Kobna-Holdbrook-Smith in Edward II, National Theatre Photo by Johan Persson
Hot on the heels of his coronation, Edward II recalls his lover Gaveston from exile, lavishing him with titles and riches. Their all-consuming lust makes enemies of the furious barons and bishops, alienates the King’s once-devoted Queen and tears England to pieces. Ultimately, the monarch himself is destroyed as are many of those who stood both at his side and in his way.
All live to die, and rise to fall.
A behind-the-scenes exploration of power, sexual obsession, and a king who treats the realm as his playground. The National offers a contemporary take on Christopher Marlowe’s magnificent, erotic and violent play.
I will have Gaveston, and you shall know
What danger ’tis to stand against your king