Previewed 18 January 2012, Opened 23 January 2012, Closed 31 March 2012 at the Apollo Theatre London
A major stage revival of Alan Bennett's comedy The Madness of George III in London starring David Haig in the title role of 'King George III'
In spite of a catalogue of accomplishments - he founded the Royal Academy of Arts, was a passionate advocate of science, literature and music and fathered fifteen children - King George III is today best remembered for his bouts of unbridled lunacy. Subjected to the appallingly cruel medical treatment of the day and assailed by power struggles between politicians and his scheming son, George III remains throughout an intensely sympathetic character - melancholy, moving, witty... and finally triumphant.
The cast for The Madness of George III in London features David Haig as 'King George III' along with Clive Francis, Beatie Edney and Madhav Sharma. The production is directed by Christopher Luscombe with designs by Janet Bird, lighting by Oliver Fenwick, music by Malcolm McKee and sound by Mic Pool. This production transfers to London's West End following a hugely successful season at the Theatre Royal in Bath.
The original production of Alan Bennett's The Madness of George III was staged at the National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre in November 1991, winning Nigel Hawthorne - who played the title role - the Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics' Circle Awards for 'Best Actor in a Play'. He reprised the role for the 1994 film version (re-titled The Madness of King George) which also starred Helen Mirren and Ian Holm.
"David Haig's stellar performance as the crazed King in Alan Bennett's The Madness Of George III is detailed and distinctive enough even to dislodge still vivid 20-year-old memories of the late Nigel Hawthorne, who made the role his own on stage and screen. In the early scenes, clambering on to his bed and saying goodnight to the 'good little pudding' he calls 'Mrs Queen', who is doing her crochet, the King's essential sweetness, decency and humanity is captured... This is essentially a one-man show. The rest of the characters are one-dimensional sketches, as is the set, which consists of empty picture, window and door frames. Even Nicholas Rowe's pinched Prime Minister, Pitt, and his opposition, Gary Oliver's gruffer Fox, remain outlines. Never mind, a majestic Haig rules the stage, magnificent and profoundly moving." The Mail on Sunday
The Madness of George III in London at the Apollo Theatre previewed from 18 January 2012, opened on 23 January 2012 and closed on 31 March 2012.