Do you like history? Tara Travis stars as all six of Henry VIII’s dead wives in TIL DEATH: The Six Wives of Henry VIII playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival. They find themselves before the gates of heaven. Before they can enter, there’s a little bit of a problem they need to solve. Only one of them can sit next to him for eternity, and they will need to decide which one of them it is going to be.
I think a one-person show like this is always incredibly brave. It isn’t a long running monologue where the actor is talking to the audience, which is easier to do. Here, Travis does an incredible job playing all the different wives. I never lost track of who anyone was, and the personalities of all the wives were perfect.
There were so many wonderful moments in the play. I loved the vocally challenging parts. The best was when the wives said that they would give all their votes at the same time. She took a deep breath, and I cheered on with the rest of the audience while Travis prepared like a gymnast at the Olympics about to do a gold medal tumbling pass. There were other hilarious moments with lines delivered perfectly: the cluelessness of Katherine Howard, or the physicality of demonstrating the floating head of Anne Boleyn as she was telling her story.
Beyond the funny moments, Travis made me feel all the tragedy and loss in their lives. The hatred between Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, and with each woman talking about her death at the hands of neglect, execution, or just indifference. I felt every moment in the play, and I loved it.
I suggest getting tickets as quickly as you can.
- TIL DEATH: The Six Wives of Henry VIII plays at the Tarragon Theatre Mainspace. (30 Bridgman Ave.)
- Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (275 Bathurst St.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- This venue is barrier-free. Designated accessible seating is in the middle of the auditorium.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- The Toronto Fringe Festival is scent-free: please do not wear perfumes, colognes, or other strongly-scented products.
- Friday July 5th, 8:15 pm
- Saturday July 6th, 6:30 pm
- Sunday July 7th, 4:45 pm
- Monday July 8th, 3:00 pm
- Thursday July 11th, 4:15 pm
- Friday July 12th, 7:30 pm
- Saturday July 13th, 10:15 pm
Photo of Tara Travis by Pink Monkey Studios