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The Mirror and the Light: First look at Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis in Wolf Hall sequel

The first photos from The Mirror and the Light, the BBC’s follow-up to Wolf Hall, have been released online.

Set to air later this year, the historical drama, which follows on from the Bafta-winning adaptation of the late Hilary Mantel’s novel, will see Mark Rylance return as Thomas Cromwell and Damian Lewis reprising his role as King Henry VIII.

Also returning are Kate Phillips as Jane Seymour, Jonathan Pryce as Cardinal Wolsey and Lilit Lesser as Princess Mary.

The drama will also star Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Rafe Sadler, Harry Melling as Thomas Wriothesley, Timothy Spall as the Duke of Norfolk, Charlie Rowe as Gregory Cromwell, and Alex Jennings as Stephen Gardiner.

Wolf Hall’s creative team are returning from the first series, with Peter Kosminsky hired to direct.

Kominsky said: “I’m overjoyed to be able to reunite the extraordinary cast we were lucky enough to assemble for Wolf Hall… We are all determined to complete what we started – and to honour the final novel written by one of the greatest literary figures of our age, Hilary Mantel.”

The late author, who died in 2022, released The Mirror and the Light in 2020, following on from Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.

Duke of Norfolk (Timothy Spall) and Stephen Gardiner (Alex Jennings) will appear in the series (Playground Television (UK) Ltd)
Duke of Norfolk (Timothy Spall) and Stephen Gardiner (Alex Jennings) will appear in the series (Playground Television (UK) Ltd)

The Mirror and the Light follows King Henry VIII’s marriage to Jane Seymour, following the beheading of his second wife Anne Boleyn, whilst Cromwell continues his climb to power and wealth.

The show will track the final four years of his life, detailing his journey from a self-made man to a feared, influential figure.

“The inevitable question remains: how long can anyone survive under Henry’s cruel and capricious gaze?” the synopsis reads.

Peter Straughan has written the series, which is being produced by Playground and Company Pictures.

Before the books were turned into a series, the Royal Shakespeare Company adapted them for the stage in 2013. A stage adaptation of The Mirror and the Light followed in 2021.

Find the first set of images from The Mirror and the Light below.

Damian Lewis stars as King Henry VIII (Playground Television (UK) Ltd)
Damian Lewis stars as King Henry VIII (Playground Television (UK) Ltd)
Kate Phillips plays Henry VIII’s third wife, Jane Seymour (Playground Television (UK) Ltd)
Kate Phillips plays Henry VIII’s third wife, Jane Seymour (Playground Television (UK) Ltd)
Thomas Brodie-Sangster will star as Rafe Sadler (Playground Television (UK) Ltd)
Thomas Brodie-Sangster will star as Rafe Sadler (Playground Television (UK) Ltd)
Lady Margaret Pole (Harriet Walter) (Playground Television (UK) Ltd)
Lady Margaret Pole (Harriet Walter) (Playground Television (UK) Ltd)
Jonathan Pryce returns as Cardinal Wolsey (Playground Television (UK) Ltd)
Jonathan Pryce returns as Cardinal Wolsey (Playground Television (UK) Ltd)

The six-part series will air on BBC One and iPlayer in the UK, and on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel in the US – but a release date is yet to be announced.