Diane and I finally drove up to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada for the Shaw Festival. Each year, the Shaw Festival presents compelling plays by George Bernard Shaw and plays related to the Shaw era. The second largest repertory theatre company in North America was founded in 1962.

The Madness of George III is based on the true story of King George III who experienced a bout of “madness” that threatened to topple the Government. I’m a fan of Alan Bennett’s The History Boys (both the play and the movie version). Bennett has the skill to present grim realities with wit and humor. Watching Tom McCamus’s (you’ve seen him in Orphan Black and Room) descent into madness on the stage is one of the finest performances I’ve seen at the Shaw Festival in 20 years! Brilliant!

The movie version, The Madness of King George (1994), featured Nigel Hawthorne as the King and Helen Mirren as the Queen. It was nominated for four Academy Awards.

The horrific treatment of mental illness, the Royal politics of those times, and Courtly behavior swirl around King George’s story. I highly recommend The Madness of George III. GRADE: A

11 thoughts on “THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III By Alan Bennett

  1. Patti Abbott

    When we were in England 94-95, we saw a number of Bennet plays. Some were short one-act, one-character plays and we liked them all. Glad you got to Niagara on the Lake, a delightful town. Wished I lived there.

    1. george Post author

      Patti, Diane and I prefer to go to the Shaw Festival “off-season.” We’ve been pleased with the plays at the Shaw Festival over the years. And, as you say, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a delightful place to spend a day!

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    We loved Niagara-On-the-Lake too. No Shaw plays this year? I remember the movie version with Nigel Hawthorne doing a superb job in the role.

  3. wolf

    I still find it strange how Europeans tolerated for somany years the crazy behaviour of some of their royalty – not only the British but also the Prussian, Austrian and Bavarian had problems …
    Btw, we also found Niagara-on-the-Lake very nice – just a tad expensive!
    And of course the wineries in the countryside – lovely!

    If I remember correctly there also were many peach trees there – how about the harvesting, george – did you help?

    Totally OT:
    The news from Vegas on that shooting – terrible! Don’t know what to say …


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