Friday, June 19, 2020

The Madness of George III

From The Arts Desk:
It has been the fate of George III – who on many levels was a visionary and accomplished monarch – to go down in history as a comic figure, most famed for losing first America and then his mind. This Nottingham Playhouse production tells his story with all the wit and elegance of a tune played on a harpsichord, yet it is made remarkable by the way in which it simultaneously excavates the pain and pathos underlying his condition.
That is due not least to an extraordinary performance from Mark Gatiss in the title role. Gatiss arrives in this production on the wings of a prolific and varied TV career, yet here he demonstrates himself to be every bit as much a creature of the stage as he charts George’s decline from benign eccentricity into verbally incoherent despair.  
Gatiss fans are familiar with the biographical detail that he grew up opposite Winterton Psychiatric Hospital in County Durham, where his father was chief engineer. Many have connected that time of his life with some of the more gothic manifestations of The League of Gentlemen, but he himself has declared that it was far more helpful for his portrayal of what he has diagnosed as the king’s “massive nervous breakdown”. (Read more.)

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