ENTERTAINMENT

From George, he has it! PATRICK MARMION reviews George III's madness


The insanity of George III (NT at home, Youtube)

Conclusion: Gatiss is king of all surveys

Rating:

The highlight of my ban so far was the discovery that Mark Gatiss is one of our best actors.

Last week I felt he almost stole Tom Hiddleston's show in Coriolanus.

And he's back here this week playing Alan Bennett's most famous play, The Madness Of George III.

I missed production when it ran at Nottingham Playhouse in 2018. How I regret this day now!

Mark Gatiss is nothing short of fascinating in Alan Bennett's most famous play, The Madness Of George III

Mark Gatiss is nothing short of fascinating in Alan Bennett's most famous play, The Madness Of George III

Gatiss is nothing short of fascinating, and it has the priceless quality of acting like a long-lost friend.

With a rubbery face that can easily handle the most difficult situations, he has always been an eye catcher for comedy.

But in the title role of George III. He shows himself as an actor of amazing reach and personality.

Bennett's play tells how the monarch of the 18th century suffered a nervous breakdown in 1788, and as King Gatiss is alternately cheeky, childish, light-hearted, indescribable and sophisticated.

Bennett turns out to be an actor of amazing reach and personality who has been recognized for comedy roles in the past

Bennett turns out to be an actor of amazing reach and personality who has been recognized for comedy roles in the past

It corresponds to Nigel Hawthorne's distress and naughtiness in the original production (1991 at the National Theater) and shows a litany of tics and horror while he is in an illness that puts his rule in danger.

Despite variable sound quality, Adam Penford's production looks like a total Barnstormer.

Debra Gillett is very cozy and warm as George's German wife "Mrs. King", and Nicholas Bishop is a model of suppressed panic as William Pitt, whose future as prime minister depends on George's recovery.

More by Patrick Marmion for the Daily Mail …

But the best of the rest is Adrian Scarborough as Dr. Willis, the grim Lincolnshire asylum seeker who insists that George must be broken like a horse before he gets better.

The wonderful, courtly baroque of Handel's music connects the whirl of short scenes. But everything that follows after Gatiss.

I very much hope that he will soon play Shakespeare's Richard III. It is a role that was almost written for its energy, threat, and calamity.

Macbeth (iPlayer now, BBC4 Sunday, 9:30 p.m.)

Conclusion: Schlock horror film makeover

Rating:

Polly Findlay clearly wants her Macbeth with Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack (from RSC in 2018) to look like a creepy horror film – but unfortunately Shakespeare is always in her way.

Creepy girls of about ten years old wearing pink pajama hoodies play witches. And this crazy man in the caretaker's coat on the back turns out to be a porter.

Eccleston, as the Scottish warlord with the title, does not appear to be too susceptible to self-doubt and is like a chieftain's armor that rolls over the verse and blows up the audience with an Iambian pentameter.

In 2018, Christopher Eccleston will play the title character in Polly Findlay's Macbeth alongside Niamh Cusack from the Royal Shakespeare Company

In 2018, Christopher Eccleston will play the title character in Polly Findlay's Macbeth alongside Niamh Cusack from the Royal Shakespeare Company

Cusack is a Lady M with swivel eyes who wears a number of elegant dresses – one of which, as my daughter emphasized, makes her look like Elsa from Frozen.

And she really lets go of her damn stain routine. Impressive knocking at the castle gates sounds more like field guns that fire volleys from hell, and the music is of the right quality for scary movies.

But Findlay tries too hard because a digital clock counts down Macbeth's remaining time and his future hunter Macduff (Edward Bennett) flees to England with a baby dad. Sometimes it's best to let the bard speak.

Andrew Scott plays the one-man show Sea Wall in an Echo rehearsal room after performing the play a few times in the West End

Andrew Scott plays the one-man show Sea Wall in an Echo rehearsal room after performing the play a few times in the West End

Dike (seawallandrewscott.com)

Verdict: Grim crops with Andrew Scott

Rating:

Andrew Scott's admirers can see him in a 30-minute monologue about an excruciating vacation accident for $ 5 (or the UK equivalent).

Simon Stephens' yarn was filmed in an echo-like rehearsal room and is studied banal to blind us with the unveiling of the grim incident.

This is Scott at his best, and although he is often out of focus, he still has the ability to hold you with his big, wet doggy eyes.

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