Henry I

13th June – 1st July 2023

Reading Abbey Ruins

12th-15th July 2023

Winchester Great Hall

20th-22nd July 2023

St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden, London


Running time: 2 hours, 45 minutes (inc. interval)

Written by Beth Flintoff

Directed by Hal Chambers

When William the Conqueror dies, Henry, spare royal son, gets nothing. Only his beloved sister remains faithful as his brothers scramble for power and England suffers. But Henry’s position changes. Power surges into his hands, love beckons and the world falls at his feet. What will he have to do to hold the crown?


2023 Reviews:

Dominic Cavendish
“Visceral, witty and compelling”

Ought to be Clowns ★★★★★
“Ferociously good… it is hard not to be deeply moved. It is also hard not to be deeply impressed by the quality of this production”

The Spy In The Stalls ★★★★★
“Feminist to its core, placing women at its heart…, exceptional”

The Luminaries Magazine ★★★★★
“Stunningly audacious…, unapologetically feminist…, RABBLE Theatre has succeeded brilliantly”

The Hampshire Chronicle ★★★★★
“I was so entranced that I think my jaw was on the floor half the time”

Newbury Theatre ★★★★★
“Wow!… A top class show.”

Wokingham Today ★★★★★
“Excellently-observed touches with raw, emotional beats…, breath-taking”

Pocket Size Theatre ★★★★
“A high-energy, engaging experience”

Buzz News ★★★★☆
“An exceptional performance…, a complete immersion…, incredibly entertaining… wildly entertaining”

Theatre, Films and Art Reviews ★★★★★
“Outstanding… breathtaking”

North West End ★★★★
“Truly thrilling…, stunningly beautiful”

The Reviews Hub
“fascinating, instructive and engaging for a modern audience”



  • Pride of Reading Award
  • Performance of the Year
  • Cultural Contribution of the Year Award
OffCOMM Commedation



Writer: Beth Flintoff
Director: Hal Chambers
Associate Movement Director: Gareth Taylor
Designer: Sarah Jane Booth
Composers: Benjamin Hudson and Rosalind Steele
Fight Director: Dani Davies
Community Director: Gemma Colclough
Producer: Matt Linley
Sound Design: Gilbert Lake
Lighting Design: Michael Brenkley
Costume Supervisor: Evelien Coleman
Company Stage Manager: Rebecca Welburn
Casting Director: Anji Carroll
Stage Manager on Book: Emily Foster
Assistant Stage Manager: Elise Frost
Wardrobe Assistant and Supervisor: Hannah Pearson
Assistant Fight Director: Emma Boyd
Production Manager: Netty Miles
Front of House Manager: Emma Lawrence
Bar & Venue Manager: Ed Nash
Poster Design: Rebecca Pitt

Community Ensemble:


Emilie Bishop
Omar Mboup
Sam Newman
Jessie Sumroy
Sophia Tosin-Talabi
Tyrese White
Harriet Wooldridge


Anjelica Serra

Anjelica Serra - Agnes of Ponthieu & Juliana of Breteuil

Anjelica is a British Filipina actress most recently starring in HBO/Sky Atlantic’s horror comedy ‘The Baby’ (2022). She was also in Corrina Faith’s British horror feature film ‘The Power’ (2021).

Theatre credits include performing at the Young Vic, Park Theatre, Theatre 503 and working with New Earth Theatre, Acting Touring Company and Belarus Free Theatre.

She also starred in Laura Horton’s Offie ONCOMM award-winning one-woman show, ‘Labyrinth Diet’ at The Space Theatre.

Amy Conachan

Amy Conachan - Adela, Countess of Blois

Training: Amy is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

She has worked with many incredible theatre companies on productions including, ‘Wendy Hoose’; Birds of Paradise/Random Accomplice, ‘Skeleton Wumman’; Play, a Pie and a Pint, ‘Blood Wedding’; Graeae, ‘Oliver Twist’; Leeds Playhouse/Ramps in the Moon, ‘Orphans’; National Theatre of Scotland, ‘The Time Machine’ with Jordan and Skinner and most recently, ‘Maw Goose’; Macrobert Arts Centre.

