Menu

North American
Premiere

SIX

May 14

June 30, 2019

The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare

by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss
directed by Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage

A Little Bit of Her-story…

Catherine of Aragon

ONE: Catherine of Aragon (played by Adrianna Hicks)

"My name's Catherine of Aragon
Was married 24 years, I’m a paragon
Of royalty, my loyalty is to the Vatican
So if you try to dump me you won’t try that again..."

 

Birth and Death

15 December 1485 – 7 January 1536

Place of Birth

Palace of Alcalá de Henares, near Madrid, Spain

Parents

Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, joint monarchs of Spain

Education

Embroidery, dancing, history, poetry, religion, law, Latin, French. Not English

Marriage

1: to Arthur (Henry’s older brother), 14 November 1501 (aged 15)
2: to Henry VIII, 11 June 1509 (aged 23)

Children

Mary, born 18 February 1516 (later Queen Mary I); 3 stillborn children; 2 died as babies; further miscarriages

Interests

Religion, sewing, dancing, a bit more religion

Cause of death

Probably a type of cancer

Remembered for

Her refusal to accept that her marriage was invalid; her faith; her dramatic speech to Henry at the court to judge the annulment of their marriage

DID YOU KNOW?

Catherine was Regent (whilst Henry fought in France in 1513) during the Battle of Flodden; when James IV of Scotland was killed in the battle she wanted to send his body to Henry as a present…

Queenspiration

Beyoncé and Shakira

 

Anne Boleyn

TWO: Anne Boleyn (played by Andrea Macasaet)

“I’m that Boleyn girl, and I’m up next
See, I broke England from the Church, yeah I’m that sexy
Why did I lose my head?
Well my sleeves may be green, but my lipstick’s red…”

 

Birth and Death

Probably 1501 – 19 May 1536

Place of Birth

Blickling Hall, Norfolk, England

Parents

Elizabeth, daughter of the Duke of Norfolk, and Sir Thomas Boleyn, newly knighted courtier

Education

In the Netherlands and also France; Reformation thinking and debate, French

Marriage

25 January 1533 (aged 31)

Children

Elizabeth, born 7 September 1533 (later Queen Elizabeth I)
At least two miscarriages

Interests

Fashion, dancing, flirtation, collecting evangelical works

Others Queens

Lady in waiting to Catherine of Aragon

Cause of death

Executed on Tower Green, London

Remembered for

Headlessness; bringing about the break with the Pope; having a sixth fingernail

DID YOU KNOW?

Anne was fluent in French as would have acted as a translator during the visit of Emperor Charles V to court in 1522...

Queenspiration

Lily Allen and Avril Lavigne

 

Jane Seymour

THREE: Jane Seymour (played by Abby Mueller)

“Jane Seymour, the only one he truly loved
When my son was newly born
I died, but I’m not what I seem
Or am I? Stick around, and you’ll suddenly see more…”

 

Birth and Death

1507 or 1508 – 24 October 1537

Place of Birth

Wulf Hall, Wiltshire, England

Parents

Margery Wentworth and Sir John Seymour, minor gentry

Education

Very conventional; running a household, needlework

Marriage

30 May 1536 (aged 28/9)

Children

Edward, born 12 October 1537 (later King Edward VI)

Interests

Religious faith, being obedient

Other Queens

Lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn

Cause of death

Hemorrhage after the birth of Prince Edward

Remembered for

Being the “only one he ever loved”; having two troublesome brothers who fought over the regency of the young prince after King Henry’s death

DID YOU KNOW?

While Anne was still alive, Henry sent Jane a gift of money, which she refused, apparently saying there "was no treasure in this world that she valued so much as her honor..."

Queenspiration

Adele and Sia

 

Anna of Cleves

FOUR: Anna of Cleves (played by Brittney Mack)

“Ich bin Anna of Cleves, Ja
When he saw my portrait, he was like “Ja!”
But I didn’t look as good as I did in my pic
Funny how we all discuss that, but never Henry’s little pr-…”

 

Birth and Death

1515 – 16 July 1557

Place of Birth

Schloss Berg, near Solingen, Germany

Parents

Maria, Duchess of Julich-Berg and John III, Duke of Cleves

Education

Minimal, raised to become a minor Duchess; only spoke German

Marriage

6 January 1540 (aged 24)

Children

None

Other Queens

Visited Katherine Howard once she became queen and bowed down to her

Cause of death

Probably cancer

Interests

Staying alive

Remembered for

Staying alive

DID YOU KNOW?

When Henry first met Anna of Cleves he disguised himself, possibly imagining some sort of romantic reaction. When he kissed her, she is said to have turned away coldly at this hideous stranger molesting her; according to a witness, Lord Russell, he "never saw his highness so marvelously astonished..."

Queenspiration

Nicki Minaj and Rihanna

 

Katherine Howard

FIVE: Katherine Howard (played by Samantha Pauly)

“Prick up your ears, I’m the Katherine who lost her head
For my promiscuity outside of wed-
Lock up your husbands, lock up your sons
K-Howard is here and the fun’s begun…”

 

Birth and Death

Probably 1523 – 13 February 1542

Place of Birth

Norfolk House, Lambeth, London

Parents

Joyce Culpeper and Edmund Howard, son of the Duke of Norfolk

Education

Brought up in Sussex as part of a large group of aristocratic young girls

Marriage

18 July 1540 (aged 17)

Children

None

Other Queens

Lady-in-waiting to Anna of Cleves; cousin to Anne Boleyn

Cause of death

Executed on Tower Green, London

Interests

Dancing, music, animals

Remembered for

Being completely used (and abused) by those with more power

DID YOU KNOW?

From her arrest on 8 November 1541 to her execution three months later, Catherine stayed under house arrest at Syon House; in late January 1542, an Act was passed in Parliament that made it treason for a woman to become the king’s wife without “plain declaration before of her unchaste life,” meaning Henry could have her killed...

Queenspiration

Ariana Grande and Britney Spears

 

Catherine Parr

SIX: Catherine Parr (played by Anna Uzele)

“Five down, I’m the final wife
I saw him to the end of his life
I’m the survivor – Catherine Parr
And I bet you wanna know how I got this far…"

 

Birth and Death

Probably 1512 – 5 September 1548

Place of Birth

Blackfriars, London

Parents

Maud Green and Sir Thomas Parr, both distantly related to the royal family

Education

Traditional “female” accomplishments; French, Italian, Latin

Marriage

1. to Sir Edward Burgh, a courtier, 1529–1533
2. to John Neville, Lord Latimer, 1534–1543
3. to Henry VIII, 12 July 1543
4. to Thomas Seymour, May 1547, in secret

Children

A daughter (with Thomas Seymour) who died as a baby

Other Queens

Her mother was a lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon; friendly with her daughter Princess Mary

Cause of death

Childbirth

Interests

Writing books, encouraging education, Reformation

Remembered for

Surviving

DID YOU KNOW?

Catherine was the first woman in England to publish books under her own name and in English

Queenspiration

Alicia Keys and Emeli Sandé

 

Back to SIX

Additional Pages