35-37 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6AR GB This show is now closed.
This show is now closed.
The Mirror and the Light

The Mirror and the Light Tickets

4.6/5 - based on 59 reviews
  • Information
  • Reviews

About The Mirror and the Light

Performance Times
Mon - -
Tue - 19:30
Wed 14:30 19:30
Thu - 19:30
Fri - 19:30
Sat 14:30 19:30
Sun 14:30 -

The Mirror and the Light description

The award winning novelist Hilary Mantel wrote a best-selling trilogy about the life and times of Oliver Cromwell and King Henry 8th. The first two books, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, were adapted for the stage and both proved monster hits. The 2015 TV series starring Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy, Thomas Brodie-Sangste was equally popular. Now the third part of the trilogy, The Mirror and The Light, is due in the West End, and the anticipation is already mounting.

What's the plot of The Mirror and The Light?

This incredible true story follows the stellar rise and equally dramatic fall of Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII, a terrifyingly dangerous place where saying the wrong thing can see you literally losing your head. The location is England. The date is 1536. Anne Boleyn has been beheaded. And Jane Seymour is the country's great hope, a woman tasked with giving Henry a healthy heir. Henry’s noblemen are furious about Thomas Cromwell's ruthless ascent from the poverty stricken streets of Putney to one of the highest ranking positions in the nation. There's a threat of invasion, the King's hold on power is weakening, and Cromwell's enemies are about to act.

This is the world premiere of Mantel's fantastic third novel, now adapted for the stage following the success of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. She's the first woman to win the Man Booker Award twice and Bring Up the Bodies is the first novel to win both a Costa and a Man Booker prize. The play has been commissioned and developed for the stage by Playful Productions, adapted by Hilary Mantel and Ben Miles, who plays Cromwell himself. Nathaniel Parker plays Henry the 8th and the Olivier nominee Jeremy Herrin directs. The scenic and costume design, which as you can imagine is amazing, comes from Christopher Oram.

Who is The Mirror and The Light for?

As a complex play that covers a critical point in England's history, the The Mirror and The Light is probably best for people aged 12 and over.

Buy tickets for The Mirror and The Light

Our website makes buying tickets for The Mirror and The Light simple and enjoyable. We'll email electronic tickets to you, for you to present at the theatre door on the day.

The Mirror and the Light reviews

4.6 out of 5 based on 59 reviews

What to expect:

Acting
Music
Costumes
Story
Lighting

Recommended for:

Anyone (42%)
Families (47%)
Teenagers (49%)
Couples (64%)
Theatregoers (97%)
Latest customer reviews
Mariya
Amazing! so good!

Reviewed on 30 November 2021 by , London, United Kingdom

Richard
A Good Production, But Not One I Would Have Chosen to See

I attended only because the play was chosen by the two people I was with. It is not a play I would choose to see on my own. Overall, it was an entertaining story, with particularly good acting by the lead Actor playing Thomas Cromwell: a demanding and exhausting role. I found the Duke of Norfolk particularly entertaining. The costumes, lighting and music were of a high standard. The death of Jane Seymour was especially moving, with some beautiful music. The choreography was very good, and I enjoyed the dancing. I would have preferred a Shakespeare or Marlowe history play, with greater complexity of character, but that is a personal choice, and although "The Mirror and Light" was not my preferred type of play, I recognise that it was a very good performance in many ways. I did feel that theatre staff were, unintentionally, appearing to shout and ordering us into a queue outside the theatre in particularly cold weather, but appreciate that they had a difficult job ensuring that people entered the theatre safely. Perhaps a megaphone or some other system for communication could be used. Inside the theatre, we were made to feel very welcome by staff in the theatre and in the bar. Thank you to everyone concerned.

Reviewed on 29 November 2021 by , Leicester, United Kingdom

Margaret
Wonderful performance - RSC on top form as ever

Simply superb - the final instalment of Mantel's extraordinary saga of Thomas Cromwell - it's really impossible to ever fault the RSC and they were really on excellent form. A superb, enthralling play - looking forward (I hope) to this appearing on the BBC in future so those unable to have caught the performance can see it recreated as happened with the earlier production of Wolf Hall - which I also saw! A*****

Reviewed on 29 November 2021 by , London, United Kingdom

SANDRA
Another amazing production

Have enjoyed the trilogy The acting was superb The cast amazing

Reviewed on 28 November 2021 by , London, United Kingdom

chris
Excellent

Reviewed on 26 November 2021 by , Bournemouth, United Kingdom

Margaret
Classic RSC production

Ben Miles and Nathanial Parker were outstanding. Some of the actors in small roles were pretty wooden but overall we enjoyed it a lot. The music and lighting were excellent.

