Charles III

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A quick review of Charles III seemed not out of order – since it was written in iambic pentameter, I don’t think it’s too far outside the remit…

Charles_III

It’s sad tale of Prince Charles becoming king – I would call it a tragedy, but the death count isn’t high enough for that. But even beyond the rhyme it has a Shakespearean feel to it – an odd sort of companion piece to Richard II in particular (the presence of Lady Di as a ghost gives a weird Macbethian vibe which I didn’t entirely love).

The staging was simply but effective – a purple dais which did for funerals and coronations, bare walls which conveyed palaces – both Buckingham and Westminster. The music was really wonderful – tones of Crown Imperial, played live by a small group in one of the boxes.

Given the subject matter, the actors necessarily have a difficult job of characterising, but not caricaturing, the people they portray, which I think they did astonishingly well. Particularly the guy playing Harry, who I think was Tom Robertson (programme temporarily vanished so I can’t check), who was so like that sometimes I thought the actual Harry was doing it for a laugh. What I found more disturbing was Kate’s Machiavellian tendencies – not per se, but because every time she opened her mouth it made me realise how rarely we actually hear from Princess Catherine. I rather hope she is as considered and passionate as her theatrical counterpart.


Guardian review here: http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/apr/11/king-charles-3-flawed-premise-royally-entertaining Alas – I do not like the new Guardian layout, but their theatre reviews are still pretty good…

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