Exit the King’s interest in the crumbling of a kingdom is relevant, and I found its musings on death – and Anthony Ward’s visual representation of this – emotionally affecting.
Adapted from Eugene Ionesco’s French absurdist comedy by Patrick Marber (who also directs), Exit the King, in a nutshell, tells the story of the death of the titular King, who’s told he must die and then does, in real time. It’s no more interesting than I’ve made it sound.
This final sequence of Exit the King is mesmerising. The self-indulgent waffle and navel-gazing that makes up the rest of Marber’s production? No thanks.
Though at the moment it looks quiet, I have finally got a draft schedule together for my time in Edinburgh, and it seems as if my plan to ease myself in has just gone out of the window… It’s going to be a hectic week for me up there, but it has to be done!
And as an absurdist drama, Exit the King suggests a bit of different thinking. On the face of it, it’s a simple enough tale – a man is told he only has a day left to live and struggles to deal with it.
The National Theatre brings a fascinating cast to Exit the King, the story of King Berenger, who has lived and ruled for 400 years. He is played by Rhys Ifans, a wild and unruly actor who is becoming more interesting with age.
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Patrick Marber directs Rhys Ifans in this new production of Exit the King. Here Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews…
Patrick Marber’s engaging production of Exit the King builds on the central strangeness of Ionesco’s work, attempting to break down our ongoing battle with the idea of death and why no one wants to face it until they have to.
Details have been released of the National Theatre’s season from May to September 2018. Highlights include the Uk premiere of Hadestown, with music, lyrics and book by Anaïs Mitchell, the return of Follies and Patrick Marber’s new version of Eugène Ionesco’s Exit the King.
Following his current turn as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Rhys Ifans will return to the Old Vic Theatre in the new year to star in the world premiere of Joe Penhall’s new stage play Mood Music, which runs from 21 April to 16 June 2018.