Queen Elizabeth is dead. After a lifetime of waiting, her son ascends the throne. A future of power. But how to rule?
Mike Bartlett’s controversial ‘future history play’ explores the people beneath their crowns, the unwritten rules of our democracy, and the conscience of Britain’s most famous family.
Drawing on the style and structure of a Shakespearean history play, King Charles III opened in 2014 at London’s Almeida Theatre, directed by Rupert Goold, before transferring to the West End.
The play went on to win Best New Play at both the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards and the Olivier Awards. It also won the South Bank Sky Arts Theatre Award.
This special edition of the play includes a foreword by the journalist and broadcaster Jon Snow, an afterword by the playwright, and an essay about the original production.
‘Outstanding and provocative… the most spectacular, gripping and wickedly entertaining piece of lèse-majesté that British theatre has ever seen’
‘Bold, brilliant and unstoppably entertaining… an intelligent, empathetic, moving look at the power and limitations of the modern monarchy… theatre doesn’t get much better than this’
— The Times
‘Play of the year… extraordinary… a meaty, hilarious, dizzyingly audacious state of the nation political thriller’
— Time Out
‘Royally entertaining… raises fascinating questions about the future of the monarchy’
‘Scintillating and highly ambitious… a brilliant, provocative piece of drama’
— Financial Times
‘Wonderfully original… Bartlett’s brilliant text pulses with Shakespearean resonances… a right royal triumph’
— The Stage
‘Pitch-perfect… bracingly provocative and outrageously entertaining’
Best New Play, Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards
Best New Play, Olivier Awards
South Bank Sky Arts Theatre Award