England versus France, peace versus war, might versus right, private passion versus public duty, King John has them all. He is a virtuoso politician with an uncontrollable passion for the crown - a hero and a villain. The play is powered by the politics of war with the future of England at stake. All goes well for King John and his tactically brilliant political manoeuvres, until the Pope's ambassador interferes. War and torture ensue, and King John's hold on the crown slips away.