Today we have an interview with Jo Carrick, the writer and director of the play Fallen in Love: The Secret Heart of Anne Boleyn which is being performed at the Tower of London and Gippeswyk Hall in May and June. I’m going to see it at the Tower on 19th May and I’m very excited about it!
Why did you write Fallen in Love
I have always been fascinated by Anne Boleyn. Just outside Ipswich Erwarton Church is rumoured to have her heart buried in one of its walls and I was taken there often as a child and told the story of her life and death. Also I had a school friend who lived at Erwarton hall, which is reputed to be haunted by Anne’s ghost, so her story has been part of my life for a very long time. I’m passionate about bringing the past to life in a way which creates empathy across the ages and believe that this story is a great choice for this style of dramatisation.
What is the play about?
Fallen in Love is about the relationship between Anne and her brother George. It traces their history from the Field of the cloth of Gold, when they were still teenagers until their deaths in 1536. It explores the complexity of their devotion to each other and the reasons for their ambition and why they were finally accused and convicted of having an incestuous relationship.
Why are you touring again?
The first time the play was performed, in a Yurt at our headquarters at Gippeswyk Hall, the reaction from the audience was overwhelming. We also gained great support from Alison Weir, who praised it for its historical integrity as well as for being a powerful piece of drama and mentioned the play to The Chief executive of Historic Royal Palaces. We feel the play has a lot more to give and would like the play to continue to be widely seen, both in the U. K. and hopefully abroad too.
How is it different this time around?
I have a new cast, so the entire rehearsal process is fresh and new. I have a very collaborative approach to rehearsals and it is important that the actors really take possession of the characters. I think it’s going to be a little more steamy and intense this time around…I’m very excited about the way it’s going.
What’s so great about being at the Tower of London?
It’s AMAZING! To be so close to the spot where Anne died and where she staid before her Coronation is such a great opportunity for making the experience so much more than seeing a powerful play. I think it will be an unforgettable experience for the audience and the creative team alike.
How would you define the nature of Anne and George’s relationship?
Intense! There is a great love and a great affinity between them. They have loads in common and are bonded together in a perfect trust. Just how intense their relationship was, is of course a subject of great debate…and a good reason to see the play.
How important is historical accuracy to you?
Absolutely vital. I’ve made every effort to include only facts that have been proven through primary sources and only to speculate where my ideas do not contradict known facts. For example, in the play it is George who gives Anne the famous “B” necklace. The facts really are more interesting than fiction in this fascinating story.
Why should people come to see Fallen in Love at the Tower?
To experience an intense, deeply tragic but uplifting story brought to life in the most evocative setting. The actors are wonderful…you’ll never forget it and you won’t regret it.