A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Henry VIII's High Jinks Explained as Never Before
I was feeling a little jaded yesterday as we approached The Butterfly Club. It was one of those nights where I was thinking that an early night would be good idea.
But within minutes of Bobbie-Jean Henning starting her show - All Hail Me - I was wide awake again and tapping away to the infectious beat of the soundtrack. Henning bursts onto the stage with a performance that is both energetic and compelling. Through songs and narrative, she relates in this one-woman show the story of King Henry VIII.
Bobbie-Jean Henning is energetic and compelling in this one-woman show
Taking on the persona of Henry VIII, we hear, from Henry's perspective, of the 'sad' life he has to endure - wives who can't bear him sons, others who are unfaithful, another still who dies unexpectedly. These events leave poor Henry with no choice but to seek new wives. When he finds his way blocked by the church - no problem, he starts a new church!
It's a clever take on a story we all know to some degree. Henry pleads his case, imploring us to see how much he's had to suffer along the way, simply to please his subjects.
True to Henry in his decline, Henning's Henry becomes a little more delusional and crazy as the story progresses. He readily justifies - in his own mind at least - the need to despatch the odd wife or two along the way. He turns to comfort eating to ease his anxiety.
If this sounds a little dark and brooding, then I can assure you it's not. It is simply a good romp, an hour of pure entertainment. Backed by one of the best mash-up soundtracks I've heard, including the very clever 'Oh Anne' (sung to the tune of The Police's 'Roxanne'), this is a fun and very clever show.
Henning's voice - sweet and robust in almost equal parts and with a convincing English accent - is perfect for the role.
Wenches beware - Henry will be looking for a new wife
Be warned - as is often the case, there is some audience participation. After all, where else will Henry find wife number 7?
Come along and expect to be royally entertained.
All Hail Me plays at 8.30pm each night at The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne (off Little Collins Street) until Sunday 21st August. Tickets are $32 full, $28 concession. Click here to buy your tickets online, or call The Butterfly Club on (03) 9663 8107.