Friday, December 09, 2016

'King Charles III'

Production photo from Seattle Repertory Theater.

Directed by David Muse and written by Mike Barlett, I only watched 'King Charles III' because it was written in blank prose. YAYYY. It's really a play about the British Royal Family in modern times, which already promises much hilarity. (Reviews of prior shows in other cities here, here, here and here.)

Produced in association with American Conservatory Theater and Shakespeare Theatre Company, this production staged by the Seattle Repertory Theatre keeps to the script with Robert Joy as King Charles and Jeanne Paulsen as Camilla, Christopher McLinden as William. It presents the same daring version of how Prince Charles ascended the throne with Camilla by his side, and his sons William and Harry, and daughter-in-law, Kate. No mention of Meghan-anything or another daughter-in-law. But there's Jess, maybe-girlfriend of Harry. I kinda wish there was more depth to this character and how it isn't that easily dismissed by Harry, or the playwright for that matter. 

(Youtube links to the Broadway and West End productions starring Tim Pigott-Smith as King Charles III and Oliver Chris as Prince William.)

The whole premise is on how the Prime Minister Evans proposes a new legislation to limit the freedom of the press and the new sovereign King opposes it as a specific assertion of self and in a valiant effort to redefine the monarchy. Hurhurhur. This portrayal of a modern Royal Family and its dynamics in the uhh near future. Okay, this is funny if you're pretty familiar with not just UK politics, but also like... British tabloids. Stereotypes abound

It's such an audacious play to portray current members of the House of Windsor. I spent half the play curled up smirking and trying to stifle loud laughter. There're so many fun layers to read into. Delve into them as you will. Mike Barlett's prose in Shakespeare's familiar iambic pentameters are brilliant, and the actors in this production carried it off well, delivering the lines and phrasing perfectly. Contemporary slang and traditional cadence meshed well together. 

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