Back Row...Rick Hunt as Richard (The Lion-hearted) and oldest living son of Henry and Eleanor, James Gilhooley as John, the youngest son, Michael Gettinger as Geoffrey, the middle son, Robert Hyer as King Phillip of France, and Hannah Goodman as Alais (French princess, sister of King Phillip).
Just by looking at the picture you can see one of the play's conflicts, the conflict between the young and the old. The young are rising into power and the old are determined to keep their power.
Despite this being primarily a drama, there plenty of funny lines These lines often have to do with the attitudes of parents toward their children and attitudes of children toward parents. And in the case of Eleanor and Henry, you will recognize the attitudes of married couples toward one another.
When Eleanor and Henry had a serious conflict, he used a solution available to kings. He put Eleanor in prison. Out of the goodness of his heart, he has let her out for Christmas. Needless to say, they have strong mixed feelings for one another as well as for their sons.
Alais, the French princess adds turmoil as young pretty women do.
Both Henry II and King Phillip have plans involving increasing their power and lands and so the Hundred Years War limps along. The display in the lobby shows the lands under dispute . To get a better look at the map , click on it. All in all, living as a ruler in the twelfth century was like a game of chess.
Fortunately for me, the playbill also included a time line of English historical events which led up to this Christmas celebration. (The Christmas celebration is actually an invention of the playwright as a setting for the drama.)
By the end of the play, Henry thinks he has solved his problems but we know better.
The play is directed by Francis Boyle and produced by Dennis Murphy. Under Boyle's direction, the veteran members of the cast, Wallace Johnson and Karen Romero shine as powerful, opinionated royalty. The supporting members play the parts of unique and evolving characters who will rule the next generation.
As always, the refreshments at intermission reflect the content of the play. There are tiny Yorkshire puddings and English Royalty Cho-Chip Scones as well as tidbits that honor French cooking.
The play is being performed on the Thrust stage option so the action is close to the audience and three-dimensional. Here, a member of the stage crew is changing details of the set for Act 2.
As always, there is a long list of team members who provide the support which makes it possible for the actors and director to accomplish their magic.
The play will be presented again tonight, October 21, 2016, as well as tomorrow night and Sunday afternoon. Check The Drama Workshop website:
or call the box office at 513-598-8303.