Burying Henry VIII by Leonarda van der Ark | Script Revolution

Burying Henry VIII

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Page Count: 
59pp

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Logline: 
The royal surgeon must hide the body of Henry VIII so his political allies can seize power and finalize the Reformation.
Synopsis/Details: 

On January 28, 1547, king Henry VIII dies at Whitehall palace in London, leaving the kingdom to his nine year old son, Edward. To make sure his young boy is looked after during the minority of his reign, Henry left a detailed will and testament, dictating a council is to be formed to guide his son until he comes of age.
As soon as life has left his body, members of his Privy Council close the door of the king’s bedchambers, and neither court or Parliament are informed of the king’s passing, giving room for preparations to be made for a smooth succession. But everybody at court - from the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Queen - has their own agenda, and at top of the list stands
the completion of the Reformation.
While several figures move the chess pieces across the board, the royal surgeon, Thomas Wendy, is left with the body of a heavily obese king. Together with his most trusted apprentices, August and Eleanor, he prepares the most important funeral of his lifetime. But time is working against them, and as long as the king’s death is kept a secret, they have no option but to wait, while decay sets in.
What follows is a battlefield of politics, a will and testament that might have been altered, a witch-hunt that threatens close friendships, and a young boy with a heavy crown on his head.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Notes from readers from the Austin Film Festival:

´You manage to create something that plays off of the common Shakespearean structure of a world at war, with the realistic elements of personal drama, betrayal, lies, and much more.´

´The theatrical approach to a militarized country full of backdoor politics and a strong iron-gripped nation is something that should make for excellent television long term.´

´I think this is the kind of show that would do well on-air with a weekly release schedule, and a target for those who love medieval or shakespearean style shows such as Reign or even Game of Thrones.´

´The pilot for BURYING HENRY VIII is a very richly written historical drama pilot. The script brings us fully into the world and the time. We feel like we’re right there experiencing the decaying body of the king and the anxiousness of the personnel wanting to care for the body.´

Submitted: December 17, 2019
Last Updated: December 17, 2019
Times Downloaded: 4
Last Downloaded: March 30, 2020

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The Writer: Leonarda van der Ark

Leonarda van der Ark (1992) is a Dutch-born screenwriter living and working in The Hague. She has a bachelor in journalism and works as a bookseller. She started screenwriting a little over two years ago and has developed two tv-series: WELCOME TO BRIGHTVALE and BURYING HENRY VIII. The latter made it to the second round at the Austin Film Festival screenwriting competition in 2019. At the moment she is working on her first feature film: LAYLA MONA LISA, which is expected to be finished early 2020. Go to bio

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