Reviewed on 25 November 2021 by , London, United Kingdom

Shirley
The Mirror & the Light is a fitting finale to Mantel's trilogy.

Familiar and new faces equally rose to the occasion. Excellent acting. Casting superb. Many characters just as you had imagined them. A welcome resistance to creating stereotypes (particularly Henry V111). Not a play for those unfamiliar with the trilogy and or the historical period. One had a sense the audience was sharing an experience with people with whom they were very familiar which name for a very satisfying overall experience.

Reviewed on 25 November 2021 by , Leicester, United Kingdom

Shirley
The Mirror & the Light is a fitting finale to Mantel's trilogy.

Familiar and new faces equally rose to the occasion. Excellent acting. Casting superb. Many characters just as you had imagined them. A welcome resistance to creating stereotypes (particularly Henry V111). Not a play for those unfamiliar with the trilogy and or the historical period. One had a sense the audience was sharing an experience with people with whom they were very familiar which name for a very satisfying overall experience.

Reviewed on 25 November 2021 by , Leicester, United Kingdom

Shirley
The Mirror & the Light is a fitting finale to Mantel's trilogy.

Familiar and new faces equally rose to the occasion. Excellent acting. Casting superb. Many characters just as you had imagined them. A welcome resistance to creating stereotypes (particularly Henry V111). Not a play for those unfamiliar with the trilogy and or the historical period. One had a sense the audience was sharing an experience with people with whom they were very familiar which name for a very satisfying overall experience.

Reviewed on 25 November 2021 by , Leicester, United Kingdom

Pennie
Last chance

…for Cromwell…and to see the show? This should extend!

Reviewed on 25 November 2021 by , Hassocks, United Kingdom

Robert
Classic but no surprises

Reviewed on 24 November 2021 by , Rozelle, Australia

Catherine
Brilliant transformation of the book

Really powerful performance. I wasn’t sure how the book would work on stage but it was very cleverly done, bringing out the main themes.

Reviewed on 21 November 2021 by , Twickenham, United Kingdom

Lynne
Amazing spectacle with real depth

Reviewed on 21 November 2021 by , Guildford, United Kingdom

Helena
A gem!

Power politics at the court of HenryVIII. Advise you read H Mantel’s trilogy as its a must of historical fiction. The play is a distilled version of the third book. Brilliantly staged and played.

Reviewed on 21 November 2021 by , Kingston Upon Thames, United Kingdom

Charlotte
Great acting, great play

Reviewed on 19 November 2021 by , Watford, United Kingdom

Ruth
a must see for Wolf Hall enthusiasts

Play was excellent - Disappointed that there was not more effort to encourage mask wearing.

Reviewed on 19 November 2021 by , Leighton Buzzard Library, United Kingdom

Averill
The end of the story……..

Reviewed on 18 November 2021 by , Barnet, United Kingdom

Stuart
Wonderful Production

It’s a wonderful production. Go whilst you have the chance!!!

Reviewed on 17 November 2021 by , London, United Kingdom

katy
The fall from power

Amazing acting, singing was a complete surprise and very atmospheric. Told the story from a less traditional angle which relates to present day rise and fall of those at the top....I loved it

Reviewed on 14 November 2021 by , Warwick, United Kingdom

Hilary
As good as expected

Excellent

Reviewed on 14 November 2021 by , Chelmsford, United Kingdom

Sally
Great evening out!

Excellent play and acting. Faithful to the spirit of the novel - real touches of authenticity. Parallels to modern times!

Reviewed on 14 November 2021 by , London, United Kingdom

Kate
A fascinating historical drama

I liked the show, it was well acted, fast paced and interesting. I had already seen the previous two plays in this series of adaptations of the Hilary Mantel books about the life of Oliver Cromwell and I think that helped in my understanding of the plot. If you have not read the books or seen the previous plays it would be a good idea to read up on the life of Thomas Cromwell and King Henry VIII as this would help you understand and enjoy the play.

Reviewed on 14 November 2021 by , Harrow, United Kingdom

Steve

Well paced and a great historical story

Reviewed on 11 November 2021 by , St Peter Port, Guernsey

Veerle
Better than the book

Compared to Wolf Hall and Bring up the bodies,I found The Mirror and the Light harder to read. The pace of the play is much better. I loved The actors and the costumes. Time just flew by

Reviewed on 11 November 2021 by , Lier, Belgium

Judy
The RSC at their very best!

