A meditation on power and the metaphor of the body of state, based on the real episode of dementia experienced by George III [now suspected a victim of porphyria, a blood disorder]. As he loses his senses, he becomes both more alive and more politically marginalized; neither effect desirable to his lieutenants, who jimmy the rules to avoid a challenge to regal authority, raising the question of who is really in charge. Written by
Dan Hartung <email@example.com>
His Majesty was all powerful and all knowing. But he wasn't quite all there.
Did You Know?
Fortnum, one of the King's footmen (played by Adrian Scarborough
), is shown leaving his service in order to start "a grocer's in Piccadilly". Alan Bennett
states in his introduction to the play that he based this character on the historical founder of the London store Fortnum and Mason. Charles Fortnum (1738-1815) was indeed in royal service, but he was a member of the Queen's retinue, not the King's, and the firm had already been founded by 1756 (probably by his father William), five years before he entered her household. Charles combined running the family business with his job as a servant until his death. See more
The red dispatch box in which the Prime Minister carries papers for the monarch to sign dates from Victorian times. The first PM to use it was William Gladstone around 1860. See more
To be kind does not commend you to kings. They see it, as they see any flow of feeling, as a liberty. A blind eye will serve you better.
Zadok the Priest
Music by George Frideric Handel
(as G H Handel) See more