Rose Theatre, Kingston (London, UK)
May 14-June 5, 2016
Director Trevor Nunn continued his journey through the Complete Works with one of Shakespeare's lesser performed plays, King John. The production used period costume and took a classic approach to the play.
Directed by Trevor Nunn
Cast: Ignatius Anthony, Jamie Ballard, Joe Bannister, Burt Caesar, Tom Chapman, Howard Charles, Sebastian Croft, Lisa Dillon, Elisabeth Hopper, Stephen Kennedy, Dominic Mafham, Harry Marcus, Chris Andrew Mellon, Dale Rapley, Miles Richardson, Carmen Rodriguez, David Shelley, Maggie Steed, John Tarcy.
Set and Costume Design: Mark Friend
Composer: Corin Buckeridge
Period Movement Director: Ian Brener
Associate Director: Michael Oakley
Lighting Design: Paul Pyant
Casting Director: Ginny Schiller
Concept Set Design: John Napier
Sound Design: Fergus O'Hare
Voice Coach: Morwenna Rowe
The Stage review (3 stars): "Returning after last year's Wars of the Roses (this time with a more diverse cast) Nunn has introduced some of the earlier, anonymous The Troublesome Reign of King John to clarify Shakespeare's possibly incomplete version. The result successfully makes the point that politics don't alter much"
WhatsOnStage review (3 stars): "quite timely when we have a government that u-turns like a teenage joy-rider, Brexit campaigners that stamp and smear like children to aid their own careers, and Trump saying literally anything in his bid to become president. Not that Nunn's production makes any of that explicit – we're in full Medieval dress, with suspiciously clean, primary-coloured tunics and banners."
"as it lags towards the end, you wish Nunn had sliced more and augmented less."
"the acting is at times over-inflated"
Guardian review (2 stars): "Nunn quite rightly came in for criticism last year, when his cast for The Wars of the Roses at this address included not a single BAME actor. The ratio here (two out of 18) is not a shining example of good practice, but at least we get the chance to see Howard Charles do good work as the opportunistic Philip Faulconbridge, who knows a mad world when he sees one and is prepared to turn it to his advantage. It’s a performance that grows in confidence and reach.
But as the evening drags on, interest wanes and some of the actors just do lots more acting, as if to compensate. The design fills up the stage but to no particular purpose and its height is seldom used interestingly; the video interludes make the whole thing look dated rather than modern. As ever, Nunn delivers clarity, but despite the fine central performances, it’s a serviceable evening, not a thrilling one."