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Matrimonial Gets Timely Revival at Barons Court

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Royce Ryton’s Crown Matrimonial, which centres on the abdication crisis that featured in recent Oscar-winning film The King’s Speech, is being revived at London’s Barons Court Theatre next month (20 April to 7 May 2011).

The play focuses on the crisis that faced the nation when Edward VIII declared his love for American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Unswayed by the prospect of public scandal, family upheaval and even abdication, he is insistent that he will marry the woman he loves.

First staged in 1972 and subsequently seen in the West End and on Broadway, it highlights the volatile relationship between Queen Mary and her son caused by his love affair, and mirrors the constitutional crisis portrayed in another subsequent Oscar-winning film, The Queen.

According to press material, “time and events have given Ryton’s play an edge it didn’t possess when it was first staged in 1972. Certainly the question of whether it’s acceptable for the King (or future King) to marry a divorced woman still has resonance, as does what the wife of a king should and must be called.”

Crown Matrimonial will be directed by David Phipps-Davis, with a cast featuring: Sophie Bickerstaff, Charlie Cable, Andrew Chevalier, Hilary Derrett, Robert Gosling, Kathryn Hamilton-Hall, Anne-Marie Hughes, Emily Lockwood and Jamie Thompson.


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