I attended a preview of King Charles III yesterday – just in advance of its opening tonight (November 1) on Broadway. I wasn’t sure what to expect of the play transferring from an acclaimed run in London’s West End. I knew it won the Olivier award in London for best play which was enough to inspire me to buy a ticket (full price I might add – which I rarely do). I certainly did not expect a Shakespearian-style tragedy written in blank verse (yes, yes a quick Google search would have helped to manage my expectations).
King Charles III envisions a future in which Queen Elizabeth has died and Charles ascends the throne. His first act as monarch (even before the official coronation) is to refuse to grant the Royal Assent to a privacy law passed by Parliament. The clash between the monarch and Parliament leads to a constitutional crisis and civil unrest.
King Charles III lands on Broadway with a stellar cast intact from its run in London. Tim Pigott-Smith was nominated for the Olivier aware for Best Actor for his performance as King Charles. Mr. Pigott-Smith’s performance is exceptional – emotional, introspective, athletic – his stamina in the role is incredible to watch. Further cast members making the jump to Broadway are Oliver Chris as William, Richard Goulding as Harry, Margot Leicester as Camilla and Lydia Wilson as Kate. Rupert Goold also continues as director.
Based on the preview my guess is that the Broadway run will also receive strong reviews. If you are interested in seeing the play best bet is to buy tickets today before the reviews are out.