By Min Jiao and Daniel Van Sickle
The most recent school play “The Lion in Winter” written by James Goldman premiered in Richardson on Nov. 15.
The setup for the play was different with the audience all grouped together on stage with the actors. This provides a different theatre experience than most people are used to.
Despite the small crowd for the actors to feed off of, there were still plenty of laughs and gasps to be heard from the small intimate audience.
The general impression the audience gave was that the play to them was very entertaining. Personally, I enjoyed the play, even after having watched multiple rehearsals of it.
The actors in this play did an astounding job playing the characters as I believe they were intended to be played.
Aaron Pfingsten, Henry II, and Julia Faust, Eleanor of Aquitaine, emotions throughout the play all seemed genuine although at times they switched from one mood to another too fast .This could just be the way the play is built and is partly for comical effect but it was still slightly distracting.
I was also impressed by how well the actors that played the sons embodied their characters and how all the actors generally performed although they are not as compelling as Eleanor or Henry as a result of them lacking the same depth.
They come off a little as stock characters with a glimmer of something more thrown in. Even so, they still come off as very interesting and each contributes their own brand of comedy and drama to the play.
The power brokering throughout the play is reminiscent of the constant backstabbing that is well loved in The Pirates of the Caribbean series.
This aspect of it makes it both surprising and amusing although you get to the point in which you always know that a lie in some manner is being told, and the double crossing becomes known to be inevitable. For me this make it is only better, because it made me feel clever.
Underneath the lies, double lies, and witty banter however there are bleak truths that are revealed that give the play a stronger and more complete emotional impact and I believe a longer lasting impression. The play shows accurately how twisted and vile the parents and progeny of a family of royalty can be.
The play did not appear to intend to mean much in the modern world or to be true to medieval speak, but seems to be meant to entertain those with a dark sense of humor. Luckily, I am one of those people.
Even if the comedy in the play falls short for some people, I think it is a play that will be enjoyable for nearly everyone if not as a comedy then just as an interesting story.
I would not suggest young children see the play as a result of certain sexual expressions, language, and vileness that shocked even some of the adults in the audience
There are two more performances left. The next one will be on Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m., and the last performance will be on Nov. 17 at 2:00 p.m. in Richardson.
Daniel Van Sickle is a senior majoring in business. You may email him at Daniel.VanSickle@sckans.edu.