Amy played Courtney Campbell on Channel 4 soap ‘Hollyoaks’ for many years and has since appeared in ‘Crime’, ‘Karen Pirie’, ‘Grace’ and ‘The Capture’; she has also been seen presenting for STV on ‘What’s on Scotland’. Amy is overjoyed to be working with RABBLE for the very first time.

Gabrielle Sheppard

Gabrielle Sheppard - William Rufus & William Atheling

Gabrielle is a Bristolian Actor and Theatre Maker, most recently seen in ‘The Outlaws’ (BBC/Amazon) and ‘Mammals’ (Amazon). She graduated from East 15 Acting School and Bristol Old Vic’s ‘Made in Bristol’. She is thrilled to be working with RABBLE Theatre for the first time.

Theatre Credits: Cymbeline, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Show Must Go Online), Pigeons on L’edge (Vault Festival), Snow Mouse (The Egg, Leeds Playhouse), One Man, Two Guvnors (Torch Theatre), Happiness LTD (UK tour), Coram Boy (Bristol Old Vic).

TV Credits: The Outlaws (S2, BBC/ Amazon), Mammals (Amazon).

Film credits: Seagull (feature), Dawn (short).

Georgie Fellows

Georgie Fellows - Edith & Mabel

Training: Georgie trained at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Theatre work includes; Living Newspapers (Royal Court), Hamlet (Sam Wanamaker Festival Globe Theatre) and a previous RABBLE Theatre production of Henry I.

Film and television work includes: Secret Invasion (Disney+) and Red, White & Royal Blue (Amazon Prime Video).

Joseph Black

Joseph Black - Roger & Conan

Training: After 10 productions with the National Youth Theatre, Joseph trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre.

Theatre credits include: “Twelfth Night” and “Much Ado” with GB Theatre Company, The Duke Theatre’s award-winning park show, “The Hobbit”, “A Streetcar Named Desire” with Rapture Theatre Company, Greenwich Theatre’s “Jungle Book”, “Beauty and The Beast” at Salisbury Playhouse, Cheek By Jowl’s “Winter’s Tale”, Orange Tree Theatre’s “Romeo and Juliet,” European tour of Othello as the titular character with TNT, “Sessions” Paines Plough /Soho Theatre and “Moreno” Theatre 503.

He is also credited as the Fight Director of “Rabbits” by Sadie Smith, and “Eternity” by Asaro, and fight captain in most of the shows mentioned above.

Greg Barnett

Greg Barnett - Robert De Belleme & Geoffrey

Training: Arts Educational Schools

Theatre includes: THE DUCHESS OF MALFI, Royal Shakespeare Company, THE FANTASTIC FOLLIES OF MRS RICH, Royal Shakespeare Company, MISS LITTLEWOOD, Royal Shakespeare Company, FANTASTIC MR FOX, Lyric Hammersmith, THIS LITTLE LIFE OF MINE, The Park Theatre, NOTMOSES, Arts Theatre, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, The Castle Theatre, THESE TREES ARE MADE OF BLOOD, Southwark Playhouse, THERESE RAQUIN, Park Theatre, MAKING A SCENE, National Theatre, THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL, Theatre Royal Bath, SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS, Vaudeville Theatre, 20TH CENTURY BOY, New Wolsey Theatre, BROTHER LOVES TRAVELLING SALVATION SHOW, Tour, PUSHING UP POPPIES, Theatre503, WHITE LIARS, Etcetera, SPEND SPEND SPEND, Watermill and UK Tour, MARRY ME A LITTLE, Everyman Cheltenham, ZORRO, The Garrick Theatre, PETER PAN, The Birmingham Rep, TWELFTH NIGHT, The Royal and Derngate, MAMMA MIA!, The Prince of Wales, SWEENEY TODD, UK Tour, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Courtyard Theatre.


