Madness of George III
by Alan Bennett
14-17 February 2001
III Geoff Whipp
Queen Charlotte Chrissie Neal
Prince of Wales Paul Dodman
Duke of York Peter Brown
William Pitt Martin Matthews
Edward Thurlow Barry Baynton
Henry Dundas Alex Compiani
Charles James Fox Dave Williams
Richard Brinsley Sheridan Mark Ellen
Captain Fitzroy Paul Hewitt
Captain Greville James Carrington
Lady Pembroke Penny Whipp
Papandiek Colin Pile
Fortnum Amanda Brown
Braun Bob Hucklesby
Sir George Baker Simon Jackson
Dr Richard Warren Joe Brooks
Sir Lucas Pepys Chris Brown
Dr Francis Willis David Pile
Sir Boothby Skrymshir Howard Lovejoy
Mrs Armistead Jean Dishington
Margaret Nicholson/Dr Ida Macalpine Margaret Pope
Footman Christian Napier
with Clare Downs, Rebecca Dudley-Smith, Tony Brown, Colin Clarke
& Mel Gudger
Director Richard Neal, Designer Amanda Brown,
Company Stage Manager Carolyn Hewitt, Costume Designer
would have taken hearts of stone for the audience not to be moved by Geoff
Whipp's portrayal of King George III. The play must have a strong leading
actor, and here Wimborne Drama was blessed.
They tackled the play admirably, seizing on every chance to introduce
some humour without losing the seriousness of the issues.
Director Richard Neal should be proud of this production which maintained
the high standard expected of Wimborne Drama."
(Liz Turner, Wimborne Magazine)
Bennett's fascinating study of a king best known for losing both America and
his mind is a masterly piece of writing, and with a named cast of 20+ as well
as assorted footmen, friends and bystanders it is also a huge challenge for
any company brave enough to attempt it.
Richard Neal's spirited, hugely enjoyable and superbly costumed production drew
all the strands of this tragic monarch's reign together in a tapestry rich in
colour and variety.
Shining out as the focal point was the mesmerising and deeply moving performance
of Geoff Whipp, excellently portraying the mental and physical crumbling of
a dutiful monarch to childlike dependency and confusion exacerbated by a series
of quack doctors.
But a king cannot reign alone, and there was fine support in other roles, most
noticeably from Paul Dodman as George, Prince of Wales, Martin Matthews (William
Pitt), Mark Ellen (Sheridan), Simon Jackson (Sir George Baker) and David Pile
(Dr Francis Willis).
No-one in their right mind could fail to enjoy such a drama."
(Linda Kirkman, Daily Echo)
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