• Reviews
  • Credits
  • Reviews

    Visually; sensually, Nicholas Hytner’s production of Edward II is one of the most exciting, and exhilarating I’ve seen on the arena stage of the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. Tom Cairn’s design draws on the three-dimensional, gladiatorial nature of theatre in-the-round. Filling the floor with a deep litter of dark compost surrounded by a raised walkway, it suggests both a circus and a bearpit as images of the medieval court. The glowering blue ball of the sky showers rain that churns the soft earth into sticky, degrading mud. All this theatrical wizardry, the glint and chink of golden armour, could be dangerously distracting. But the power and range of Ian McDiarmid’s performance as Edward keeps thrusting the text on your attention.

    Guardian, Robin Thornber

    Nicolas Hytner’s revival of Marlow’s Edward II at the Royal Exchange in Manchester is one of the year’s outstanding theatrical events: a superb staging of the first English chronicle play that is as modern and outrageous as anything you might devise by mixing early Shakespeare with Joe Orton.

    Financial Times, Michael Coveney

    Michael Grandage provides a credible unvoluptuous Gaveston, full of Gallic vitality in a somber Northern court and Iain Glen’s young flattering Spencer captures the banal pedantry and monomania of those who, when the country is riven, strive to climb on the treacherous wheel.

    Independent, Michael Schmidt

  • Credits

    Michael Grandage
    Piers de Gaveston
    Ian McDiarmid
    King Edward II
    Peter Wight
    Edmund, Earl of Kent
    Michael Hughes
    Lancaster/Abbott of Neath
    Duncan Bell
    Mortimer the Younger
    David Howey
    Warwick/Sir Thomas Berkeley
    Stuart Golland
    Pembroke/Rice Ap Howell
    Leonard Maguire
    Bishop of Coventry/Spencer the Elder
    Geoffrey Bank
    Archbishop of Canterbury
    Brid Brennan
    Queen Isabella
    Iain Glen
    Spencer the Younger
    Colin McFarlane
    Karen Henthorn
    Lady Margaret de Clare
    Alex Haig, Adam Sunderland
    Prince Edward
    Adrian Palmer
    Matrevis/James Pearson
    Sean Blowers
    Louis Hilyer
    Nicholas Hytner
    Tom Cairns
    Jeremy Sams
    Mark Henderson
    Martin Duncan
    Masque written & staged