Reviewed by Haydn Radford

The Adelaide Repertory Theatre presents at The Arts Theatre the award-winning play The Madness of George 111. Written by Alan Bennett in 1991 it is the fictionalised biographical account of George 111 of Great Britain who suffered from the hereditary disease called porphyria in the late 1700s. The monarch reveals signs of insanity which leads to political and royal back-stabbing. This tragic sad tale of medical practices unfolds at times in a very amusing and entertaining style with lots of black humour portraying George’s doctors as a bunch of wackos.
Set in the latter half of his reign the monarch displays severe signs of madness, bouts of confusion, hallucinations and violent outbursts of temper, while his doctors struggle with ineffectual cures and remedies. King George (Lindsay Dunn), is married to Queen Charlotte (Kate Anolak) and they have fifteen children. She is devoted to George and along with Prime Minister William Pitt (Leighton Vogt), they attempt to prevent the King’s political enemies led by George’s son, the Prince of Wales (Tom Tassone), from unlawfully seizing the throne and run the country without the king’s participation.

Director, Angela Short’s artful production has a cast of twenty performers who present strong performances – some performing additional unforgettable roles. The scenes between Lindsay Dunn and Kate Anolak are amazing and memorable demanding roles.

So often we will hear after an outstanding performance the comment, “How did they remember so many lines?” Well, our party acknowledged the same praise, but also applauded the admirable emotion and reality of the endearing roles conducted so convincingly.

The cast is decked out in an amazing assortment of colourful costumes by Angela Short, Emily Currie and Kate Anolak, along with wigs by Anne-Louise Smith.

A lot of effort by Bob Peet’s Set Design and the Set Construction team, consisting of Stanley Tuck, Barry Blakebrough and Andrew Peet, in their creation of three rooms and a court area that works well to create the royal palace when curtains are stretched across.

The scene changes flowed smoothly and quickly.
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