Thursday, 11 September 2014

'King Charles III' Wyndhams Theatre ***

Once again, another production from Islington's Almeida Theatre has transferred to the West End. This time, we are welcomed with Mike Barlett's latest play, ‘King Charles III’, and one thought that the writing was not as enthralling; however the performances are vastly appealing. ‘King Charles III’ is a futuristic play that portrays the events after the demise of Queen Elizabeth II, and how Prince Charles is finally being allowed to reign over United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. The timing of Charles's supremacy is faced with glitches from the outset as King Charles III and the country's current Prime Minister, Mr Evans appears increasingly oppressed. Furthermore, the performance conveys the question whether Charles is appropriate to rule the country, or should he abdicate so so that Prince William can become the monarch of our great nation. Charles inevitably makes a humongous amount of mistakes during this time on the throne; such as not allowing the Prime Minister to walk away with a willing signature on changes to the law, meeting with the leader of the opposition and the eventual dissolving of Parliament. In addition, ‘King Charles III’ invites us to witness the conniving nature that both Prince William and Kate possess so that they will command the country, and we see them conjuring a plan to ensure that Charles abdicates, in collaboration with the Prime Minister. This ultimately instigates a somewhat bitter contension between them and Charles and Camilla. The friction is emancipated when Charles is faced with this treacherous stipulation. One thinks that the play is to devise a negative representation of the Royal family, in particular the approaches Charles has to protect himself and Buckingham Palace, with excessive protection of the armed forces and the ridiculous position of a tank outside the palace itself. Barlett's narrative is not that satisfying and some moments are inadequate; such as the ghostly figure of Charles’ first wife, Lady Diana Spencer, or as we know as the elegant humanitarian Princess Diana. Paradoxically, a number of aspects were slightly amusing, which pleased me immensely. The performances by the company or ‘King Charles III’ were delightful and captured the spirit of the Royal family. Tim Pigott-Smith is sublime as the slightly cantankerous and idiotic, King Charles III. One thought he encapsulated an old man who is desperate to have his chance of running to a pleasing and watchable standard. Adam James is gracious as the British Prime Minister, Mr Evans, in particular when his frustration becomes apparent when Charles appears confrontational when explains that the monarch should not obtain enormous power. Oliver Chris and Lydia Wilson are intriguing as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. I enjoyed how vindictive they were in their quest to become the crowned heads of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Rupert Goold's direction is courteous as he is summarised the fictitious nature of the Royal family and their secretive quarrels excellent standard of precision. Thomas Scutt’s design is outstanding as he has crafted a regal atmosphere with tenacity and ease, and I found it quite mesmerising actually. Overall, one found the experience of ‘King Charles III’ to be an affable one.  

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