This is great to watch with the subtitles, and it's generally quite comprehensible, whereas reading the Aarden Shakespeare meant I had to consult the notes to figure out what the characters meant.
That said, there's more than a touch of camp about Derek Jacobi's titular king, to the point where I wondered if he had a bit of the Edward II about him. Jacobi's effete manner reminded me of another, even earlier king, King John, as played by Claude Rains in The Adventures of Robin Hood. All very good up to a point, but it began to lack a certain range for me. As his self-pitying histrionics rose to a pitch near the end, I began to think of Richard Dreyfus in the 1990s sitcom Gimme Gimme Gimme, and how he might expostulate over some handsome hunk he'd had within his grasp, only to let slip through his fingers like slimy spaghetti in cold water - while an unimpressed, gum-chewing Kathy Burke watches on.
It's 2 hrs 40 minutes, btw. Look out for a great supporting cast including Clive Swift (Keeping Up Appearances, Excalibur) among the more obvious names.
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