The Arts

Shaw Festival 2009 – Shaw’s “In Good King Charles’ Golden Days”

Shaw Festival 2009  – Shaw’s “In Good King Charles’ Golden Days” featured image

reviewed by Paula Citron
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In Good King Charles’ Golden Days
Shaw Festival
Written by George Bernard Shaw
Directed by Eda Holmes
Starring Benedict Campbell, Graeme Somerville, Ric Reid, Claire Jullien, Andrew Bunker, Lisa Codrington, Nicola Coreia-Damude and Mary Haney
At the Royal George Theatre until Oct. 9
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The production of “In Good King Charles’ Golden Days” is a Shaw play well done. Director Eda Holmes has concentrated on language and character to ensure that Shavian social and political commentary is paramount.

The setting is the study of Sir Isaac Newton where we meet George Fox, founder of the Quakers, painter Godfrey Kneller, not to mention King Charles, three of his mistresses, his wife and his brother, the Duke of York. The characters engage in a scintillating discussion about church and state.

The acting isn’t quite as even as it should be, but the chief protagonists – Graeme Somerville as Newton, Benedict Campbell as King Charles and Ric Reid as George Fox are superb. Claire Jullien is Barbara Villiers, but she also stepped into the role of Queen Catherine due to Laurie Paton’s illness, and did a fine job.

In Good King Charles’ Golden Days continues at the Shaw Festival’s Royal George Theatre until Oct. 9.

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