Review Roundup: THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III, Streaming Now as Part of National Theatre at Home
Alan Bennett's epic multi award winning drama The Madness of George III, is now streaming as part of National Theatre at Home. The 2018 broadcast from Nottingham Playhouse marked the first collaboration between the two organisations, and is the first production from outside of London to be streamed as part of The National Theatre at Home series.
Watch the performance here!
Directed by Nottingham Playhouse's Artistic Director Adam Penford, the cast includes Olivier award-winners Mark Gatiss (Dracula, The League of Gentlemen, Doctor Who) and Adrian Scarborough (Gavin and Stacey, Upstairs Downstairs, After the Dance), alongside Debra Gillett (Call the Midwife, Doctor Who).
Let's see what the critics are saying...
Patrick Marmion, The Daily Mail: Gatiss is nothing less than spellbinding, and he has that priceless quality of seeming like a long lost friend. With a rubbery face that can make light of the trickiest situations, he was always a shoo-in for comedy. But in the title role of George III, he reveals himself to be an actor of astonishing range and personality.
Rachel Halliburton, The Arts Desk: Of all the productions seen by this reviewer to date, this one works particularly well on TV. Some of this is to do with performances that are both arresting and unforced. Some of it is to do with Robert Jones' effective, simple design which allows the predominantly red and black costumes of the royal household to blaze strikingly against a cool green panelled set with shiny reflective floors, stylishly evoking the interiors of the royal residences at Windsor and Kew.
Gabriel Wilding, Hackney Citizen: The descent into madness is meticulous, uncomfortable and, in the second act, heartbreaking, but it is still peppered with lighter moments. Gatiss makes the role his own, which is always helpful when one plays the eponymous character. Adam Penford's direction is swift and focused, pulling the best out of both Bennett's writing and the prodigious talent of Gatiss.
Stephen Bates, The Reviews Hub: Oddly, Bennett seems to come down firmly on the side of a dreary monarch, who is remembered chiefly for losing America, and against his flamboyant son, who was to become figurehead of the lauded Regency era. There is much to debate, but this recording does full justice to a majestic work of theatre, capturing the spectacle of period drama while telling a human story with humour and imagination.
BP Flanagan, The Upcoming: Gatiss runs his gamut as King, as much in search of respectability as his character. Less a star presence than a stunted recognition, here is a man whose career is based on reviving long-forgotten TV novelties, just for the novelty. His King George generates a few laughs but becomes incredulous when his illness takes over.