Ye have angels’ faces, but heaven knows your hearts
If ever there was a stage or opportunity for Queen Catherine of Aragon to set the record straight, it was at the Globe Theatre, in Spanish, before a predominantly Spanish audience. The Rakatá Theatre Company brought their version of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII to a packed auditorium at the Globe. Every seat was filled, every inch of space in the yard was occupied by ‘groundlings’ eagerly awaiting the court hearing that would give the Spanish princess her voice, to make clear to the world that she was being dishonoured by the King that she had loved and obeyed. In a voice broken with emotion, screaming to the heavens, she cried upon her audience……….
“Would I had never trod this English earth!
Or felt the flatteries that grow upon it;
Ye have angels’ faces, but heaven knows your hearts.”
They listened with rapt attention, a tear in every eye……they waited for God’s justice to be rained down on this reviled lady, but it never came. After a period of tense silence, the audience simply erupted in spontaneous applause….a typically Castilian gesture of fellow-feeling when circumstances are tragic beyond description.