Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Lion in Winter -Review- Westovians

The Lion in Winter
South Shields
Pier Pavilion
22 November 2010 

There is a lot going on in the Royal household of late. Up and coming nuptials and public opinions of who shall take over the mantle of ‘Her Majesty’. What must be going on behind the doors of the corridors of power?

We get a fantastic glimpse of this in The Lion in Winter,written by James Goldman, a fictional tale set in 1183, following Henry II and his squabbling sons. Who the next King would be normally decided on the deathbed, but the sibling rivalries of Richard, John and Geoffrey as well as Queen Eleanor need to know now! -when he is very much alive.
Set in the Castle of Chinon, there is more plotting afoot than the best Agatha Christie novel. Henry wants the power to dictate what he wants when he is gone but all things conspire against him, but he is wise to it all. His mistress Alias, is the closest he will get to an ally, but she isn’t happy either, she wants it all without the hassle of ‘family interference’. The only problem is, she is betrothed to Richard. The King of France, Philip also comes into play, wanting his hands on the land of England. Sounds all too familiar to modern Monarch life doesn’t it! Have they never learned throughout the years!

The Lion in Winter is a contemporary and humourous take on not only the Royal, but our family lives as we know it. The wrangling’s really reminded me of the brilliant late 80’s BBC sitcom ‘Bread’.
Brilliantly acted by the King, John Errington and the Princes of Dean Jukes as Richard, Mark Lamb as Geoffrey and Daniel Lee as John, with Rachael Walsh as Alias and Peter Dawson playing Philip. It is Dolores Poretta-Brown who stole the show though, she was superb as the ‘never giving up in the love stakes’ Queen.

With a great palatial stage setting, this a wonderful drama to see.

The Lion in Winter is performing every night until 27th November at 7.30pm, tickets priced at £5

Michael Hunter

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