Review - King Charles III (UK Tour)

Hi guys! 

The award for worst blogger ever goes toooooooo... me! (*applause* *screams from the audience* *my mom faints!*) 

Eugh! It seems every one of my posts starts with an apology recently, but at last (!) all of that is about to change! I've moved into my new house, bought a new computer and actually organised my life. Now all there is left to do is get the wifi up and running and normal service should return! In the meantime, I've got a huuuuge backlog of shows to write up about, starting with King Charles III, which started it's UK tour a few weeks ago...

What will happen when our Queen dies? It's a question that I'd not really considered until I saw King Charles III. This is probably because for all my life, Queen Elizabeth has been a constant, unvarying element of my national identity, and one which I never really paid that much attention to. However, Mike Bartlett's award winning play deals with a what if situation unlike any that I'd ever considered. What if Prince Charles became King? Would he be just a new face on our currency, or would he defy conventions and try to take a more active role in the running of the country? Bartlett's play asks these questions and many more, in a surprising satirical play which had me gripped from start to finish.

What immediately stuck me about this play was how eery the atmosphere created onstage was. You could almost feel the unease in the air, hear the yells of the angry and disorientated public just outside, see the sweat on the brow of our new monarch (played authoritatively by Robert Powell). This was created by a clever use of lighting, sound and semiotics. Very often the lights remained dim, and only two large, archaic candles lit the area. 

I also enjoyed the range of characters encountered. Although Mike Bartlett's use of almost Shakespearean language, characters and tropes seemed unusual at first, a few clever moments of masterful writing meant that everything clicked into place. The way modern day slang and colloquialisms were interspersed seamlessly was nothing short of masterful! 

Although at times some of the characters and situations tended to go a little bit over-the-top and became unrealistic, for the most part the play sustained a tension which build into a shocking conclusion! 

Verdict - 4 Stars