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The Crown: The Greatest Soap Opera Ever Told

Dramas about the Royal Family exert fascination around the world. With the duration of Queen Elizabeth’s reign now outstripping that of Queen Victoria, the time has never been better to re-visit the start of our present monarch’s reign in 1952. Netflix has spent a reported £107 million on the series, which started on November 4th.

Dramas about the Royal Family exert fascination around the world. With the duration of Queen Elizabeth’s reign now outstripping that of Queen Victoria, the time has never been better to re-visit the start of our present monarch’s reign in 1952. Netflix has spent a reported £107 million on the series, which started on November 4th.

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Claire Foy, as the young Queen, is no stranger to royal roles, having played Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall. The Crown encapsulates the abdication of the Queen’s uncle King Edward VIII, and the assumption of rule by the Queen’s father King George VI and his sudden death, thrusting the young Queen into the limelight.

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Matt Smith plays Prince Philip, scion of the Greek royal family and master of the faux pas. Smith is well-known for playing Dr Who on television and the embodiment of Skynet in Terminator: Genisys. Vanessa Kirby plays Princess Margaret, whose ill-fated relationship with Captain Peter Townsend counterpointed the dutiful life of her sister. Kirby is only 28 but has been hailed by Variety as ‘the outstanding stage actress of her generation.’

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Eileen Atkins, playing the dour Queen Mary brings a unique and venerable acting history to the role, and has also played the part before in 2002’s TV film: Bertie and Elizabeth. Victoria Hamilton plays Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Hamilton is a veteran of costume drama, having had supporting roles in three Jane Austen adaptations and played Queen Victoria in the 2001 TV series, Victoria and Albert, playing the monarch in her early years.

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Ben Miles plays Peter Townsend, Princess Margaret’s divorced, and eventually rejected, suitor. Jared Harris plays the Queen’s father King George, reluctantly accepting his duty after his brother abdicated. Distinguished stage and TV actress Lia Williams plays Wallis Simpson, for whom Edward sacrificed his throne. He is played by Alex Jennings, famous for playing another British institution, Alan Bennett.

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John Lithgow plays Winston Churchill, British prime minister at the time of the abdication and Elizabeth’s accession. These are all very talented actors, and whilst not exactly lookalikes, their acting prowess should see them inhabit their roles quickly.

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Writer Peter Morgan is no stranger to the Royals, having penned The Queen with Helen Mirren and the stage production of The Audience about the monarch’s relationship with her prime ministers, also starring Mirren. The Crown will doubtless make the most of the clothes and the pageantry of the time, whilst not stinting on the scandals of Edward and Wallis or Margaret and Peter.

Seen this week

Categories DesignPosted on

Christmas competition: Win a Pair of London City Cufflinks

Yes indeed, to celebrate the festive season and the iconic buildings of London, SEEN and City Cufflinks are collaborating to give one lucky reader a pair of the beautiful, hand-made London City Cufflinks featuring St Paul’s Cathedral, City Hall and many more. They’re a wonderful way to accessorise a smart business suit and a witty way to demonstrate your appreciation of the London skyline.

Categories MusicPosted on

Oscar Jerome Headlines at the Montague Arms London in January 2018

SEEN has been enjoying the music of South London artist Oscar Jerome, who has confirmed release details for the ‘Subdued EP’ – due out January 26, 2018 – alongside a video for the title track & lead single. This new four-track collection will follow Oscar’s 2016 self-titled debut EP, which drew praise from the likes …

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Focus Ldn at the Menier: Winter Exhibition

Tom Cox is fast becoming one of the hottest young curators on the London art scene. Often to be found sketching along the South Bank and in Brixton, the city has long been a major source of inspiration for him. Together with talented artists also living and working in London, Tom now mounts a Winter …

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The Georg Jensen Christmas Tree at the Royal Exchange

If you find yourself at the historic Royal Exchange, do be sure to pop in and have a look at the Georg Jensen Christmas Tree. It was unveiled recently by former Spice Girl and National Treasure, Emma Bunton. If you’ve never been, the Royal Exchange a luxury shopping destination in the heart of the city.

Categories EntertainmentPosted on

Ajax at the Space: Ripples Spreading Outwards

It is astonishing to think that Sophocles’ famous play Ajax has as much relevance today as it did when it was first written and performed 2000 years ago. The terrible effects of war on mental health echo down the centuries in Esmond Productions’ gender-bending version, with women playing all the roles. Post-traumatic stress disorder wreaks …