Onto the West End

With the Almeida Theatre putting out a trailer advertising its West End transfer of the fabulously entertaining King Charles III, and with what appears to be most of the original cast intact – including, crucially, Tim Pigott-Smith as Charles, Oliver Cris as William and Lydia Wilson as Kate – it seems a good time to revisit Civilian Theatre’s review from the Almeida run.

Oliver Cris has been pulling double duty on the satire front this year, as he hops back from playing a hapless policeman in the National’s Great Britain into an eerily pitch-perfect William, whilst Lydia Wilson reprises her Lady Macbeth-fuelled Kate. Lydia Wilson also has previous form in such matters, having come to attention of people outside of theatre-land with her role in Charlie Brooker’s most memorable Black Mirror (yes the one where the PM has *ahem* relations with a pig). However for those more conversant with plays, she has also been seen in Cheek by Jowl’s excellent ‘Tis pity she’s a whore and Sarah Kane’s Blasted

<<Read Civilian Theatre’s review of King Charles III>>

Watch the trailer:

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/105039584″>King Charles III West End Trailer | Almeida Theatre, London</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/almeidatheatrelondon”>Almeida Theatre</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Book tickets here

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Watch out George R. R. Martin, Shakespeare’s coming

The BBC certainly seem to have taken a leaf out of HBO’s book with their new preview trailer for their Shakespeare Unlocked series. Right down to the title ‘The Hollow Crown’ – a fabulously fantasy touch – they have gone out of their way to draw on the huge water-cooler success of Game of Thrones.

With season 2 drawing to a close on Sky Atlantic, it seems like the perfect opportunity to launch The Hollow Crown – four successive history plays from Richard II through to Henry V. The cast looks suitably stellar as every high-profile actor going has put themselves forward for some high profile thesping. The limited casting released on the BBC Website hints at the quality – Rory Kinnear, Tom Hiddlestone, Ben Wishaw and the mighty Patrick Stewart (getting the rights to one of Shakespeare’s most well known speeches in ‘this royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle…’). 

And the trailer? Well isn’t this just mouthwatering.

Thursday Afternoon Shakespeare

Here are two trailers.

And

Today’s challenge?

Above we have two films that are soon to be released in the UK.

The first is an ensemble production that plays to the gallery with an all-star cast filling the roles of appropriately recognisable figures from Elizabethan England, from which  positions they can thesp their way through exponential dialogue to their hearts content, as the Director, already responsible for such sensitive films as 10,000BC, Godzilla and The Day After Tomorrow, expounds every first year English undergraduate’s favourite conspiracy theory question: did Shakespeare write his own plays?

The second is the directorial debut of a man who has recently finished playing Prospero on stage and who first played the star of his film over 10 years ago. His choice is Coriolanus,one of the most complex of Shakespeare’s play with a depth of plot and psychology of language that makes Romeo and Juliet look like a nursery rhyme.

So the question is this:  which of the two films make me so depressed that I want to stick pins in my eyes? Answers on a postcard and all will be revealed later in the week.