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.
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.
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.
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.
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.