TV - King Charles III


Mike Bartlett's play King Charles III is coming to BBC Two...

The Queen is dead: after a lifetime of waiting, the prince ascends the throne. A future of power. But how to rule?

Charlotte Riley (Close To The Enemy, Peaky Blinders) has been cast in the role of Kate Middleton in BBC Two’s ground-breaking one-off drama, King Charles III, adapted by award-winning playwright and television screenwriter Mike Bartlett (Doctor Foster, Press) from his Olivier Award-winning play.

The inventive future history drama, produced by Drama Republic, reunites many of the creative team behind the original Almeida Theatre play, including director and fellow Olivier Award-winner and Tony Award nominee, Rupert Goold. Tim Pigott-Smith returns to the title role of Charles, with Oliver Chris as William, Richard Goulding as Harry and Margot Leicester as Camilla. Adam James will also reprise his role as Prime Minister Tristram Evans.

Joining the cast alongside Charlotte are Priyanga Burford and Tamara Lawrance.

Mike Bartlett says: "I couldn’t be more excited that King Charles III is now fully, brilliantly cast and about to begin shooting. We have an exceptional team, both in front of and behind the camera, and I'm looking forward to bringing this very contemporary royal tragedy to a national television audience."

Charlotte Riley says: “I’m really excited to come on board King Charles III - Mike Bartlett and Rupert Goold are two brilliant creatives. It’s such a unique project, to be both modern and rich in verse and to play someone who is real but yet totally re-imagined for this story, is an exciting prospect for an actor. Kate Middleton is a really interesting woman, particularly within the context of this play, and it is a challenge I am really looking forward to.”

Tim Pigott-Smith adds: “Performing King Charles in Mike Bartlett’s astonishing play in London and New York has been one of the high points of my career. I am thrilled that we are to film it - it is a drama about us, now, who we are, and the relevance of our monarchy. Television gives it an important democratic voice.”

Daringly written in blank verse, King Charles III is an imagining of Prince Charles’ accession to the throne following the Queen’s death. When he refuses to sign a controversial bill into law, political chaos ensues: a constitutional crisis, rioting on the streets and a tank in front of Buckingham Palace. As Charles wrestles with his own identity, the playful and poignant drama explores the implications for him, his family, and his subjects.

Executive Producers Greg Brenman and Roanna Benn add: “We are delighted and excited in equal measure that Mike Bartlett, one of Britain's most gifted writers, and the visionary Rupert Goold will re-unite to bring their extraordinary theatre production to television. Alongside Masterpiece and the BBC we are as proud as anything to be the producers of this standout event.”

King Charles III is a co-production of the BBC and Masterpiece, in association with Drama Republic. The Executive Producers for Drama Republic are Greg Brenman and Roanna Benn, alongside Mike Bartlett and Rupert Goold. Matthew Read is the Executive Producer for the BBC and Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece.

Filming of the 90 minute drama will take place in and around Leeds this month.

Image - Almeida Theatre