Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-cd4964975-ppllx Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-04-02T05:53:31.891Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Chapter Thirty-Six - Patriotism, Presentism and the Spanish Henry VIII

The tragedy of the migrant queen

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2014

Susan Bennett
University of Calgary
Christie Carson
Royal Holloway, University of London
Get access


When Rakatá's performance of Henry VIII took place in late May, almost at the closing of the Globe to Globe Festival, Spain was about to win their third consecutive international football tournament and to hear from its government that the economic crisis that had started four years ago was only getting worse. I wonder if, at some point before the Madrid-based company took the stage, the organizers of the Festival asked themselves whether they would be getting the Spain that wins consecutive Euro Cups or the Spain whose possible financial rescue was on the verge of doing half the continent irremediable economic damage. Rakatá's project sprang from the second scenario. Recently renamed Fundación Siglo de Oro (Golden Age Foundation) – probably seeking not only to market the project as an exclusively early modern enterprise but also to facilitate their search for financial help from public administrations – the company struggled to land the part of the budget required to accept the Globe's (only part-funded) invitation. Weeks before the performance, the same newspapers that had triumphantly announced the first Spanish expedition to the Globe echoed the company's complaints about the lack of institutional support. Thus, the prospects of Rakatá's portrayal of Henry VIII's reign, which was to defend Spanish cultural pride by ‘bearing our country's flag in the London Cultural Olympiad’, were momentarily clouded as a consequence of the country's long economic backlash. Rakatá's protest was expressed by its ‘profoundly disappointed’ founder and director, Rodrigo Arribas, within the rhetorical boundaries of the two hottest topics in Spain around the late spring/early summer of 2012: football and the economy – ‘it is as if the players in the national team had to pay for their boots and shirts themselves’.

Shakespeare beyond English
A Global Experiment
, pp. 273 - 281
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2013

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Alvarado, Esther, ‘Larga vida al rey “Enrique VIII”’, El 20 May 2012
Gregor, Keith, ‘Spanish Shakespeare-manía: Twelfth Night in Madrid, 1996–7’, Shakespeare Quarterly, 49.4 (1998): 421–2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shakespeare in the Spanish Theatre: 1772 to the Present (London: Continuum, 2010
Wolf, Matt, ‘Globe to Globe: Henry VIII, Shakespeare's Globe’, The Arts Desk, 31 May 2012
Alvarado, Esther, ‘Medalla de Oro en Shakespeare’, El, 31 May 2012
Mackenzie, Ann L., ‘Introduction’, in de la Barca, Pedro Calderón, The Schism in England (Warminster: Aris and Phillips, 1990), p. 14Google Scholar
Hawkes, Terence, Shakespeare in the Present (London: Routledge, 2002), p. 138.Google Scholar
Fernie, Ewan. ‘Shakespeare and the Prospect of Presentism’, Shakespeare Survey, 58 (2005): 169.Google Scholar
McMullan, Gordon, ‘Introduction’, Shakespeare, William and Fletcher, John, Henry VIII (London: Thomson, Arden Shakespear, 2000), p. 101Google Scholar
Wright, Amaranta, ‘Spain's Sweet Revenge’, Latino Life, 28 May 2012
Ayanz, Miguel, ‘Enrique VIII, una pica en Londres’, La Razón, 20 May 2012
Congost, Juan Carlos Mas, ‘Shakespeare en la cartelera teatral de Madrid y Barcelona, 1960–1992’, in de Sevilla, González Fdez., ed., Shakespeare en España: Crítica, traducciones y representaciones (University of Alicante, 1993), p. 402Google Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats