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The Madness of George III

Filled to the brim with sophisticated lyricism and eloquent speeches by a talented cast, The Madness of George III thrusts you into a world of political turmoil as the King of England falls ill and loses his mind.

This play is a witty historical drama based on the true story encompassing the latter part of King George III’s reign. With anachronistic language, a group of people in various wigs, and a humour that can only be found in the strange and inaccurate knowledge of the past, The Madness of George III is an intriguing dive into one mans misery.

The entire cast spoke with constant confidence and eloquence, with very few lines knowingly misspoken. This is quite impressive given some of the more elaborate monologues various characters had to say.

The performers also had great projection, with only a couple moments of the play being truly quiet, they passionately filled the room with their voices without the use of microphones.

The stage presence of each character was impeccable, though the Kings Attendants were especially intriguing in their professional imitation of statues guarding the King. All of them perfectly faded into the background of a scene where they do not speak, in much the same way guards would in real life.

The performance of Lindsay Dunn as King George was incredible. His portrayal of the raw emotional vulnerability of a monarch reduced to a tortured patient losing control of themselves was immaculate. The role certainly drew on the pity of a modern audience witnessing the historic healthcare system failing a man in great pain.

The comedic highlights of the show were definitely Tom Tassone as the poncy Prince of Wales and his constant companion Jamie Wright as the hilariously dim Duke of York. Jenny Allard also got some great laughs from the audience by simply posing with a smug smile in her role as Mr. Ramsden Skrymshir.

The stage itself was set up rather simply, with three sets of curtains draped across fake stone archways, each opening to reveal different rooms depending on the scene to great effect.

While there were some prop mishaps within the show, particularly the Kings crown refusing to stay on his head, the cast were unshaken by the interruptions and kept the scenes flowing amicably. There did seem to be some issues with quick manoeuvrability of the prop bed, as there was some delay between the curtains opening and the bed being wheeled out to the audience, though it was opening night.

The Madness of George III is a well performed play, and perfect for lovers of historical drama and retellings of the British monarchy of the past.

The Madness of George III, ARTS Theatre, until June 25, 2022.

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