Dangerous Anne Boleyn portrayed at CPIT

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23 May 2012

Playing King Henry VIII’s notorious second wife is all in a day’s work for Danielle Butlin, a third year National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA) student at CPIT who is rehearsing the lead role in Anne Boleyn, opening on 26 May.

“Well it's been an interesting journey. She's an amazing woman - she literally changed history. And as an actor it's rather intimidating knowing that you are trying to fill such an incredible woman's shoes,” Danielle said.  


Danielle Butlin as Anne Boleyn steals King Henry VIII's heart.

King Henry VIII’s notorious second wife changed the course of history in England. And although the ending was not a happy one for the reckless, passionate and ultimately dangerous Anne, NASDA’s interpretation of the play is entertaining and often laugh-out-loud funny according to director Stephanie McKellar-Smith.

“Anne Boleyn is traditionally seen either as a pawn manipulated into the King’s bed, or as a sexually licentious predator - even a witch. But playwright Howard Brenton puts a very different Anne – and her ghost – on the stage. Witty and confident in her sexuality, she takes on the vicious world of Tudor Court politics.

“Anne is in love with Henry but also in love with the most dangerous ideas of her day. Conspiring with the exiled William Tyndale, Anne plots to make England Protestant forever.”


From left: NASDA students Jason Parker, Adam Standring and Nat Ta'ase in character for Anne Boleyn.  

The play was commissioned by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and premiered at The Globe in July 2010, later winning the Best New Play at the What’s On Stage Theatregoers Choice Awards.

Anne Boleyn opens 26 May to 31 May, 7.30pm, NASDA Theatre, E Block, CPIT Madras Street Campus (map). Tickets are available through www.ignition.ac.nz