Review: King Charles III – The Seattle Repertory – Final week

The Seattle Repertory’s staging of “King Charles III” by Mike Bartlett comes as a refreshing addition to the holiday season. This production has been called Futuristic History. Whatever it’s label, brush up on your Shakespeare cliff notes to ensure that you are up-to-speed as the references come throughout the two-hour+ performance.

King Charles III at the Seattle Rep, Actor Robert Joy
Robert Joy (King Charles III) in King Charles III at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Photo by Michael Doucett.

Have you wondered if Queen Elizabeth is planning to never give up the crown and Charles is forever waiting to be king? The thought has crossed our mind, and King Charles III gives us the complete ‘what if’ as Prince Charles ascends to the British throne after the death of Queen Elisabeth.

Robert Joy (King Charles III) in King Charles III at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Photo by Michael Doucett.

Who knew there was so much rich drama, bathed in iambic pentameter, available through the lives of the current royal family.  It might even seem to be an inspiration from Christopher Anderson’s book.

And of course, the transition cannot go smoothly. Of all people, it is Charles who exercises is newly claimed position and bucks the Prime Minister. And let this game of thrones begin.

“The Prime Minister proposes legislation designed to restrict the freedom of the press, which the newly crowned sovereign opposes, subverting the understood rules of British democracy.” from the Seattle Rep’s Synopsis.

 

Jeanne Paulsen (Camillia) in King Charles III at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Photo by Michael Doucett.

No only did Mr. Bernett employ the language of Shakespeare to craft this tale – the visual and contextual references abound to Shakespeare’s tragedies. Charles’ situation brings to mind Hamlet’s tale or the angst of the crown in King Lear. The Dutchess of Cambridge, Kate, encourages her husband Prince William to take the crown versus his father’s official ascension to be like Lady MacBeth. Even Princess Diana makes an appearance in ghostly form – pick Hamlet or Macbeth.

 

Allison Jean White (Kate), Christopher McLindon (Williams), and Robert Joy (King Charles III) in King Charles III at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Photo by Michael Doucett.

Tickets are still available for tonight’s (December 15) performance and the run ends this Sunday, December 18th. Curtain time for the evening performances tonight through Saturday is 7:30 pm and matinees on Saturday and Sunday are at 2 pm.

 

Brandwrangler. Movie buff. Tech geek. Dedicated to CrossFit. Love the Northwest and the variety of experiences and adventures living here provides. “Asking “Why?” can lead to understanding. Asking “Why not?” can lead to breakthroughs.” – Daniel Pink

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