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Hilary Mantel's 'Wolf Hall' and 'Bring Up the Bodies' come to the stage

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(Read caption) Hilary Mantel recently won the Man Booker Prize for her novel 'Bring Up the Bodies.'

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Hilary Mantel’s award-winning novels “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies” have been adapted into play form and will be performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Writer Mike Poulton adapted the novels into a two-part theatrical adaptation and the company will perform the shows at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. The productions will premiere in December 2013 and run until March of the next year and will be directed by Jeremy Herrin, who is currently serving as associate director at the Royal Court Theatre in London.

“Hilary Mantel has been working alongside us to find a genuine theatrical language for these plays, even promising to include material she left out of the books in order to do so,” RSC artistic director Gregory Doran said, according to The Bookseller. “The gripping tale of Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power under Henry VII, and the King’s infatuation with Anne Boleyn, has captivated readers in their thousands, and I am thrilled to bring them to our stages.”

Doran told the Guardian he knows exactly who he wants to take on the role of Thomas Cromwell, protagonist of Mantel’s novels and adviser to King Henry VIII.

“I wish I could tell you,” he said. 

In discussing the new stage adaptation, Mantel recalled going to Stratford alone at age 15 and seeing Shakespeare plays.

“It was a shaping experience,” the writer said in an interview with the Guardian. “So it really is a dream come true for me to have the opportunity to see the RSC present my plays… I don't say that lightly.” 

The RSC’s new season will also include a production of “Richard II” starring “Doctor Who” actor David Tennant.

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