Are we shocked by “King Charles III”?

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Remarkable Lydia Wilson with Tim Piggot-Smith as Kate and Charles

 

I was lucky enough to be attending this London long running play by Mike Bartlett between two British historians, Rebecca Fraser, who is completing her new History book on characters from the Mayflower and Munro Price, author of the recent « Napoleon, The end of Glory ». After a lovely Dover sole and white wine at J Sheekey’s around the corner, we were in perfect form to watch this almost Shakespearian drama.

So I did ask them « when was the last time a King dissolved parliament in Great Britain ? ». Charles the Second, was the answer and that’s in the17 th Century… No wonder William did not let his father go ahead with his plan…

The play which starts with the funeral of the Queen and features the upcoming coronation of Charles and Camilla, portrays Tim Pigott-Smith as the insecure heir to the throne challenging a recent law limiting the power of the press…How ironical ! The Prince is like in real life, very goodhearted to Harry’s punk girlfriend-with-a-past and very charmed by « Lady Macbeth » Kate Middleton (acted by her spitting image Lydia Wilson) who asks him to abdicate with all the authority and seductiveness of a young daughter in law. He attacks the Prime Minister with Royal Pretentiousness and ends up being a prey of the devious Mr Stevens, head of the Opposition. The Press officer, Nyasha Hatendi (who reminded me of Ben Kingsley) is brilliant in his helplessness in protecting both future King and crazy Harry. While Pigott-Smith is a remarkable actor, Prince Charles did not keep my attention going all evening. It is the threesome of William, Kate and Harry that fascinated me in its realism and comic. The play is a laugh for a foreigner like me but isn’t it very chocking for a Royalist ? I bet the extended royal family managed to get a film catpure of it. All the Royals around Europe are dying to see it and so are the French and Americans…are you going to travel Dear Charles the Third ? (Wyndham’s theatre in London)

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8 Comments on “Are we shocked by “King Charles III”?”

  1. Diane

    Wonderful review Laure! I am now dying to see this play. The Queen may not give her Royal Seal of Approval, but it sounds most intriguing. Is Randy Andy mentioned in it. Rebecca has been courageous to deal with this subject matter. Love your account.

  2. Alice Thorpe

    Your blog is terrific. A great idea that all us Francophiles are looking forward to reading. The play sounds fascinating, so fascinating as to encourage taking a trip across the pond. Brava!

  3. Susan Heller Anderson

    Laure ma Chérie — “King Charles III” is meant to be coming to Broadway this spring to one of the Shubert Theaters, so far only a rumor, but if so, it will compete with Helen Mirrin playing his mum in “The Audience.” Bisous, Susan

  4. Lynn Goldberg

    The play sounds wonderful; a good reason to cross the pond. Happy to have your morning phone call and your friendship.

    Love, Lynn

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