Categories NewsPosted on

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.

the_crown_title

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.

claire-foy-queen-elizabeth

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.’

prince-philip

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.

queen-mary

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.

peter-townsend

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.

winston-churchill

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

Sculpture in the City, Art for Everyone

SEEN thoroughly enjoyed a preview of the 18 new artworks around the financial district’s square mile. Set up by The City of London in 2010, this excellent initiative expands its footprint every year, improving the area and proving that when people are happy, they work better.

Categories ArtPosted on

Alex Evans at the Foundry Gallery, Chelsea Quarter: LDF17

The astute reader will have noticed that SEEN loves art about London. There are many artists in this city who draw (pun intended) their inspiration from it, none more so than Alex Evans whose fractal renderings hint at the entropic nature of urban life and perhaps also our anxieties and isolation in the 21st century. His latest exhibition ‘Invisible Systems’ can be seen at the Foundry Gallery, tucked away off the King’s Road until 26th October.