Farinelli and the King

A French King of Spain from a family named after a biscuit fishes with his miniature rod for a goldfish in its circular glass bowl in his lap, while chatting to it amiably. A man with tights and no balls sings falsetto to help soothe the King’s agitation. He flirts with the Italian-born Queen in a hole cut into a forest. The English fleet threatens the empire. An actor who has just played Thomas Cromwell to great acclaim and is now a national treasure gets to play the King, his wife having written the play and given him some cracking lines. A few too many unwarranted fucks perhaps (where is the Lord Chamberlain when you need him?). Your author is identified by the King as a poacher, and fears for his dignity – a frisson of terror.. Fortunately he could not reach the stage even if summoned, as the audience is crammed in too tightly. The new Elizabethan densely intimate theatre made entirely of wood is lit by candles, and steals half the scenes.


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