The king is dead. Long live the king.
The great tragi-comedy, Exit The King, is set to light up the National Theatre’s Olivier stage this summer, bringing Eugène Ionesco’s work to the venue for the first time in history.
One of Ionesco’s least absurdist pieces, Exit The King focuses on the last day of the ancient, solipsistic, and confrontational King Bérenger’s life. Patrick Marber (Three Days in the Country, Hedda Gabler) directs this new version starring Rhys Ifans.
This lesson in death is a profound and acclaimed piece of theatre.
Rhys Ifans (‘Notting Hill’, A Christmas Carol) plays the title role alongside Indira Varma (‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Man and Superman’) who portrays the first Queen. Other cast members include Debra Gillett, Derek Griffiths, Amy Morgan, Adrian Scarborough, and musician Sarah Campbell.
Somewhere in Europe the kingdom is crumbling. It’s the last day of King Bérenger’s life. He has lost power over his surroundings and physical abilities. Queen Marguerite is preparing for the end and Queen Marie is in denial. The King is 400 years old and dying, but he’s clinging on for dear life as everything around him begins to disappear.
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Find out more about the venue for your show: Directions, Transport options and facilities.
(10mins) Follow signs for exits to the South Bank. This should lead you to an underground pedestrian passage called ‘Sutton Walk’ that emerges at the South Bank. Turn right and walk along the river Thames until you see the National Theatre.