May 21st - September 20thTom Patterson TheatreTicket Info
Generally Positive Reviews based on 10 Critics
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“This production has a remarkable intimacy, crystallized by the formidable actor Graham Abbey, whose relationship with the audience becomes one of the closest I’ve ever seen in a Shakespearean drama, even though Abbey is playing a character named Philip the Bastard.”
“[Seana McKenna] brings her own grace and regal bearing to the role. And when matters turn ugly for Arthur, McKenna is heartbreaking….Good acting in a rather unremarkable production except for the suggestion it’s all lit by candle light.”
“The Stratford Festival’s King John is a very good production of a play about a very bad king. Tom McCamus plays him, rivetingly, as a neurotic narcissist who, unlike his fellow Shakespearean tyrant Richard III, makes the fatal mistake of caring whether people like him.”
His speech is almost sing-songy that lulls you into thinking this man is a lightweight intellectually. He isn’t. When he declares war it is quietly and with a lethal smile. There is no doubt this is a dangerous man.
“I’m not sure whether it’s correct to say that McCamus is a source of endless delight in the production that opened Wednesday. But it’s certainly accurate to say that you can’t take your eyes off him from the moment he first shambles onto the stage of the Tom Patterson Theatre…”
“The play is stacked with a heavyweight ensemble cast but the night really belonged to Abbey. It was arguably his best performance. He’s never looked more comfortable and he makes the most of every moment on stage.”
“a very cynical play about politics….[Carroll is] presenting King John as if it were at the intimate, indoors Blackfriars Theatre in Stratford’s intimate, indoors Tom Patterson Theatre…I had enough fun playing Carroll’s game this time around to see this King John as half-full, rather than half-empty.”
“The play is stacked with a heavyweight ensemble cast but the night really belonged to Abbey. It was arguably his best performance. He’s never looked more comfortable…McKenna and Collins…are well-matched adversaries and such fun to watch.”
“If audiences don’t feel transported to the 16th century, the encroaching darkness, illuminated by candles (hats off to lighting desig ner Kevin Fraser), certainly reflects the increasing thematic darkness of a play…Despite the intrinsic strength of the cast, when all is said, they collectively cannot lift the production higher than the prosaic.”
“the action is riveting, the political machinations delicious and all the performers, royal or otherwise, take great delight in the parts they’re playing….a truly electric first half — and a second that is drenched in candlelight, in every sense of the word.”