Preview: Henry I, The Great Hall, Winchester

Preview: Henry I, The Great Hall, Winchester

The remains of Winchester Castle, The Great Hall, will play host to the multi award-winning, locally-based new play, Henry I, from Wednesday 12 to Saturday 15 July.

Henry I tells the story of spare royal son, Henry, who gets nothing after William the Conqueror dies. Henry’s sister remains faithful, but his older brothers scramble for power and England suffers.

However, when Henry’s position changes when he seizes the crown in Winchester – the first and ancient capital of England – the world falls at his feet.

But what must he do to hold the throne?

Described as ‘one of the finest surviving aisled halls of the 13th century’, an enhancement of the original Winchester Castle built by William the Conqueror himself, and containing the greatest symbol of medieval mythology, King Arthur’s Round Table, The Great Hall will be one of three magnificent historical backdrops to host this production.

Henry I will be presented by Reading-based, community-led professional theatre company, Rabble Theatre, who stage local stories that place women at the forefront and which gives people from low socio-economic backgrounds pathways into the arts. It will be Rabble Theatre’s most ambitious production in the company’s decade of producing work.

Written by the company’s associate writer, Beth Flintoff – an award-nominated playwright, director, teacher and community theatre maker who has worked with theatres, educational settings and other organisations across Hampshire and Berkshire, and whose work has been critically-acclaimed by national newspapers; and whose play The Ballad of Maria Marten was brought to Theatre Royal Winchester in early 2020.

It is directed by the company’s associate director, Hal Chambers – an award-winning director, education facilitator, drama school director and puppetry director who trained at the University of Sussex and has worked with RADA and the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has also directed a number of other works by Flintoff, including The Ballad of Maria Marten.

Henry I is supported using public funding by Arts Council England. This production is supported by Play to the Crowd (the arts and education charity that runs Theatre Royal Winchester, Hat Fair and Playmakers) and Hampshire County Council.

Tickets for Henry I  (Wednesday 12 July to Saturday 15 July at 7.30pm, and 2.30pm matinees Thurs and Sat. Recommended age: 12+ (contains scenes of a violent nature)) start from £16. For more information or to book, visit: or call 01962 840 440.

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