MIKE POULTON'S TWO-PART STAGE ADAPTATION OF HILARY MANTEL'S ACCLAIMED NOVELS WOLF HALL AND BRING UP THE BODIES Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell novels are the most formidable literary achievements of recent times, both recipients of the Man Booker Prize. Adapted by Mike Poulton, the plays were premiered by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Swan Theatre, Straford-upon-Avon, in December 2013, directed by Jeremy Herrin. This edition contains a substantial set of notes by Hilary Mantel on each of the principal characters, offering a unique insight into the plays and an invaluable resource to any theater companies wishing to stage them. Wolf Hall begins in England in 1527. Henry has been King for almost twenty years and is desperate for a male heir; but Cardinal Wolsey cannot deliver the divorce he craves. Yet for a man with the right talents, this crisis could be an opportunity. Thomas Cromwell is a commoner who has risen in Wolsey's household—and he will stop at nothing to secure the King's desires and advance his own ambitions. In Bring Up the Bodies, the volatile Anne Boleyn is now Queen, her career seemingly entwined with that of Cromwell. But when the King begins to fall in love with plain Jane Seymour, the ever-pragmatic Cromwell must negotiate within an increasingly perilous Court to satisfy Henry, defend the nation, and above all, to secure his own rise in the world.