(photo by Don Dixon)At Hand is War-Like John
The rarely performed King John is poised to become the triumphant dark horse of the season
by Stuart Munro and Dave Ross
And they serve it brilliantly. I could list every single actor here, but will restrain myself to a handful. As Blanche of Spain, Jennifer Mogbock does a remarkable amount with relatively little, and her speech towards the end of the first half brilliantly set the tone for the second. Seanna McKenna as Constance is, as always, an utter delight, and her sparring with Patricia Collins’s Eleanor of Aquitaine was a joy to watch. Tom McCamus walks a wonderfully fine line as King John. Throughout, he keeps the audience guessing as to whether or not his John is a master politician, or a man on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It is a marvel to say that both are absolutely possible. It is, however, Graham Abbey’s Phillip who shines most often in this production. Despite the play’s title, it is really only Phillip who addresses the audience, and whom the audience gets to know. His portrayal of the bastard son is rich and nuanced, comical and intense. His mastery of the text knows no bounds, and it is a gift to watch him work.