Mike Bartlett’s play King Charles III coming to BBC Two; cast announced

Charlotte Riley joins TV adaptation of popular Almeida Theatre play

charlotte-riley

Charlotte Riley (Close To The Enemy, Peaky Blinders) is set to play Kate Middleton in award-winning writer Mike Bartlett‘s (Doctor Foster) new BBC Two one-off, 90-minute drama, King Charles III, adapted from his Olivier Award-winning play.

A co-production of the BBC and Masterpiece, in association with Drama Republic, King Charles III is written in blank verse and is an imagining of Prince Charles’ accession to the throne following the Queen’s death. When he refuses to sign a controversial bill into law, political chaos ensues: a constitutional crisis, rioting on the streets and a tank in front of Buckingham Palace. As Charles wrestles with his own identity, the playful and poignant drama explores the implications for him, his family, and his subjects.

The cast will feature many of the original Almeida Theatre cast, including Tim Pigott-Smith in the title role of Charles; Oliver Chris as William; Richard Goulding as Harry; and Margot Leicester as Camilla. Adam James will also reprise his role as Prime Minister Tristram Evans. Joining the cast alongside Charlotte are Priyanga Burford and Tamara Lawrance.

Olivier Award-winner Rupert Goold will direct.

Mike Bartlett says: “I couldn’t be more excited that King Charles III is now fully, brilliantly cast and about to begin shooting. We have an exceptional team, both in front of and behind the camera, and I’m looking forward to bringing this very contemporary royal tragedy to a national television audience.”

Charlotte Riley says: “I’m really excited to come on board King Charles III – Mike Bartlett and Rupert Goold are two brilliant creatives. It’s such a unique project, to be both modern and rich in verse and to play someone who is real but yet totally re-imagined for this story, is an exciting prospect for an actor. Kate Middleton is a really interesting woman, particularly within the context of this play, and it is a challenge I am really looking forward to.”

Tim Pigott-Smith adds: “Performing King Charles in Mike Bartlett’s astonishing play in London and New York has been one of the high points of my career. I am thrilled that we are to film it – it is a drama about us, now, who we are, and the relevance of our monarchy. Television gives it an important democratic voice.”

King Charles III begins filming in and around Leeds this month (Nov) for broadcast in 2017.