Out of the Margins

15 SEPTEMBER 2023 - 06 OCTOBER 2023
King Charles III 2. Annotations 3. Headshot 1. Cover
King Charles III
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23. Mike Bartlett

King Charles III

King Charles III 
Signed and annotated 
Printed script, single sided 29.8 x 21.1 cm 
September 2015, Broadway Version

ESTIMATE


£1,000 - 10,000

This auction has now ended

Out of the Margins (23/55)

Notes


"Shall I be mother?" 

Mike Bartlett annotates the opening line of Act 1 Scene 3, as Charles offers to pour the tea: "I remember being very happy when I realised the scene should start with this line. It does a lot of work - as well as being funny." 

Mike Bartlett's play about an imagined future when Queen Elizabeth dies and King Charles III acceeds to the throne was described as a "future history play" when he wrote it in 2013. From the perspective of 2023, ten years later - a year after the Queen's death - there couldn't be a more apt moment to invite the playwright to reflect intimately on his writing. 

78 pages of printed script have been extensively annotated, and an additional 21 pages of extra "Deleted Scenes" ("I gave these scenes to the company as a present on the last night of the run on Broadway"). The annotations are a joy to read, giving insights into some of the greatest laughs of the show, even when the playwright wrote the lines with genuine intention of feeling (about Camila's line "Harry! It's such a joy to have you home" Mike notes, "Always a big laugh with his entrance"). Tricks of the trade are shared, as is the alternative title: "The play was original called 'The Death of Queen Elizabeth II' - as that is the trigger for all the action. But it felt wilfully controversial + wasn't in the Shakespearean mould - the play should be titled after its protagonist." 

Since the play's original production, Bartlett has been credited with prophesizing much of what has since come to pass in the British monarchy and wider society, and his annotations around the role of Prince Harry and his place within the Royal Family will be of great interest to royal watchers and theatre lovers alike. 

Told in blank verse, the play has been listed as one of Evening Standard's "50 best plays of the 21st century" and one of The Guardian's "50 best theatre shows of the 21st century", and won, amongst many others, the Award for Best Play at the Tonys, Oliviers, Critic's Circle and Drama Desk.

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