Sat. Apr 20th, 2024
alert-–-bbc’s-wolf-hall-returns-after-ten-year-break-with-diverse-cast-–-as-jane-seymour’s-mother-is-played-by-a-bahamian-actress,-and-featuring-tudor-courtiers-of-egyptian-descentAlert – BBC’s Wolf Hall returns after ten year break with diverse cast – as Jane Seymour’s mother is played by a Bahamian actress, and featuring Tudor courtiers of Egyptian descent

It is considered one of the greatest period dramas, with its stellar cast and elaborate costumes plunging viewers straight into the ferocious political battles of Henry VIII’s court.

And after nearly ten years off our screens, Wolf Hall is back for its final series titled The Mirror And The Light – with a notably more diverse cast of actors portraying the Tudor nobles. 

Jane Seymour’s sister-in-law Anne, whose character name has been changed to Nan for the series, is played by mixed-race British actress Cecilia Appiah, while Sarah Priddy, of Bahamian descent, plays their mother Lady Margery. 

Meanwhile Thomas Wyatt, a Tudor courtier and poet who introduced the sonnet to England, will be played by Amir El-Masry, an Egyptian-British actor. 

The part was was played by Slow Horses star Jack Lowden in the 2015 series.

After nearly ten years off our screens, Wolf Hall is back for its final series titled The Mirror And The Light – with a notably more diverse cast of actors portraying the Tudor nobles (pictured Kate Phillips as Henry's third wife, Jane Seymour and Cecilia Appiah, shown far right, as her sister-in-law Anne)

After nearly ten years off our screens, Wolf Hall is back for its final series titled The Mirror And The Light – with a notably more diverse cast of actors portraying the Tudor nobles (pictured Kate Phillips as Henry’s third wife, Jane Seymour and Cecilia Appiah, shown far right, as her sister-in-law Anne)

The shift to show more diverse talent in the Tudor roles follows in the footsteps of Netflix series Bridgeton which cast Adjoa Andoh as Lady Agatha Danbury in Regency-era England, while Channel 5’s 2021 series Anne Boleyn starred Jodie Turner-Smith. 

The new season of Wolf Hall also sees Succession’s Harriet Walter star as Lady Margaret Pole and Mr Turner actor Timothy Spall as the Duke of Norfolk. 

Sir Mark Rylance, 64, returns as the ill-fated chief minister to Henry VIII, played by Homeland’s Damian Lewis, 53. 

They will be joined by Peaky Blinders star Kate Phillips, 34, as Henry’s third wife, Jane Seymour. 

Thomas Brodie-Sangster will play Sir Rafe Sadler, one of Henry VIII’s privy councillors. 

Wolf Hall: The Mirror And The Light is the second instalment from the BBC’s adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s trilogy. 

Mantel’s first two books, Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, were merged for the first series in 2015 which was watched by more than four million viewers at the time.

The author did not publish the final installment of her trilogy until March 2020, eight years after its predecessor. She died two years later in September 2022, aged 70. 

Damian Lewis reprises his role as Henry VIIIin forthcoming BBC drama Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light

Damian Lewis reprises his role as Henry VIIIin forthcoming BBC drama Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light

Reuniting the creative team from the BAFTA and Golden Globe winning first series, Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light is directed by seven-time BAFTA award winner Peter Kosminsky.

The new drama has been adapted for television by Academy award nominee Peter Straughan, best known for his work on the 2011 adaptation of John Le Carré’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and produced by Colin Callender’s Playground and Company Pictures. 

Wolf Hall: The Mirror and the Light will trace the final four years of Cromwell’s life, completing his journey from self-made man to the most feared, influential figure of his time. 

And it will find the ambitious statesman and politician, a man with only his wits to rely on, with no great family to back him, and no private army. 

Navigating the moral complexities that accompany the exercise of power in this brutal and bloody time, Cromwell is caught between his desire to do what is right and his instinct to survive. 

Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell, a man with only his wits to rely on, with no great family to back him, and no private army

Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell, a man with only his wits to rely on, with no great family to back him, and no private army

Thomas Brodie-Sangster, best known for his former roles in Love Actually and Game Of Thrones, will play Rafe Sadler

Thomas Brodie-Sangster, best known for his former roles in Love Actually and Game Of Thrones, will play Rafe Sadler

But in the wake of Henry VIII having executed his queen before moving on with third wife Jane Seymour, no one is safe.

Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to breaking point, Cromwell’s robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. 

All of England lies at his feet, ripe for innovation and religious reform. But as fortune’s wheel turns, Cromwell’s enemies are gathering in the shadows. 

Filming took place on location across England, with Wells Cathedral in Somerset doubling as Kent’s Canterbury Cathedral. 

Timothy Spall (left) and Alex Jennings (right) will step into respective roles as the Duke of Norfolk and Stephen Gardiner

Timothy Spall (left) and Alex Jennings (right) will step into respective roles as the Duke of Norfolk and Stephen Gardiner

Lilit Lesser plays Princess Mary in the historical drama, based on the final book in author Hilary Mantel's bestselling trilogy of novels

Lilit Lesser plays Princess Mary in the historical drama, based on the final book in author Hilary Mantel’s bestselling trilogy of novels 

‘Casting Director Robert Sterne has done a truly extraordinary job assembling the most stunning cast with which I’ve ever had the privilege to work,’ director Kosminsky said in an official press release. 

‘Led by Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis, they’ve been drawn by the quality of Hilary Mantel’s writing and Peter Straughan’s adroit adaptation.

‘Shooting in Tudor locations all over England and Wales, it is our privilege to bring Hilary’s last novel to an international television audience.’

The six-part series will air on BBC One and iPlayer in the UK. Further information will be announced in due course.

The shift to show more diverse talent in the Tudor roles follows in the footsteps of Netflix series Bridgeton which cast Adjoa Andoh as Lady Agatha Danbury in Regency-era England

Channel 5's 2021 series Anne Boleyn starred Jodie Turner-Smith in the title role

The shift to show more diverse talent in the Tudor roles follows in the footsteps of Netflix series Bridgeton which cast Adjoa Andoh as Lady Agatha Danbury in Regency-era England (left), while Channel 5’s 2021 series Anne Boleyn starred Jodie Turner-Smith