THE VISION OF DEATH IN IONESCO’S. EXIT THE KING. ELIZABETH G. WRIGHT. “XJUT I KNOW that, of course I do! We all know it!” says the irri-. Ml9 tated. For its first foray into the world of Eugène Ionesco, the National has chosen a play about a departure: to be more precise, the death of a king. Yes, if you are lucky enough to see “Exit the King”, a largely forgotten work by Eugène Ionesco, a 20th-century French absurdist playwright.

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Eugene Ionesco, the French-Romanian titan of post-war drama, acclaimed architect of such avant-garde classics as The Killer, The Chairs and Rhinocerosonly receiving his first National Theatre production inover two decades since his death in ?

Utterly absurd, as is the play Rufus Norris has chosen to stage: Writer, director and actor Patrick Marber takes the reins of his own adaptation, returning to the National after the sell-out success of his version of Hedda Gablerstaged by Ivo Van Hove in Is Ifans up to filling a king-sized pair of shoes?

Exit The King, which premiered inpresents an omnipotent, year-old monarch finally meeting his end. King Berenger knows he is going to die — over the course of the play, the audience watches as he and his kingdom crumble into nothing.


Exit the King

So far, so absurd, but how does it work in ? Others, though, can hardly stand it. Can we expect similar accolades for his Ionesco?

Despite Ifans, this felt like a long evening.

Exit the King starring Rhys Ifans | National Theatre | review round-up

The backdrop is a castle wall kign, as the kingdom disintegrates, itself develops a crack that indicates the kind of subsidence that estate agents dread. It hides a host of magical windows and doors, not to mention a trumpeter. The concluding coup de theatre — no spoilers — is also raved about in most reviews. And not all critics were bored to tears.

Exit the King at National Theatre – review round-up

How well does he rage against the dying of the light in a role previously taken on by Michel Bouquet, Sir Alec Guinness and Geoffrey Rush?

First he rails against the inevitable, then he wails, then he capitulates. Ifans is good, though — really good, according to some reviews.

In the end, Marber has to settle for mediocrity. Brexit cited as major concern ghe the theatre industry in Trust set up to save Norfolk theatre where Shakespeare performed. Tarek Iskander announced as new artistic director of Battersea Arts Centre.


Exit the King review – Rhys Ifans’s dying despot is majestic | Stage | The Guardian

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Fergus Kinh rounds up the reviews. Simon Annand Exit The King, which premiered inpresents an omnipotent, year-old monarch finally meeting his end.

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