By Bob Evans
The life of luxury and excess may be what people envision of Henry VIII and his court, bu, the deathwatch thoughts and passion of his second wife, Anne Bolyn, propose an entirely different view of Henry’s wife and mother of future Queen Elizabeth,
Shadows: The Life of Anne Boleyn opens on a distraught queen on the eve of her execution. Anne’s thoughts reflect on her life before and during her reign as Queen of England. The sadness of her situation consumes the story and what many would think was a life of luxury unveils a dark and less than perfect life. Her past loves, her courtship with Henry, his manipulation by Anne’s uncle Thomas Cromwell, the accusations leveled against her— including incest—all point to the definitive outcome of her inability to produce a make heir to the throne. Boleyn’s story even takes on the Catholic Church and the lies told to people who had no printed Bible’s to affirm their beliefs.
Anne’s tragic story is a capsulized account, jam-packed into about 55 minutes of nonstop speaking and acting by a fine actress who works brilliantly through the piece. Megan Greenlee takes the audience through Ann’s life without sinking to maudlin and melodrama. She remains poised and in character throughout the performance.
The show has no adult language and is very appropriate for younger audiences who might find a fascination with British history, Henry VIII, and Anne Boleyn. This is one historical piece that could inspire.