming them as princesses and restoring their legitimacy and right to the throne. As Regent (and later Protector), she even established five laws and strategically aided Henry (a splenetic Steve Pickering) in his last military expedition. When Henry's reactionary Privy Council wanted this enlightened lady put to death, Henry signed the warrant but, impressed by her arguments and having witnessed her usefulness, refused to order the execution."
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...This brilliant script foreshadows the rise of feminist power in early English dynasties even with an all powerful king. This drama is made relevant by the commanding performance from AnJi White making The Last Wife really AnJi White’s play."
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Tom Williams

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...The technical aspects of the production are well done, making the story-telling easier. Melissa Torchia's costumes are cleverly modern, while at the same time allowing us to step back into another time. Mike Durst's lighting works to perfection and the original music and sound by Victoria Deiorio is divine. Vivian Knouse adds the finishing touches with her props, an amazing array of items including a served meal right before intermission that looked good enough to eat! This is a powerful show that women will enjoy as it shows that a woman can take some control ( even back then)."
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago - Recommended

"...A play of palpable intelligence that occasionally gets distracted by surface sensuality, “The Last Wife” sums itself up nicely in one of many sharp, sexy tete-a-tete’s between Katherine and Henry. As he prepares to go into battle, ill-advisedly, she turns to him to say, “You might not be wise but you are smart.”"
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Kevin Greene

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...With Hillary Clinton poised to possibly become this country’s first female president, Kate Hennig’s Chicago premiere seems especially timely. Produced as a contemporary drama, without a hint of British dialect or an Elizabethan ruff or farthingale, this production truly speaks to today’s audiences. Ms. Hennig is currently at work on two companion pieces, all part of her “Queenmaker Trilogy,” and, based upon this exciting work, we eagerly anticipate their Chicago debuts. Nick Bowling, who’s proven himself to be one of Chicago’s finest directors, has staged this thrilling drama with the immediacy of today’s headlines, while always keeping its historical importance at the forefront. With a stellar cast bringing this story to life, TimeLine’s 20th season is off to an impressive beginning."
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Colin Douglas

Third Coast Review - Recommended

"...Kate Hennig is a veteran Canadian actor and playwright. The Last Wife is the first of her Queenmaker Trilogy, which will include two other plays, The Virgin Trial and Father’s Daughter about Queens Mary and Elizabeth. Her writing is mature and intellectual as well as witty and spicy. She thoughtfully blends quotes from historical documents with her own conceptions of how the royals might have behaved in private."
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Nancy Bishop

  The Last Wife Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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