THE STORY: The Queen is dead: After a lifetime of waiting, the prince ascends the throne. A future of power. But how to rule? Mike Bartlett’s controversial play explores the people beneath the crowns, the unwritten rules of our democracy, and the conscience of Britain’s most famous family.
“Mike Bartlett’s flat-out brilliant portrait of a monarchy in crisis…[is] an intellectually and emotionally gripping study of the strangely enduring anachronism that is the British monarchy and of the contemporary, star-struck world that can still find room for its royals…Mr. Bartlett has the hubris to venture not only into the future but also into the minds of public figures who are notorious for never revealing their thoughts…but had he thought smaller, he would never have made us the invaluable gift of this splendid, high-reaching and utterly unexpected play.” —The New York Times. “KING CHARLES III isn’t just an up-to-the-minute political drama, as timely and relevant as the daily headlines…It is a gripping evening of theater, a rare contemporary play with real tragic vision, and easily the sharpest, most sophisticated political drama I have ever seen on stage.” —TIME Magazine. “It is the most spectacular, gripping and wickedly entertaining piece of lèse-majesté that British theatre has ever seen.” —The Telegraph (UK). “Bartlett offers a fiendishly clever and yet serious questioning of the role of royalty in the 21st century. And lest anyone fear that this is all too English for American tastes, a concluding note about the ‘pretty plastic picture’ of a monarchy with no meaning would seem eminently relatable to a culture that’s content to anoint Kanye and Kim as its king and queen. The play makes savvy points about the supreme power of column inches and the value placed on the rule of popularity above all else.” —The Hollywood Reporter.