I’m not usually one for British imports. It probably has to do with the fact that I don’t quite understand the lure of a monarchy, and there’s invariably no people of color. But after hearing all the talk of how King Charles III is the best new play of the year, I figured I had to go see it.
Not knowing what to expect, I was blown away by the concept. Despite being highly publicized for being told in verse, the dialogue seemed to flow right off the tongue. There was one monologue where the rhymes felt a little forced, but other than that moment, it was hard to tell that it was there. The play had an overarching Shakespearean feel to it, which I thought gave it great weight and drama. The beginning of Act II was intensely gripping and brought the audience right back in it. The immersive and thrilling pantomime brought a visceral element, signifying a change of pace. The lighting and the techno-beats were superb and the drama train was full-speed ahead after that. (There was also one black actor. Wahoo!)
As a cellist, I love any play that utilizes music. The cello and oboe was a great touch that added pomp and circumstance. The music tonally gave the show extra gravitas and added a feeling of grandeur and ceremony to the play. To offset the heaviness of the show, I loved the use of Lourde’s “Royals,” which was a great, playful touch. The play was funny, sharp, gripping, dark, witty, melodramatic, dramatic, haunting, engaging, and a must-see. I know the show is closing this week, but long live the King!