King John

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

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

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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