The Six Mothers-in-Law of Henry VIII: A BBC Radio 4 Comedy

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
December 2022
2 hours 46 minutes
Jonathan Coy stars as the much-married King in this unreliable Tudor history

'A brilliant concept... does exactly what it says on the tin' The Times

From his tiny room at Hampton Court, the royal chronicler records the comings and goings of the King of England, his six Queens - and his six mothers-in-law. Introducing us to these redoubtable ladies, he relates the surprising part they played in the destiny of Henry VIII and his unfortunate wives.

We meet Catherine of Aragon's duenna, Dona Elvira, whose introduction of paella, flamenco and bullfighting to his home leads Henry to seek his pleasures elsewhere; Lady Boleyn, whose gentleman admirer threatens danger for her daughter Anne; and Lady Margaret, whose attempt to overturn hundreds of years of tradition leads to a dramatic confrontation. There's also meddling matriarch Mrs Loew, whose devious dealmaking costs Henry dear; good-time grandmother Duchess Agnes, who encourages Catherine Howard to play the field - and neglect her husband; and Catherine Parr's mother, whose impact on the King's court will be life-changing for Henry - and for his Chancellor, Thomas Cromwell...

Created by Barry Grossman (The Attractive Young Rabbi), this tongue-in-cheek historical spoof stars Jonathan Coy as King Henry VIII, with a star cast including Carla Mendonça, Lydia Leonard, Jasmine Hyde, Marcia Warren and Geoffrey McGivern.

Production credits
Created and written by Barry Grossman
Episode 3 written by Jim Eldridge and Episode 4 by Rene Basilico
Produced by John Fawcett Wilson
Music composed by Jim Parker

Henry VIII - Jonathan Coy
Thomas Cromwell - Milton Johns
Chronicler - Alfred Burke
Catherine of Aragon - Carla Mendonça
Dona Elvira - Sheila Steafel
Wolsey - John Rowe
Pope - Stephen Greif
Lady Boleyn - Diane Fletcher
Anne Boleyn - Lydia Leonard
Maurice Crumb - David Holt
Jane Seymour - Jasmine Hyde
Lady Margaret - Eve Matheson
Sir John - John Webb
Antonio - Jonathan Kydd
Anne of Cleves - Sasha Pick
Mrs Loew - Aletta Lawson
Court fool - Chris Emmett
Hans Holbein/Sir Richard - Peter van Dissel
Catherine Howard - Helen Longworth
Duchess Agnes - Marcia Warren
William of Winchelsea - Geoffrey McGivern
Simon of Southwark - Gyuri Sarossi
Catherine Parr - Rachel Atkins
Mother - Sally Grace

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 17 November-22 December 2003

©2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
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