Superb production of The Mirror and the Light, based on the last book in the Wolf Hall trilogy by Hilary Mantel. The language is modern and even if you aren’t familiar with the first 2 books/plays, the characters all call each other by name, and so you will soon pick up who they all are. There’s also some good humour in the play, it isn’t all doom and gloom. I guess you would probably get more from it if you are broadly familiar with your Tudor history, but it’s a superb play, well acted by a very strong cast, fabulous costumes, and the two leads played by Ben Miles and Nathaniel Parker are absolutely amazing.

Reviewed on 10 November 2021 by , Winchester, United Kingdom

Margarita
Very good show

Classical and traditional

Reviewed on 10 November 2021 by , London, United Kingdom

Christophe
Must be seen

Though it can be hard sometimes to understand all the lines when you are a foreigner I must say that I did enjoy the play for its scenery, the story it tells and above all the exceptional performance the team on stage gave us tonight

Reviewed on 09 November 2021 by , Paris, France

sebastian
Get up, Thomas Cromwell!

This is so beautifully told with not a word or gesture wasted . The set was simple but amazingly versatile and the performances engaging. I loved it and wept for Cromwell. Recommended.

Reviewed on 09 November 2021 by , New Quay, United Kingdom

jocelyn
Worth waiting for

This completed the trilogy of plays. It was coherent and easily followed. It came to a well staged climax

Reviewed on 08 November 2021 by , Bromley, United Kingdom

Christopher
A slice of the Royal Court in Tudor times

Although the opening scene of the play was not a good introduction to the play, the viewer eventually was introduced to the court of Henry VIII with his daughter, Mary and his wife, Jane along with all the members of Henry's council and the politics within. There were the occasional delightful scenes of Tudor dancing and singing to add variety to the production along with the wonderful period costumes. The main character, Thomas Cromwell did not come across as a bad guy as is often the case, but I put this down to the script. Not sure if Hilary Mantel's novel portrays him as this less cunning character. Perhaps it is the director who is at fault here as the scene where he is stripped of his status should have been powerful, yet it was not.

Reviewed on 08 November 2021 by , Bromley, United Kingdom

Jeremy
Must See

An excellent piece of historical drama, well performed and visually stunning, with some memorable touches of humour.

Reviewed on 07 November 2021 by , Pinner, United Kingdom

Toby
Glad we went!

Booked this as our first post-lockdown theatre trip and glad we went as the run is ending soon now. Plenty of space, everyone was sensible. Good show, wish we'd seen parts I & II.

Reviewed on 01 November 2021 by , Tenterden, United Kingdom

alan
Good the book is better

Reviewed on 01 November 2021 by , Bushey Heath, United Kingdom

Natalja
Only for the UK history lover

Boring

Reviewed on 29 October 2021 by , London, United Kingdom

Ana-Maria
complete, easy to understand and funny

It was a whole experience, from acting to the dancing and singing. I didn't read before anything connected to the story but I understood everything and I enjoyed it so much. I would recommend it to any theatre lovers, it's a whole experience :)

Reviewed on 29 October 2021 by , London, United Kingdom

Pierre
Missed it thanks to British red tape

I couldn’t see it Thank to the ridiculous uk rules, according to which if you have had covid and one dose of vaccine you are not vaccinated. I couldn’t enter the il without confinement.

Reviewed on 26 October 2021 by , Saint-sulpice, Switzerland

Michelle
Good show if you like history

I really enjoyed the show today, I went with my mother. It was easy to follow having not read the books myself or having seen the first 2 books as plays. The acting was great

Reviewed on 24 October 2021 by , Eastbourne, United Kingdom

marlene
Great performances if our day!

Great story with excellent performance from all the cast! Takes you into the very heart of political intrigues, ambition and manipulation! Same, same today but a little different! Although a long play, the story, interpretation and excellence of actors performance was so engaging -time literally flew byway thanks to all involved !

Reviewed on 24 October 2021 by , Rossens, Switzerland

Sue
3rd part of trilogy

Great standard maintained.

Reviewed on 24 October 2021 by , Hatfield Peverel, Chelmsford, United Kingdom

Dale
Must see for Tudor fanatics

This is a show based on the third installment of the Wolf Hall series. If you have no prior knowledge of the story then you may struggle with the context around it. However, if you are aware of this story it is a must see. The story is excellent, the casting is on point and the acting is superb. My wife and I had no prior knowledge of this show and booked tickets whilst in London. It was the highlight of our trip.

