King Charles III, a “future history play” by Mike Bartlett, opened on Broadway on November 1 and will close on January 31. Shakespeareans will want to see this play, which has already won an Olivier Award for Best New Play in the London West End. Written in blank verse and making occasional, but erratic, use of Shakespearean language (at one point paraphrasing his text), the play imagines what might happen when the present Prince of Wales becomes king on the death of his mother, Elizabeth II. The playwright has created a plot that explores themes of family relationships, matters of state, and challenges to authority that echo Shakespeare at every turn. Charles is both a Lear and a Hamlet, Kate Middleton is a Lady Macbeth, and she and William and Harry sometimes remind the audience of Lear’s daughters. Meanwhile, there is even a ghost, supposedly Lady Diana, who is more Hamlet senior than Banquo, yet actually a bit of both Shakespearean ghosts. The more Shakespeare you know, the more you will appreciate this play’s indebtedness to the Bard. Look for a more complete review of the play here in the weeks ahead.
Written by Mike Bartlett and directed by Rupert Goold, King Charles III features sets and costumes by Tom Scutt, music compositions by Jocelyn Pook, lighting design by Jon Clark and sound design by Paul Arditti.
Tickets for King Charles III are available for purchase in person at the Music Box Theatre box office (open Monday – Saturday, 10 am – 8 pm, Sunday, 12 – 6 pm), and online at http://www.telecharge.com, or by calling Telecharge at 212-239-6200.
Categories: Theater Reviews