Review Round Up…King John, Rose Theatre Kingston

Trevor Nunn returns to the Rose Theatre in Kingston to direct one of Shakespeare’s lesser known plays. Having opened on Wednesday, what have critics been saying about the production? 

The Telegraph:*** Dominic Cavendish said: ” Shakespeare reacquires the shock of the new and, for Sir Trevor, theatrical victory is snatched from the jaws of defeat.”

The Arts Desk: “Nunn’s production does a decent job, then, of offering the best bits of a mixed play, with kings as dogs snarling ignobly over the bones of power, just as we like to type them.”

Kingston Guardian: “Tightly directed by Nunn with an impressive cast, every last drop of drama, humour and irony is wrought for maximum potency.”

WhatsOnStage:*** Holly Williams wrote: ‘Nunn’s production elsewhere proves that you don’t need to strain to prove the play’s contemporary resonance: we get that, when it comes to politicians breaking promises, “twas ever thus, and will be.” ‘

The Guardian: ** Lyn Gardner commented: “As ever, Nunn delivers clarity, but despite the fine central performances, it’s a serviceable evening, not a thrilling one.”

Love London Love Culture:”A fantastic cast and set appropriately at the Rose Theatre, makes it worth taking a chance on.”

London Theatre 1: **** Ruth Gledhill found: “The wit, intrigue, murder and ambition make this old play relevant anew in our modern age.”

The Reviews Hub: **** (and a half) Jon Wainwright thought: “Jamie Ballard gives a convincing portrayal of an unconvincing and incongruous character who is the uneasy occupant of England’s throne.”

Theatre *** Alex Wood wrote: “Nunn provided a solid enough piece of theatre from a largely flawed text.”

British Theatre Guide: Robert Tanitch said: “King John, overlong and heavy-going, will appeal mostly to Shakespeare completists.”

Essential Surrey: **** Charles Raspin was enthusiastic saying: “I can absolutely recommend King John at the Rose Theatre – life may be “as tedious as a twice-told tale”, but this show most certainly is not.”

Traffic Light Theatregoer: “All in all, King John proved a compelling and absorbing evening, with every argument over claims to the throne, the possession of mainland France territories, the plotting and the scheming followed intently by TLT and her trusty mechanized steed.”

King John plays at the Rose Theatre until the 5th June.  To book tickets visit Love 



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: