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Shakespeare’s “King John” now playing. Don’t miss it!

July 8, 2012

Shakespeare’s tragedy “The Life and Death of King John” is seldom staged, so the current performance at San Rafael’s Shakespeare Marin may be one of the few times you will ever have to see it.  Don’t miss it!  This play, as directed by Lesley Schisgall Currier, is full of surprises and all the passion, action, wit and betrayal that we have come to know and expect from the Bard. Not only that, it ends on a high note, with the crown of England finally bestowed upon the rightful heir to the throne.

The kings of England and France each declare the other usurper to the throne of England.  They are both right and wrong.  Their armies and their families clash, unite in marriage, part from each other under threat of excommunication from an emissary of the Pope.  Innocents are caught up in the machinations; loyalties shift and shift again.  Shakespeare invests them all with complex characters, full of bombast and confidence undermined by doubt and grief.

There are many high points in this staging, more than I can name here.  A full battle takes place among and above the audience seating, silhouetted against the lavender sky of a fading day.  Liz Sklar owns the stage as she makes Queen Constance’s grief seem to be her own.  Young actor Samuel Berston does an amazing turn as the young prince Arthur, made all the more touching when he shares the stage with James Hiser’s Hubert and turns aside his murderous plan.  Scott Coopwood brings out all the complexity, the strength and weakness of King John’s character, and gives a tour de force performance in his final scene on stage. Erik MacRay as “the Bastard” by turns funny and fierce, stands aloof from the action and serves to illuminate all the turmoil going on around him.

You may not have another chance to see this play, but that is not the reason you should go see it now.  It is indeed a powerful play, wonderfully acted and directed.

Weekends through August 12, 2012

Box Office (415) 499-4488



3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 8, 2012 9:03 pm

    Thnk U 4 the info, David. Love opening e-m & finding the surprising news U bring us.

  2. July 11, 2012 11:05 pm

    July 12, 2012


    Thank you for coming to see and reviewing for your blog the Marin Shakespeare Company’s (and Marin County’s first) production of “King John.” Thank you for a professional and well written review which I and managing director Lesley Currier will share with links on social networks and with fans of Marin Shakespeare Company.

    With appreciation,

    Kim Taylor
    Publicist for Marin Shakespeare Company

  3. July 11, 2012 11:54 pm

    Reblogged this on Shakespeare in LA and commented:
    Ready for a road trip? Marin Shakespeare Company in northern California is producing King John the summer.

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