Fallen in Love at the Tower of London
The Tower of London was once again a theatre for plots and love affairs yesterday with the first night of Fallen in Love, Joanna Carrick’s new play, brought to us by the Suffolk theatre company Red Rose Chain.
Fallen in Love is a new attempt to interpret the life and death of the mysterious Anne Boleyn, who remains relatable to this day. The stage, built in the round like a boxing ring in the middle of the Banqueting Suite of the New Armouries is an allegory of life during the reign of Henry VIII: a constant fight for survival where no trick is off limits.
Anne Boleyn’s story could have been anyone’s: in love with a power-crazed married man with all the inevitable consequences. The play focuses not on the King, but on the relationship between Anne and her older brother George. Interpreted by Scott Eliss and Emma Connel, we see the siblings’ intimacy building from their teens in a crescendo to their deaths. On entering adulthood, they enter a life of plots and politics, developing into a chronicle of a death foretold compounded by the stress and pressure of building a life, the love between two people, and the untold judgement of others. The play leaves us questioning what it really is to fall in love and whether it has any limits.
Throughout the performance both actors convincingly portray a strong passion between Anne and George without revealing what actually happened between them, leaving us with a doubt no historian has ever been able to untangle: Was she or was she not an adulterer?
Anne and George’s executions leave a mystery behind about the real level of their intimacy. Navigating a historical play and a search for truth, Fallen in Love brings another aspect of Anne’s life to the public eye and, as she did in her last words, allows us the choice to believe or not in her innocence.
On the Spartan stage, each act brings a new level of tension, reflected by the changing colour of Anne’s dresses. With direction that gives Baz Lurhman a run for his money (including dance, music, songs, laughs), and a simple but strong script, this new play by Red Rose Chain is an apt reflection of the venue: majestic and dignified.
Photos: Lucia Hrdà
Fallen in Love is at the Tower of London until 16th June 2013. For further information or to book visit the theatre company’s website here.
Watch the trailer for Fallen in Love here: