“Her writing in The Last Wife is something else again. It is astonishing in its maturity, intellect and perception of the world of court, politics and political intrigue, considering that this is Hennig’s first major work produced at a major theatre. She presents the facts of Kate’s life and times, but she also creates her beating heart and the pop and fizz of her personality.”
“What Hennig has done is to foreground the family life of her characters and background their historical and political importance. Hennig has also decided not to have her characters speak in any sort of faux-16th-century English, but rather in the contemporary colloquial English one might hear in any modern suburban Canadian family. Both ploys have advantages and disadvantages.”
“The writing is certainly racy, in the sense of both pungency and speed, and Alan Dilworth’s production puts it across with admirable clarity and economy. Yannik Larivee’s set sneaks in a couple of cheeky homages to the historical period: a miniature palace, probably Hampton Court, hangs upside down over the scene, and there’s an actual throne, sparingly but powerfully used. “
“If you have a passion for the time of the Tudors – and so many do – Hennig’s play is well-acted, thought-provoking and worth a look as we all eagerly await the final tome in Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy.
“Beaty is wise, tough, vulnerable, sensual and maternal — sometimes all on the space of five minutes. It’s truly the case of a great actor meeting up with a great part…[Hennig’s] dialogue zings, her metaphors click and the only quibbles one might have about the writing is that Act I starts to meander near its close only to get resolved a bit too quickly.”
“Maev Beaty as Katherine is passionate as a reformer, educator and leader. She walks a dangerous line with conviction and matches wits with a cunning autocrat…And that is the strength of the play—the combination of intriguing historical fact fused with the contemporary.”