Today sees the coronation of King Charles III and we thought it worth a brief look at the portrayal of royalty in current productions playing in the West End.
There are several productions portraying royalty or with royal themes currently in the West End. Obviously foremost amongst these is Six the musical written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss which brings the six wives of Henry VIII out of the shadows with a modern pop twist. The show has played several venues and is now holding court at the Vaudeville Theatre.
Taking a different look at royalty Disney’s The Lion King which has been playing at the Lyceum Theatre since 1999. A record-breaking hit around the world, The Lion King draws much of its plot inspiration from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. With a creative team including Elton John, Tim Rice, Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Roger Allers, Irene Mecchi and under the directorial vision of Julie Taymor, The Lion King puts a different spin on the nature of royalty.
Currently playing at the Victoria Palace Theatre, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s record-breaking musical Hamilton uses America’s break from the British Monarchy and the start of democracy as the background to the life-story of a man who left an indelible mark with his once in a life-time mind. Although he isn’t on stage for long, King George III makes an unforgettable villan with his Britpop showstopper that reminds the revolutionaries that They’ll Be Back!
Based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen, Frozen the musical brings Anna and her sister Elsa – the Queen of Arendelle, from the hit animated feature to live in a lavish stage musical. Let It Go and enjoy this remarkable production which was enlarged for the newly restored Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
The Crown Jewels is a royal caper starring Al Murray, Carrie Hope Fletcher, Mel Giedroyc, Aidan McArdle, Neil Morrisey, Joe Thomas, and Tanvi Virmani under the direction of Sean Foley, this promises to be a laugh-a-minute comedy.
It takes a lot to beat Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I and its look at a King’s evolution from the ways of the past as he wills his country towards the modern world with the assistance of a young female teacher from Wales who he brings in to teach his many, many children. The award-winning Lincoln Centre production helmed by Bartlett Sher is back in 2024 at the Dominion Theatre and with Helen George playing Miss Anna should not be missed.
Shakespeare’s epic tragedy Macbeth is at the Globe Theatre this Summer. When the universe gives Macbeth a sign that he will become King, he and his wife won’t let anyone stop them. Leaving a trail of destruction in their wake, the bodies pile up as the couple cling to power and control.