that I am glad my last on stage theatrical experience was only a three night affair (no pun intended). I returned “home” tonight to a marvelously hilarious yet intriguing tour de force. The Lion in Winter is a brilliant play that has everything: comedy, drama, comedy, backstabbing, COMEDY, a steller set, did I mention comedy. There were at most 30 people in the small audience but everyone of those thirty were in stitches (maybe it was the three in the third or fourth row… but it was really that funny and not at all what I expected.
First, I MUST commend the hard work that went into the scenery constructed that turned the small stage of the WCCT into the castle of King Henry 2nd at Chinon, France at Christmas circa 1183. Tapestries, stone walls, a throne and such depth and perspective that you would have thought that you were actually inside the castle. BRAVO Karen for another magnificent set!
The cast is totally phenomenal. I must commend the newcomer to the stage who gave simpering, whining life to Prince John. The newspaper review did not do his performance its due credit.
Nor did it do justice to the performance of Prince Geoffrey. The audience could see the brilliant machinations going on in his head. What little he said in words while the others bickered and plotted aloud, he more than made up for in his presence and movement. Brilliant portrayal, my friend!
I must give huge praise to the King and Queen themselves. When King Henry was on stage, he OWNED the stage. Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine was Katherine Hepburn personified… maybe even a bit better. Their scenes together were magic.
The entire cast, crew (the scene changes were very necessary to the effect and done well), direction (brava Shirley and Alice). King Philip was portrayed by an actor who is a huge fan of the show and rightfully so. His onstage time may have been limited but what he did with that time was masterful. Richard the Lionhearted was portrayed with fiery passion for battle and blood yet had a tender side. Alais, mistress of Henry II, was also well cast.
As the trailer says: It will make you laugh, cry, and go HUHN? Definitely check out the final performancces of Lion in Winter this weekend. And I did see a bit of typecasting as my friend so fleetingly commented upon.