Reviewed on 24 October 2021 by , Canterbury, United Kingdom

Lisa
Historical storytelling

I loved the starkness of the set which drew attention to the adroit acting, rich script and beautiful costumes. Helps to know a little history of the run up to this point but not necessary. Powerful, political machinations at its best!

Reviewed on 24 October 2021 by , Uckfield, United Kingdom

Leslie
Superb characters and great twisting plot that has the right touch of real life history. I was looking for a play that would pull me in and balance out a modern view with traditional stage craft.

Superb characters and great twisting plot that has the right touch of real life history. I was looking for a play that would pull me in and balance out a modern view with traditional stage craft. The whole production came together and it flys.

Reviewed on 07 October 2021 by , Toronto, Canada

Tina
Excellent, true to book

I just finished the book yesterday, and lots of the dialogue was just lifted from the pages ;good thing). You don’t need to have read the 3 books to know what’s going on but it probably does give you a better understanding. Acting was so superb & the theatre had aircon . Really recommend

Reviewed on 03 October 2021 by , Clapham, United Kingdom

Diane
Absorbing production

A great story well told. The stark sage setting enhanced the brilliant acting.

Reviewed on 28 September 2021 by , Gillingham, United Kingdom

Donald
Brilliant

RSC does it right

Reviewed on 25 September 2021 by , Sarasota, United States Of America

Frances
Room for improvement

No time to develop the characters. With some exceptions, the acting was wooden. Overall we felt it did not do justice to this great story. This was the first night so hopefully it will get better!!

Reviewed on 24 September 2021 by , Notts, United Kingdom

12 Nov
2021
London Box Office

This Week in the West End: Book of Mormon, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and more

by London Box Office | Friday, November 12 2021, 17:34

The Book of Mormon - London Isn't it great to see the West End opening back up? This week we've seen a flurry of shows extending, Matilda, Mary Poppins and Les Miserables to name just three. We also have exciting new shows opening, a number of extensions, thrilling opening nights, and a couple of hot theatreland rumours we hope will come true. Read on for this week's West End round-up, and come back next week for the reopening of some great comedies.

This Week in the West End: Book of Mormon, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and more
08 Oct
2021
John Yap

Review: THE MIRROR AND THE LIGHT at the Gielgud Theatre

by John Yap | Friday, October 8 2021, 16:08

The Mirror and the Light The rich tapestry of British history, especially of the Royal Family, is fertile ground for writers, playwrights and filmmakers to plow. Hilary Mantel struck gold when she wrote three books on the lives and times of the Tudors, especially those of Henry VIII’s. The first two books, WOLF HALL and BRING UP THE BODIES were best sellers and the subsequent theatre adaptations of both books were equally successful. Now we have the final theatre adaptation of the Trilogy, THE MIRROR AND THE LIGHT. This final theatrical adaptation is a fitting and successful conclusion to the Trilogy.

Review: THE MIRROR AND THE LIGHT at the Gielgud Theatre
20 Aug
2021
London Box Office

The Mirror And The Light – 2021 – Full Cast Announced, New Pictures!

by London Box Office | Friday, August 20 2021, 17:41

The Mirror and the Light Did you fall hook, line and sinker for the first two parts of Dame Hilary Mantel’s work of genius, the Wolf Hall Trilogy? Now it’s time for the third and final part, and the world premiere will run at the Gielgud Theatre from 23rd September 2021. It’s on for a strictly limited season until 28th November, and the Opening Night is 6th October. The full cast has been announced and there are some remarkable photos to enjoy as well as a brand new trailer.

The Mirror And The Light – 2021 – Full Cast Announced, New Pictures!
25 May
2021
London Box Office

The Mirror and The Light – 2021 West End Dates

by London Box Office | Tuesday, May 25 2021, 09:45

The Mirror and the Light Update for The Mirror and The Light at the Gielgud Theatre

The final novel in Dame Hilary Mantel's award-winning Wolf Hall trilogy, The Mirror and The Light, is due in the West End later this year. It's being billed as a final 'fast-paced final instalment' and it has been beautifully adapted for the stage by Mantel herself, and by Ben Miles who returns to play his dazzling role as Thomas Cromwell himself. The drama unfurls at the Gielgud Theatre from 23rd September to 28th November 2021.

The Mirror and The Light – 2021 West End Dates