Did Prince Harry’s love life really affect a Toronto theatre production?
Bloody right it did.
When British playwright Mike Bartlett first presented his play, King Charles III, in 2014 at a London theatre (it would later move to the West End and Broadway where it got numerous Olivier and Tony nominations), the redheaded royal was still a confirmed bachelor.
Four years later, the 33-year-old prince is getting married to Meghan Markle, 36, on May 19 at St. George’s Chapel at the Queen’s summer residence, Windsor Castle.
So naturally Bartlett wanted to make revisions to the play about the ascension of Prince Charles following the death of Queen Elizabeth. (It was also made into a 2017 TV movie.)
In fact, those changes will have a Canadian debut when the Studio 180 Theatre production of King Charles III premieres in Canada at Toronto’s CAA Theatre (formerly the Panasonic) on Feb. 10, running until March 4 with a possible one week extension.
“Very soon after the engagement was announced, Mike Bartlett and I were in touch and he certainly was aware that he wanted to make some changes,” says Joel Greenberg, the director of the Toronto play.
“Because the subtitle of the play is ‘a future history play’ and he understood that that piece needed some adjusting, he made probably about a half-dozen, six to eight, script changes. It was really important that we weren’t pretending that this (engagement) hasn’t happened,” adds Greenberg. “And I did said to him, ‘Everybody knows that Harry is now engaged to Meghan Markle. All the more in Toronto because this is where they made their first public appearance (at the Invictus Games last September). And Toronto feels, even though she’s not a Canadian, really feels a sense of ownership or participation.’ Because the play is set slightly in the future, references are made to a failed marriage and that Harry is once again on his own.”