The Last Wife

Kate’s play The Last Wife premiered at the Stratford Festival in 2015 and enjoyed a completely sold-out and extended run. There have been five subsequent productions of the play including the US premiere at TimeLine Theatre in Chicago and a remount of the original production at Toronto’s Soulpepper.

Alan Dilworth, director of the Stratford and Soulpepper productions speaks about working on the remount of The Last Wife

“a very smart piece of writing”
– Chicago Tribune
“a superb first play”
– The Star
“racy, in the sense of both pungency and speed”
– National Post
– Globe and Mail
“a riveting meditation on power, family, intimacy…sexual politics and women’s rights”
– Ottawa Citizen
“an audacious, clever play”
– Victoria Times-Colonist

A contemporary retelling of the compelling relationship between Katherine Parr and Henry VIII, The Last Wife is a funny, powerful examination of patriarchy, sexual politics, and women’s rights.

Kate Parr is smart, confident, and passionate: a rising star in a world of intense competition. But her obligatory marriage to Henry is rife with the threat of violence and lure of deceit; her secret liaisons with Thom, her husband’s former brother-in-law, could send her to an early grave; and her devotion to the education and equal rights of Henry’s daughters is putting an even bigger strain on her marriage. Does Kate risk her life to gain authority in both her relationship and her political career? Which love will she be led to if she follows her heart? And what kind of future is there for her children if she makes a crucial mistake?

Purchase your copy of The Last Wife: Playwrights Canada Press


Kate Hennig – Playwright

Kate is a diverse, multi-award-winning theatre artist, with over thirty years of professional experience as a performer, including seasons on Broadway, with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and with both the Shaw and Stratford Festivals. She has an MA (Distinction) in Voice Studies from the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, England.

Kate is the recipient of the 2015 Christopher Plummer Fellowship Award for excellence in the classical theatre.

The Last Wife was short-listed for the Carol Bolt Award and is on the curriculum at Queen’s University and Glendon College. Kate is currently writing a third companion piece to The Last Wife and The Virgin Trial, called Father’s Daughter. Kate has also adapted Oscar Wilde’s stories for children for the stage: Wilde Tales makes its premiere in the Shaw Festival’s 2017 season.

As a playwright, Kate has been a member of the Groundswell Playwrights’ Unit 2003 (More), Tarragon Playwrights’ Unit 2004 (More), and the Banff Playwrights’ Colony 2007 (More) and 2008 (Waterworks). Her play The Eleventh David was acclaimed by critics and audiences alike at Summerworks 2006.

Kate lives and writes in Stratford, Ontario, Canada.