The King's Face
Reviewed by Grant Palmore
Mortality challenges every member of the human race. When faced with demise, people are challenged to consider the meaning of their lives: What is my purpose? What is my legacy? Who will remember what I have done? Just such considerations are central in Steven Young’s historical drama The King’s Face; however, they feature in the life of a future king.
The King’s Face examines the cruel, mortal toil of Prince Henry of Monmouth (future King Henry V) prior to his ascent to the throne. During a recent clash in battle Prince Henry (played by Joey Folsom) suffered a life-threatening injury resulting in a gruesome, unhealed facial wound. Consequently, his father, Henry IV, consigns surgeon (and convict) Johnathon Bradmore (played by James Hansen Prince) to complete the insurmountable task: to save the life of Prince Harry thereby saving his own from the noose.
The CORE Theatre’s production has assembled a moving and entertaining production, under the direction of the multi-talented, multi-hyphenate playwright Young. The aesthetic of the set and attention to detail in the props and costumes effectively transports the audience to the sparse castle bedchamber of Prince Harry (Set & Prop Design by Hansen Prince, Costume & Set Dressing by Rhonda Gorman,
Young's two-person cast wield the stage with ease and provide an entertaining spar with the script, both humorous and moving. Hansen Prince provides an observant, mostly stolid Bradmore; however, his infrequent outbursts of humor, anger, or sorrow are impactful and executed skillfully. Folsom’s portrayal of Prince Henry is captivating. He navigates Young’s eloquent language and dialect with ease and commands the changing moods of Prince Harry adeptly. His ailing Prince Harry, slack-jaw and rumpled in bedclothes, burns with impulse – in one moment fires quick-witted responses during conversation, in another he delivers a side-splitting joke, then spurns into an unfiltered rage only to follow the genuine remorse and contrition.
The King’s Face played from Friday, January 19 to Saturday, February 3 at The CORE Theatre in Richardson, Texas.
Audience Rating: PG13 (Strong language, sexual innuendo, brief instances of mild violence)
Run Time: 2 hours, 15 minute intermission
Accessible Seating: Available
Hearing Devices: Not available
Sensory Friendly Performance: Not Available
Production Sound Level: Comfortable volume level
Noises or Visuals to Prepare For: Some difficult depictions of medical procedure.
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