The queen is dead. Long live the king.
Olivier Award-winning playwright Mike Bartlett's speculative history play gives a droll vision of the future monarchy.
It’s a provocative five-act piece imagining what will happen to the regent formerly known as the Prince of Wales when the time finally comes for him to ascend the throne. They say with great power comes great responsibility – but what is great power these days? And is there more than one way to rule a Commonwealth?
Shakespeare haunts the script like Hamlet's father, as the contemporary cadence is made all the more comic by the cod blank verse. Echoes of the bard's history plays abound and there's even a modern royal ghost.
Now, with public appreciation for the royal family at a resolute high, Bartlett takes an engrossing and unflinching look at what its role in our national identity will be one its public face changes. The result is a slick ‘future history’ that resonates with the here and now of our national consciousness.
As the first play of Rupert Goold’s inaugural season as artistic director of the Almeida, and Bartlett's first venture at the Islington theatre this dazzlingly successful production has established the pair as a creative tour de force. This is not the first time the two have partnered on such a topical contemporary subject: they teamed up for the National Theatre's acclaimed Earthquakes in London in 2010.
In the lead role of Charles, Tom Piggott-Smith rises to the challenging combination of acting and impersonation with aplomb. While capturing expressions and mannerisms with uncanny accuracy, Piggott-Smith avoids cheap caricature and instead conveys an idealistic and frustrated man, determined to step out of his mother's shadow. Richard Goulding also shines as loveable rogue Prince Harry on journey of self-discovery with a less than suitable Republican girlfriend and new-found penchant for Sainsbury's scotch eggs.
|What||King Charles III, Richmond Theatre|
|Where||Richmond Theatre, The Green, Richmond, Surrey , TW9 1QJ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Richmond (underground)|
22 Sep 15 – 26 Sep 15, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Price||£9 to £35|
|Website||Click here to book via Delfont Mackintosh|