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The Faggot King or The Troublesome Reign of Edward II

ensemble theatre · the school of night · Ages 17+ · United States of America

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Review by TODD PICKERING

June 04, 2017 certified reviewer

What I liked

This is a very tight show. Directed very very well! The clarity of character is so good. I was very impressed with this talented cast. The Gregorian singing style used to open the show and then throughout was very impressive. The choreographed fight scenes are full of sword wielding and clanging that sends shivers up the spines. What a delight to see the Peter Pan casting of Edward 2, Gaveston and Spencer as women. What wonderful meaty roles for these actors to get. The costumes are glorious and the staging is definitely a master class for all Fringers. Flow….movement….music….cues sharp.

What I didn't like

I really liked the stylized A CHORUS LINE choreography of takes throughout the show as the cast usually performs completely presentational (i.e. facing the audience and carrying on dialogue without looking at fellow actors) Happily they do actually talk to each other from time to time but this method does get a bit much. The modern music is great but the orgy sequence could be cut in half….the point is taken and doesn’t need a full number. Heather Schmidt does her best work in the dungeon sequence and we get to really see who Edward2 is. I think it was a directorial/actor choice to bark out the first half of the show but I feared for Her voice and it started to seem too much. I hope there are more moments found that aren’t so barky…..that said…..Edward2 is a brat king and it is a tough line to walk. Make sure you do your vocal warm ups!

My overall impression

Kara Hume has a spot on French Accent and is delightful as Isabella and Eric Rollins as Mortimer is commanding and strong. Love the clergy message that is difficult in this play! Kudos to director and Mr. Johnson and Alex Elliot-Funk as the Bishop. Really makes sense of this part of show. Amazing curtain call also. If you like some verse you need to see this show.

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