A Man for All Seasons is a play by Robert Bolt, first performed in London on July 1, 1960. It has subsequently been made into a feature film and a television movie.
The plot is based on the true story of Sir Thomas More, the 16th-century Chancellor of England, who refuses to endorse or denounce the king's wish to divorce his aging wife so that he can marry his mistress. The King is Henry VIII of England and his wife is Catherine of Aragon, the first of an eventual six.
The play portrays More as a man of principle, envied by rivals such as Thomas Cromwell and loved by the common people and by his family.
Paul Scofield, who played the leading role in the West End premiere, reprised it on Broadway in 1962, winning a Tony Award.
The play was first performed on Broadway on November 22, 1961 at the ANTA Playhouse
Original Broadway Cast
More recently, the play has been staged in London's West End at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket starring Martin Shaw and produced by Bill Kenwright. It closes on 1 April 2006.
Film and TV movies
Main article: A Man for All Seasons (1966 film)
Paul Scofield, who played the leading role in the West End stage premiere, played More again in the first of two film versions (1966), winning an Oscar in the process. The film also stars Robert Shaw as Henry VIII, Orson Welles as Wolsey, a young John Hurt as More's nemesis Richard Rich, and an older Wendy Hiller as More's second wife. It was directed by Fred Zinnemann. In addition to the Best Actor Oscar won by Scofield, the film won Academy Awards for screenplay, cinematography, costume design, Best Director, and Best Picture.
Main article: A Man for All Seasons (1988 film)
The 1988 version stars Charlton Heston (who also directed it) as More, Vanessa Redgrave (who appeared briefly and mutely in the 1966 version as Anne Boleyn) as More's wife, and Sir John Gielgud as Cardinal Wolsey.