George Bernard Shaw’s 1928 political farce The Apple Cart was recently performed at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre in north London. It concerns the fictional English King Magnus and his battle of wits with his cabinet, including Prime Minister Proteus. Faced with the possibility of a further loss of political power, the king decides he would rather abdicate and take his chances as an ordinary MP instead.
Despite being over eighty years old, the play still feels very fresh, and several of the themes and issues it explores – such as differing political beliefs and the role of the monarch in politics – are still highly relevant. In some ways the play reminded me of Mike Bartlett’s play King Charles III which premiered this year. Shaw’s piece is much more of a comedy, however – in particular I loved the subplot in which the British are appalled at the American ambassador’s suggestion that they would like to give the US back to Britain.
Performed by the amateur theatre group KDC Theatre, this was a highly amusing evening.