King John


T. Ryder Smith as Phillip the Bastard, Christopher Martin as King John.


David New, Victoria Boothby, J.C. Hoyt, T. Ryder Smith.


T. Ryder Smith as Phillip the Bastard.


Excerpts from the reviews

“‘King John’ is not a self-generated Shakespearean creation but a slapdash rewrite of an earlier anonymous script. The erratic and unworthy John makes an unsatisfactory protagonist, and the colorful secondary characters fail to buttress the sagging center. Only so idealistic a theatre would attempt so problematic a play . . . Although flashes of insight and excitement flicker from the Festival’s  . . . stage, Barry’s epic sprint comes to a depressing end . . . Talented T. Ryder Smith gives an impish spin to the play’s zestiest character, the bastard Faulconbridge . . . His piratical squint and sinister dash emphasizes the character’s mercurial perversity at the expense of his moral maturing. It’s an entertaining flight that never quite lights on solid ground.“ – Bob Campbell, The Newark Star-Ledger

“An outsized throne and a humongous blood-red robe trimmed in ermine are the dominant images of the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival’s ‘King John’. Thus director Paul Barry completes the Shakesperean canon, with a portrait of a king far too small for his role in history. Barry is able to solve some of this play’s well-known problems while succumbing to others . . ” – Leslie Hoban Blake, The Shakespeare Bulletin