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Farinelli and the King, the play – London West End

Farinelli and the King comes to London’s West End Autumn 2015. 

Read London Life’s review below

Sourced through from:

LL Review


This is not so much a play as an event. It opens on a wonderfully atmospheric scene as 3 bewigged and gorgeously frock coated musicians play baroque music, while servants light candles. A sensory feast is promised and it does not disappoint. 

Mark Rylance succeeds in bringing to life Philippe IV of Spain, a character usually confined to the dusty pages of a history book. Rylance’s performance conveys a subtly complex man on the edge of a breakdown and in desperate need of the soothing power of music. As the play progresses, the eponymous king is revealed as not only sensitive and fragile, but also intelligent, funny, earthy, politically adroit and dutiful.

There are strong performances by Melody Grove as Isabella, the loving and long suffering queen and Edward Peel as the irascible De La Cuadra but for me Owen Willetts as the castrato Farinelli stole the show. His singing was sublime!

 "Farinelli and The King"’ is highly amusing and wonderfully entertaining. It’s also edgy, conveying a sense that tragedy is never far away. A gem, in other words.



Patricia Cassidy

See on Scoop.itLondon Life


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