Mark Middleton

Mark Middleton - Robert Curthose & Ranulf Flambard

Training: The Bridge Theatre Training Company.

For RABBLE: Henry II, A Christmas Carol, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo & Juliet

Other productions include: Middle for The National Theatre; Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs for Les Petits Theatre; The 39 Steps for Fiery Angel; Henry V for Antic Disposition; Journey’s End for Sell A Door; A Christmas Carol for Tales and Tunes; A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Chapterhouse; The Plotters of Cabbage Patch Corner at Brentwood; The Laramie Project; Romeo and Juliet for BTTC; Lazarus Lost and Found for Complicated Productions

TV & Film include: Top Dog, A Dark Reflection, Muppets Most Wanted and Will’s Diaries.

Toby W. Davies

Toby W. Davies - Henry I

Training: Bristol Old Vic Theatre School (Acting) & St Andrews University (English lit.)

For RABBLE: Charlie Fry in Who Killed Alfred Oliver?, Thomas Beckett in Henry II, Henry I in Henry I (2016), Capulet in Romeo and Juliet and Andy in Off the Block 2015.

Other Theatre includes: Raife Clutch in The Great British Bump Off Hexagon, Macduff in Macbeth China Plate/Warwick Theatre tour, Giles Ralston in The Mousetrap St Martin’s Theatre West End, Alphabetical Order Bath Theatre Royal tour, Balmoral Hampstead Theatre tour, Stepan in The Department of Smelling Pistakes Publick Transport/Tobacco Factory tour, The Guard in Frozen Fresh Glory tour, The Draper in Moll Flanders Southwark Playhouse.

Film and TV includes: The Firm Nick Love, The Bent Penny Darrel J. Butlin, Return as Faulty Leftheris Eleftheriou, King to Castle Rahdy Elwan, Lab Rats Sam Washington. Le Creuset & Sky TV commercials.


Click the button below to download a PDF of our 28-page Education Pack. A rich source of inspiration and engagement for students of Drama and Theatre Studies.

(The PDF will open in a new tab where you can view or download it to your device).


We’re telling the story of our sustainability journey throughout the course of the production of Henry I. Click the button below to find out what we’re doing to try and make sure we keep sustainability and climate change at the forefront of our minds.

Finding Reading Festival

This production was part of Finding Reading Festival. Click the button below to find out more.

Finding Reading Festival

Discover more about medieval Reading and Henry I

Creating Henry I required a significant amount of research. Beth Flintoff, writer of the play, devoured multiple libraries, including Reading Museum, the British Library and the Bodelian. Here are a few of the books that she recommends to anyone inspired to find out more.

Henry I by Judith Green
Henry I by Warren Hollister
The White Ship by Charles Spencer
Adela of Blois by Kimberley Loprete
William Rufus by Frank Barlow

We also recommend a visit to Reading Museum, especially for the only replica of The Bayeux Tapestry. The Friends of Reading Abbey (FORA) is also a great local institution who, needless to say, are passionate about the Abbey and always welcome new faces.

We also worked closely with Reading University’s History Department to discover more about specific aspects of medieval life that were hard to grasp. Click on either document link below to view and download a PDF created by the students to learn more.

We’re also very grateful to John and Lindsay Mullaney, whose book on Henry I has since been published. Their generosity was hugely appreciated by us all and this outline document has given our cast a wonderful resource.


Reading Abbey by John Mullaney

Image: John Mullaney

This production has been made possible with the generous support of the following sponsors…

Arts Council England
Reading Festival
Reading's Economy & Destination Agency
Berkshire Community Foundation
Haslams Chartered Surveryers
Hicks Baker
Roseate Hotel
The Fenton Arts Trust
James Cowper Kreston Foundation
The Blade
The Oracle
Worshipful Company of Grocers
SMC Flooring