Bob Kingdom as the Duke of Windsor
The Tobacco Factory Theatre
11 March 2013 WOS Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews With the arrival of The Kings Speech last year, the life and times of Bertie, or King George VI to his subjects, is now well documented. His brother David, or Edward VIII as he was briefly known, was touched upon and is widely thought of as being the Nazi sympathising, American loving playboy. Bob Kingdomís latest, An Audience with the Duke of Windsor aims to dispel the many myths surrounding Edward VIII/David/Duke of Windsor and give the man and the monarch a human face.
With the premise of a tell-all book on the horizon and the relentless pursuit of the press, the Duke wishes for a life of simple pleasures that centre around his beloved Wallis. In an evening full of anecdotes before, during and after his reign, this is a show clearly researched in depth.
From the man who brought us the tie knot, the turn up and the post war royal paparazzi hunt, he was a fascinating figure. The myth of the Nazi sympathiser is dealt with in one simple explanation. Being half German, he wanted to stress that being Pro-German did not mean he was Pro-Nazi. Itís detail like this and the length of his reign should he have remained on the throne that elevate this from a simple history lesson to an engaging piece of theatre.
What prevents us from engaging entirely is Kingdomís delivery. Whilst he may sound like the Duke and have mannerisms that evoke the Duke, he doesnít allow himself to own the material so what is clearly a well-researched piece rarely rises above the level of a reading rather than a performance. The passion of the man and the stakes of the piece are lost in amongst an impersonation.
Lost lines and stumbles aside, this showed the promise of putting a human face on a man surrounded by myth but lacked the passion and joy that made him pursue the woman he loved.
- by Shane Morgan Related Content Back to Southwest Homepage
Subscribe to our free newsletter
Featured Editor's Picks
: The economic impact of Arts & Culture in the UK Infographic When Culture Secretary Maria Miller called for the arts to make their "economic case" for subsidy, t... Plays Cast: Harry Potter star in Southwark Moment, more for Branagh's Macbeth Bonnie Wright, best known for playing Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films, will make her stage d... Brief Encounter with ... The Kite Runner's Ben Turner Ben Turner stars in the stage version of the bestselling book The Kite Runner, which runs at Liverpo... Titus Andronicus (RSC) This latest production of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, to borrow from football punditry, is a p... : Britain's outdoor theatres Take Five With half-term approaching, the weather (hopefully) set to improve for the bank holiday weekend and ... West End Live returns to Trafalgar Square next month West End Live, a weekend of free entertainment from top London shows, will return to Trafalgar Squar... : 'I carry the ghost of Gregory Peck on my shoulders' Robert Sean Leonard Actor Robert Sean Leonard is currently playing Atticus Finch in Timothy Sheader's production of To K... To Kill A Mockingbird Twenty years ago, a young Robert Sean Leonard appeared on the London stage with Alan Alda in... X Factor musical titled I Can't Sing!, opens Palladium March 2014 The forthcoming X Factor musical will be called I Can't Sing! The Musical and will premiere at the L... Donmar stages Nick Payne premiere, Wesker's Roots & Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus The Donmar Warehouse has announced its new season, which features the premiere of Nick Payne's new p...