Battle Royal (1999)

Battle Royal

a play by Nick Stafford (1999)

1795: England is at war with France, women are seen but not heard, and the Prince Regent, a man with 'an undeserved reputation for enjoying the amusements of his position whilst not embracing the duties', is under pressure to marry and produce an heir.

Eighteen years later: the influence of the French revolution is being felt throughout the world, the tempestuous marriage of George IV and the woman he reluctantly married has reached crisis point and, in an ironic twist, Caroline his outspoken wife, has become a figurehead for the anti-monarchists.

Nick Stafford's witty new play charts a fascinating chapter in the history of the British monarchy - full of scandals, press intrusion, illicit affairs, overspending and political meddling.

Running Time: 3 hours 25 minutes

Lyttelton Theatre

Director: Howard Davies
Designer: Rob Howell
Designer: Mark Henderson
Music: Paddy Cunneen
Director of
Movement: Jane Gibson
Sound Designer: Adam Rudd

: Adrian Penketh
: Benny Young
: Brendan Coyle
: Caroline Harker
: Colin Haigh
: Duncan Duff
: Gemma Jones
: Hugh Ross
: Iain Mitchell
: Janet Spencer-Turner
: Jay Simpson
: Martin Chamberlain
: Matthew MacFadyen as Mr Brougham
: Michael Mueller
: Patrick Baladi
: Patrick Godfrey
: Patrick Marlowe
: Simon Russell Beale
: Suzanne Burden
: Valerie Spelman
: William Osborne
: Yvonne O'Grady
: Zoƫ Wanamaker


Royal National Theatre

Matthew Macfadyen Role:

Matthew Macfadyen is Mr Brougham, the brilliant defence lawyer for the princess and expert mobiliser of public opinion.


Paul Taylor, INDEPENDENT, 11 December 1999
. . . Matthew Macfadyen is superb as Brougham, the brilliant defence lawyer for the princess and expert mobiliser of public opinion. . . .
Michael Billington, MAIL on SUNDAY, 11 December 1999
. . . Gemma Jones as a stately Lady Jersey, Brendan Coyle as a shadowy spymaster and Matthew Macfadyen as the forensically skillful Brougham lend first-rate support. . . . .
Georgina Brown, MAIL on SUNDAY, 12 December 1999
. . . Stafford's witty writing has the amusing flippancy, elegance and spite of a Giliray cartoon of the time - but, alas, neither the succinctness nor the moral force. I suspect that none of the royal household was as funny or clever as he and the outstanding performances of Brendan Coyle (the king's adviser) and Matthew MacFadyen (the queen's lawyer) imply. . . .
(reviews obtained from here)