The Lion in Winter

Posted by barb on Jan 8, 2004 in Concerts, Travels |

I finally was able to get together with Jim and Maggie (my aunt and uncle who live near Atlanta) tonight. They came by the hotel, and whisked me off to the Shakespeare Tavern (a mere 0.5 miles from the hotel) to see their production of The Lion in Winter.

I had never seen this play before (or the movie with Katharine Hepburn and Peter O’Toole), so I went in not knowing what to expect. The basic story is in 1183 King Henry II’s three sons all want the throne. Richard is the obvious choice, being handsome and accomplished in war. John is Henry’s favorite, though, so despite his youth and awkwardness believes he will get the crown. Poor Geoffrey, now the middle child, is often overlooked. During the holidays, Henry allows his imprisoned wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, to come visit. Meanwhile, Henry’s mistress, Alais, is betrothed to one of the sons (though it’s unclear which one). The play is full of scheming, conniving, and witty exchanges.

This production was quite good, though I might agree with Jim that I didn’t like Alais’ performance as much as I could have. I also found John’s portrayal a bit too over the top to be believable.

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