THE costumes in this production are stunning and richly deserving of the heartfelt applause that greeted their first appearance on Monday night.
Mike Shaw and his wardrobe team have been working their magic at this theatre for decades and their latest creations have to rank among the best I've seen at this theatre, the cast resplendent in their Tudor finery.
But there's plenty more to admire in this very watchable adaptation of Hilary Mantel's novel, skilfully adapted for the stage by Mike Poulton.
Most notably Mark Butt who is never offstage as Thomas Cromwell. I also really enjoyed Geoff Holman as Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, with Geoff putting in the sort of performance tat left me asking one question - why doesn't he do more at the Garrick?
The play is a living, breathing and completely absorbing history lesson with King Henry VIII (Sean Duvall) fighting the Catholic church to get the divorce that will allow him to marry Ann Boleyn played by an at times frighteningly feisty Lara Hancox.
At three hours including an interval this sounds like a marathon but for me the time flew. While Nick Sample's has one or two flaws it a fascinating tale well told. I hope potential audiences aren't put off by the subject matter which is never dry or boring and there's even a dash of humour to keep the audience amused.
A history lesson with jokes? Whatever next. Enjoy.
* Until November 11. The box office is on 0161 928 1677. Star rating - ***