You feel as if you’re in the presence of Prince Charles as Tim Pigott-Smith strides across the stage in King Charles III playing a future version of Charles as the reigning king. In the play, which has been written in blank verse, Charles provokes a constitutional crisis because he uses his veto power to challenge proposed government legislation to control the freedom of the press. This also leads to a family crisis in which his daughter-in-law Kate (Lydia Wilson) plays a key role.
“I think what so many people find interesting about the play is how plausible it is,” says Tim Pigott-Smith.
The production arrives in New York from London after winning the Olivier Award for Best New Play. Tim Pigott-Smith has found it pleasing to perform in New York. “What is a real bonus is American audiences, because it’s not quite part of their culture, they have to listen very, very carefully to make sure they keep up with the plot. So that gives you a wonderful level of attention,” he says.
As it happens the actor is a fan of Prince Charles. He says, “I’ve always had a soft spot for Charles. I think if our country can’t cope with a monarch who cares as much as he does, there’s something wrong with us. That’s my view.”
Watch our interview with Mr. Pigott-Smith:
We also spoke with the piece’s playwright, Mike Bartlett:
Finally, we chatted with Lydia Wilson, who plays an interesting version of Kate Middleton: