King John (2016)

  • 14 May 2016 - 5 June 2016
  • MAY 2016


'A bad King, a problem play, but a great evening' Libby Purves, TheatreCat
'Stand-out performances... The wit, intrigue, murder and ambition make this old play relevant anew in our modern age' LondonTheatre1
'A medieval bunfight at which the Bard threw everything: freewheeling story, barmy characters and glorious one-liners... excellent fun' Daily Mail

"'Twas ever thus, and will be" - a gripping political saga of ruthless scheming & deceit

Following the sell-out success of The Wars of the Roses last year, we are thrilled to welcome back legendary director Trevor Nunn with his take on Shakespeare's epic battle of ascension, King John.

When Richard the Lionheart dies, his youngest brother John gleefully takes his place despite claims from the French that the throne should go to his nephew, Prince Arthur. As war is declared between England and France an inheritance dispute is brought before the King by Richard's illegitimate son, Philip Faulconbridge. Who will end up on the throne of England- and what will it take to get that crown?

King John is one of literature's best kept secrets with some of Shakespeare's most hard-hitting writing, bringing to life England's vilest and weakest King and the wildly outspoken and corrosive Philip the Bastard. With its power struggles, political
expedience and deceit, this epic saga was extraordinarily relevant to Shakespeare's original audience; and as we watch
the nightly news, it is equally relevant to us, right now.

Cast includes Jamie Ballard (The Hollow Crown) as King John, Howard Charles (The Musketeers) as Philip the Bastard,
Lisa Dillon (Lucky Man) as Constance and Maggie Steed (Pie in the Sky) as Queen Elinor.

On Shakespeare's 400th anniversary, don't miss your chance to catch this rarely performed work, and to witness the penultimate play in Nunn's mission to direct all 37 of the Bard's plays.

Presented by Rose Theatre Kingston in association with Kingston University.