At 1:45 (no interval), it is definitely 15 minutes too long. Yes, we get it. The king simply doesn’t want to die, so much so that you want to climb up on stage and choke the daylights out of him yourself. But still, at some point it just draaaags on.
Ifans himself is wonderful. I think they could’ve done a better job hiding the knee pads and mic receiver better, but oh well. His first queen (Varma) is snappy and just brilliant if perhaps a bit wooden in places. His second queen (Morgan) is aloof–whether intentionally or not, I’m not sure. Her [fake] accent made it a bit hard to understand her. Killer dress though. I’d rock that! Scarborough as a doctor I didn’t like. He is normally very good in shy awkward roles (“up the women” on tv, “don juan in soho” on stage), but not here. Maybe the play is too rigid for him to stretch his comedic wings?
I didn’t have a problem with the absurdist style that some formal reviews did. The set is stunning beginning to end.
The one thing worth a separate honourable mention is the spitting. Holy crap on a cracker… There were puddles coming out of Ifans. His costars were covered in it. The front row was absolutely drenched. It was so bad (tho we were in row C and dry) that it became a funny distraction, meaning I was having a tough time focusing on some dramatic and tense moments and instead doubling over in fits over him “projecting” all over Morgan’s face (before you ask, no, he wasn’t trying to purposefully spit in her face)
Enjoyment value: £20, 25 on a good day. Since we paid less than that, that was a good deal.