Theatre treat fit for a king at the Palace

PUBLISHED: 17:21 12 October 2010 | UPDATED: 17:29 12 October 2010

Simon Ward as George III and Susan Penhaligon as Queen Charlotte

Simon Ward as George III and Susan Penhaligon as Queen Charlotte


THEATRE audiences are set to be given a treat fit for a king this autumn.

For the first in 20 years, Alan Bennett’s much loved and critically acclaimed play, The Madness of George III, will hit the stage in a national tour.

The must-see play by the Icarus Theatre Collective, Blackeyed Theatre and Original Theatre Company will run at The Palace Theatre, in Southend, from November 8-11.

The year is 1788. George III is King of England. He has a loving wife, a nation of subjects, a loyal parliament, and the world kneels at his feet. But all is not as it seems.

When the king’s behaviour becomes increasingly erratic and rumours circulate that he has addressed an oak tree as the King of Prussia, doctors are called in, Parliament falters, and The Prince Regent manoeuvres himself into power.

From the hand of national treasure Alan Bennett, author of The History Boys and Talking Heads, The Madness of George III is an exploration of duty and kingship, an epic play about the ties that bind us together as family, as a society and as a nation.

Gripping drama, dangerous politics and irreverent comedy collide in a rollercoaster ride where the health of the nation is at the mercy of the mental health of one man.

Starring Simon Ward (Creatures Great And Small, Judge John Deed and The Tudors) and Susan Penhaligon (The Land That Time Forgot, No Sex Please We’re British, Bouquet of Barbed Wire and Emmerdale), this marks the first national tour of the play since the original award-winning production by the National Theatre in 1991 and the subsequent hit 1994 film starring Nigel Hawthorne.

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